Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Capra, Baldassarre

  • Ennio BadolatiEmail author
Reference work entry

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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Selected References

  1. Abetti, G. (1945). Amici e nemici di Galileo. Milan: Bompiani.Google Scholar
  2. Gliozzi, G. (1976). “Capra, Baldassarre.” In Dizionario biografico degli italiani. Vol. 19, pp. 106–108. Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana.Google Scholar
  3. Heilbron, J.L. (2010). Galileo. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università del MoliseCampobassoItaly