BornMilan, (Italy), 1580
DiedMilan, (Italy), 8 May 1626
Baldassarre Capra was involved in controversies with Galileo Galilei. Capra was born of noble parents. He studied medicine, astrology, and mathematics at Padua University. Both he and his father, Count Marco Aurelio Capra, became friends of Galilei, but this friendship soon ended. In October 1604, Capra observed a new star in Ophiucus or Serpens – it was the nova that inspired Johannes Kepler’s De Stella novain pede Serpentarii, 1606 – and Galilei discussed the subject in three lectures without ever mentioning Capra. Capra’s response was to publish Consideratione astronomica … (Padua 1605) in which he claimed credit for the discovery. Galilei did not reply, at least in writing, but a second more serious episode happened. In 1607, Capra published Usus et fabrica circini … (Use and construction of geometrical dividers) at Padua, a book that was largely copied from Galilei’s Operazioni del compasso geometrico e militare(Use of...
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