Giordani, Vital

, a skilful mathematician, was born December 13, 1633, at Bitonto. He spent his youth in idleness and debauchery, and married a young woman without any fortune; and having killed one of his brothersin-law, who reproached him with his indolence and laziness, he entered as a soldier in a fleet fitted out by the pope against the Turks. The admiral, finding that he did not want genius, gave him a writer’s place which happened to be vacant; and Giordani, being obliged in consequence to learn arithmetic, eagerly studied that of Clavius, and acquired a taste for mathematics. Returning to Rome, in 1659, he was made keeper of the castle of St. Angelo, and devoted the leisure that office afforded him to mathematical studies, in which he made so rapid a progress, that queen Christina chose him for her mathematician during her stay at Rome; and Louis XIV, appointed him to teach mathematics in the academy of painting and sculpture which he had founded in that city, 1666. Giordani was made engineer to the castle of St. Angelo by pope Clement X., appointed mathematical professor at the college della Sapienza 1685, and admitted into the academy of the Arcadi, May 5, 1691. He died November 3, 1711. His principal works are, “Euclide restitute,” foiio; “De componendis gravium momentis,” folio; “Fundamentum doctrines motus gravium,1705, folio; “Ad Hyacinthum Christophorum Epistola,1705, folio. 2


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