Mathematician:Francesco Maurolico

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Mathematician and astronomer from Sicily, notable for being the first on record to use the Principle of Mathematical Induction.

Contributed to the fields of geometry, optics, conics, mechanics, music, and astronomy.

Edited the works of classical authors including Archimedes, Apollonius, Autolycus, Theodosius and Serenus.

Composed treatises of his own on mathematics and mathematical science.

Vehemently opposed to Nicolaus Copernicus' heliocentric theory of the solar system.


Sicilian, of Greek parentage


  • Born: 16 September 1494 in Messina, Kingdom of Sicily (now Italy)
  • Died: 22 July 1575 in Messina, Kingdom of Sicily (now Italy)


  • 1521: Photismi de lumine et umbra (published posthumously in 1611)
  • 1523: Diaphana Part 1 (published posthumously in 1611)
  • 1528: Grammatica rudimenta
  • 1548: De Momentis Aequalibus (first published only in 1685)
  • 1552: Diaphana Part 2 (published posthumously in 1611)
  • 1555(?): Sicanicarum rerum compendium
  • 1575: De Sphaera Liber Unus (contains a fierce attack against Copernicus)
  • 1575: Made a map of Sicily.
  • Cosmographia
  • De lineis horariis

  • An edition of Aristotle's Mechanics, and a work on music.
  • Summarized Ortelius's Theatrum orbis terrarum
  • Worked on improving existing ancient mathematical texts, including those by:
Theodosius of Bithynia
Menelaus of Alexandria
Autolycus of Pitane
Apollonius of Perga

Notable Quotes

[Copernicus deserves] a whip or a scourge rather than a refutation.
-- De Sphaera Liber Unus ($1575$)

Also known as

Francesco Maurolico is variously rendered:

in Greek as Φραγκίσκος Μαυρόλυκοςas (Frangiskos Mavrolikos)
in Latin as Franciscus Maurolycus or Francisci Maurolyci
in Italian as Francesco Maurolico.