Campanus of Novara

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BornNovara, (Italy), first quarter of 13th century

DiedViterbo, (Italy), 1296

His contemporaries, like Roger Bacon, considered Campanus as one of the greatest mathematicians of his times. The date of his birth can be tentatively fixed between 1210 and 1230 because the first entry in some tables ascribed to him is 1232 and many of his works are dated between 1255 and 1260. Many documents confirm Campanus' birthplace: Novara in northern Italy, 40 km from Milan. Sometimes he is called Johannes (John), but this first name seems to have been introduced only in the 16th century.

We do not know anything of Campanus's life until 1263 when he was chaplain of Cardinal Ottobono Fieschi, later Pope Adrian V. In 1264, Campanus was chaplain to Pope Urban IV, and he remained a member of the papal court for 30 years until his death in 1296. There Campanus served as mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, and physician, and he met other outstanding intellectuals such ...