Humanism and Renaissance

  • Danilo CapecchiEmail author
Part of the History of Mechanism and Machine Science book series (HMMS, volume 25)


This chapter concerns the Renaissance, from the XV to XVI century. This is the time when the science of motion began to take its modern form with an injection of a strong dose of mathematics in the philosophy of nature of time. Niccolò Tartaglia ‘invented’ ballistics, the science of the motion of projectiles, based on some empirical observations and Euclidean geometry. After a fairly detailed presentation of Tartaglia’s Nova scientia of 1537, the chapter summarizes the conceptions of the motion of projectiles of the Italian scientists, who were the reference point of the whole of Europe. Among them, Leonardo da Vinci and Girolamo Cardano, both supporters of the theory of impetus. Another supporter of the theory of impetus was Giovanni Battista Benedetti, dealt with in the last part of the chapter, who for the first time in history suggested, with the use of mathematical arguments, that in a vacuum all bodies fall at the same speed.


Natural Motion Curve Part Heavy Body Modern Reader Latin Translation 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facoltà di Architettura, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Strutturale e GeotecnicaUniversita di Roma La SapienzaRomeItaly

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