Mathematician:Bonaventura Francesco Cavalieri

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Italian mathematician who worked on optics and motion.

His approach to geometry was a precursor to integral calculus.

Introduced the logarithm to Italy.

A disciple of Galileo.

A member of the informal Académie Parisienne.




  • Born: 1598, Milan, Habsburg Empire (now Italy)
  • 1615: Joined the religious order Jesuati in Milan, where he met and was greatly influenced by Galileo
  • 1616: Transferred to the Jesuati monastery in Pisa
  • 1619: Applied for the chair of mathematics in Bologna but considered too young
  • 1621: Became a deacon and assistant to Cardinal Federico Borromeo at monastery in Milan
  • 1623: Became prior of St Peter's at Lodi
  • 1626: Went to the Gesuati monastery in Parma (note: not the Jesuits)
  • 1629: Appointed to chair of mathematics at Bologna, where he taught mathematics till his death
  • Died: 30 Nov 1647, Bologna, Papal States (now Italy)


Results named for Bonaventura Francesco Cavalieri can be found here.


  • Lo Specchio Ustorio, overo, Trattato delle settioni coniche (The Burning Mirror, or a Treatise on Conic Sections)
  • 1635: Geometria Indivisibilibus Continuorum Nova Quadam Ratione Promota (Geometry, developed by a new method through the indivisibles of the continua)
  • Exercitationes geometricae sex
  • Directorium Generale Uranometricum
  • 1646: Trattato della ruota planetaria perpetua
  • Tables of logarithms

Notable Quotes

A line is made up of points like a string of beads; a plane area is made up of lines as a cloth is of threads; and a solid is made up of plane sections as a book is made up of pages.

Critical View

I think sincerely that few men, if any, since Archimedes, have delved as far and as deep into the science of geometry ... he has discovered a new method for the study of mathematical truths; by it he proves in a shorter manner many of the theorems of Archimedes and other mathematicians.
-- Galileo Galilei