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CARDANO, GIROLAMO (b. Pavia, Italy, 24 September
1501; d. Rome, Italy, 21 September 1576),
medicine, mathematics, physics, philosophy.
as a stimulus to the study of the particular and
I. ORIGINAL WORKS.
Nearly all of Cardano's writings are
collected in the Opera omnia, Charles Sponi, ed., 10 vols.
(Leiden, 1663). The published works to which scholars most
often refer are Practica arithmetice et mensurandi singularis
(Milan, 1539); Artis magnae, sive de regulis algebraicis liber
unus (Nuremberg, 1545); De subtilitate liber XXI (Nuremberg,
1550; 6th ed., 1560), trans. by Richard Le Blanc as
De la subtilité . . . (Paris, 1556; 9th ed., 1611), and bk. 1,
trans., with intro. and notes, by Myrtle Marguerite Cass
(Williamsport, Pa., 1934); Liber de libris propriis (Leiden,
1557); De rerum varietate libri XVII (Basel, 1557; 5th ed.,
1581); De subtilitate . . . cum additionibus. Addita insuper
Apologia adversus calumniatorem (Basel, 1560; 4th ed.,
1611); and Opus novum de proportionibus numerorum, motuum,
ponderum, sonorum, aliarumque rerum mensurandarum. . . .
Item de aliza regula liber (Basel, 1570). The autobiography
was published by Gabriel Naudé as De propria
vita liber . . . (Paris, 1643; 2nd ed., Amsterdam, 1654); it
was translated into Italian (Milan, 1821, 1922; Turin, 1945);
German (Jena, 1914); and English (New York, 1930). The
French translation by Jean Dayre (Paris, 1936) includes
the Latin text with the variants of a 17th-century MS preserved
in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan. The Liber
de ludo aleae was first published in the Opera omnia and
translated into English by Sidney Henry Gould as The Book
on Games of Chance (New York, 1961).
II. SECONDARY LITERATURE.
On Cardano himself, the
following works contain many bibliographic references:
Angelo Bellini, Girolamo Cardano e il suo tempo (Milan,
1947); and Henry Morley, The Life of Girolamo Cardano
of Milan, Physician, 2 vols. (London, 1854). His mathematical
work is analyzed in Ettore Bortolotti, I contributi del
Tartaglia, del Cardano, del Ferrari e della scuola matematica
bolognese alla teoria algebrica delle equazioni cubiche, no.
9 in the series Studi e Memorie per la Storia dell'Università
di Bologna (Bologna, 1926), pp. 55-108, and I cartelli di
matematica disfida, no. 12 in the series Studi e Memorie
per la Storia dell'Università di Bologna (Bologna, 1935),
pp. 3-79; Moritz Cantor, Vorlesungen über Geschichte der
Mathematik, 2nd ed. (Leipzig, 1899), II, 484-510, 532-541;
and Pietro Cossali, Origine e trasporto in Italia dell'algebra,
II (Parma, 1797), 159-166, 337-384. The most profound
study of Cardano's contribution to the theory of games is
Oystein Ore, Cardano the Gambling Scholar (Princeton,
1953), which concludes with Gould's translation of the
Liber de ludo aleae.
Cardano's physics is presented in Raffaello Caverni,
Storia del metodo sperimentale in Italia, I (Florence, 1891),
47-50, and IV (Florence, 1895), 94-95, 197-198, 385-386
(entire work repr. Bologna, 1969). The hypothesis of his
intellectual debt to Leonardo is defended by Pierre Duhem
in Les origines de la statique, I (Paris, 1895), 237-238, 242;
and Études sur Léonard de Vinci, I (Paris, 1906),
On Cardano's work in magic, alchemy, and the arts of
divination, see Lynn Thorndike, A History of Magic and
Experimental Science, V (New York, 1951), 563-579; on his
contributions to cryptology, see David Kahn, The Code-breakers