Cavalieri, Bonaventura (Francesco)
BornMilan, (Italy), circa1590–1600
DiedBologna, (Italy), 27 December 1647
Bonaventura Cavalieri was a professor of astronomy at Bologna and one of the great mathematicians of the seventeeth century, credited for initial steps toward integral calculus. Cavalieri’s date of birth and his Christian name (probably Francesco) are uncertain. Bonaventura was his father’s name, which Cavalieri adopted in 1615 when he took the minor orders with the Jesuati (not Jesuits). In 1616 Cavalieri was transferred to the monastery in Pisa, where he met Benedetto Castelli -a mathematics lecturer in Pisa and friend of Galileo Galilei -who took him under his wing. Castelli introduced him to geometry and Euclid, Archimedes, and Apollonius. In 1620 Cavalieri was called to Milan to teach theology at the monastery of San Girolamo, where he continued his mathematical studies. Because of difficulties with superiors, he applied unsuccessfully for the mathematics chair at Bologna – vacant with Giovanni Magini’s...