Tartaglia’s Science of Weights and Mechanics in the Sixteenth Century

Selections from Quesiti et inventioni diverse: Books VII–VIII

  • Raffaele Pisano
  • Danilo Capecchi

Part of the History of Mechanism and Machine Science book series (HMMS, volume 28)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Biographical Sketches & Science in Context

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Raffaele Pisano, Danilo Capecchi
      Pages 113-188
  3. History & Historical Epistemology Analyses

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 189-189
    2. Raffaele Pisano, Danilo Capecchi
      Pages 191-257
  4. Translations & Transcriptions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 259-259
    2. Raffaele Pisano, Danilo Capecchi
      Pages 261-453
  5. Circulation of Knowledge & Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 455-455
    2. Raffaele Pisano, Danilo Capecchi
      Pages 457-463
    3. Raffaele Pisano, Danilo Capecchi
      Pages 465-466
  6. Raffaele Pisano, Danilo Capecchi
    Pages E1-E1
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 467-504

About this book


This book presents a historical and scientific analysis as historical epistemology of the science of weights and mechanics in the sixteenth century, particularly as developed by Tartaglia in his Quesiti et inventioni diverse, Book VII and Book VIII (1546; 1554).

In the early 16th century mechanics was concerned mainly with what is now called statics and was referred to as the Scientia de ponderibus, generally pursued by two very different approaches. The first was usually referred to as Aristotelian, where the equilibrium of bodies was set as a balance of opposite tendencies to motion. The second, usually referred to as Archimedean, identified statics with centrobarica, the theory of centres of gravity based on symmetry considerations. In between the two traditions the Italian scholar Niccolò Fontana, better known as Tartaglia (1500?–1557), wrote the treatise Quesiti et inventioni diverse (1546).

This volume consists of three main parts. In the first, a historical excursus regarding Tartaglia’s lifetime, his scientific production and the Scientia de ponderibus in the Arabic-Islamic culture, and from  the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, is presented. Secondly, all the propositions of Books VII and VIII, by relating them with the Problemata mechanica by the Aristotelian school and Iordani opvsculvm de ponderositate by Jordanus de Nemore are examined within the history and historical epistemology of science. The last part is relative to the original texts and critical transcriptions into Italian and Latin and an English translation.

This work gathers and re-evaluates the current

thinking on this subject. It brings together contributions from two distinguished experts in the history and historical epistemology of science, within the fields of physics, mathematics and engineering. It also gives much-needed insight into the subject from  historical and scientific points of view. The volume composition makes for absorbing reading for historians, epistemologists, philosophers and scientists.


Aristotelian mechanics Quesiti et Inventioni Diverse Renaissance mechanics Tartaglia machines science of weights

Authors and affiliations

  • Raffaele Pisano
    • 1
  • Danilo Capecchi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsLille 1 University Science and TechnologyVilleneuve d'AscqFrance
  2. 2.Dipartimento di ingegneria, strutturale e geotecnicaRoma La Sapienza UniversityRomaItaly

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Engineering Engineering (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-94-017-9709-2
  • Online ISBN 978-94-017-9710-8
  • Series Print ISSN 1875-3442
  • Series Online ISSN 1875-3426
  • Buy this book on publisher's site