Castelli, Benedetto (Antonio)
BornBrescia, (Italy), 1578
DiedRome, (Italy), 19 April 1643
Benedetto Castelli was one of Galileo Galilei’s principal collaborators, an important academic physicist, and a contributor to the diffusion of Copernicanism in the seventeenth century. He entered the Benedictine order at Brescia in 1575, taking the name Benedetto by which he is now universally known. Before 1604, moving to the monastery at Santa Giusta near Padua, he came into contact with and studied under Galilei from 1604 to sometime in 1607, a period that marked the turning point of his intellectual life, after which he relocated to Cava for a few years. In 1610, likely during the summer of that year when he was back in Brescia, Castelli suggested using the phases of Venus as a test for the Copernican solar system in his correspondence with Galilei; the phases were observed by Galilei in October. They became a central verifying observation described in Galilei’s 1632 work, Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems.
- Drake, Stillman (1971). “Castelli, Benedetto.” In Dictionary of Scientific Biography, edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie. Vol. 3, pp. 115–117. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.Google Scholar
- —(1978). Galileo at Work. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Masetti Zannini, G. L. (1961). La vita di Benedetto Castelli. Brescia.Google Scholar