- Tartaglia, Niccolô
- (Niccolô Fontana, 1499-1557)Italian physicist and mathematician. He grew up at Brescia, where at age 12 he suffered the facial wounds that made him a stammerer (the mean-ing of
*Tartaglia*) during French pillaging of the city. His father's early death left him in great poverty, but his love of mathematics and de-termination to learn enabled him to get an education. He worked as a teacher of*abaco*(commercial arithmetic) at Verona from about 1516 until 1534, when he moved to**Venice**to teach mathematics. Tartaglia was a close student of the Latin translations of ancient**Greek**math-ematical authors and edited several of them. His*Opera Archimedis*/*Works of Archimedes*(1543), which reprints the medieval translations made by a pupil of Thomas Aquinas, William of Moerbeke, included*On Floating Bodies*, which was a major influence on the criticism of**Aristotelian**physics. From this tract, Tartaglia himself derived the hydrostatic principles underlying his treatise on the raising of sunken vessels,*Travagliata inventione*/*A Hard-won Discovery*(1551) as well as his posthumously published table of specific gravities. His Ital-ian translation of Euclid's*Elements*(1543) was the first translation of this fundamental geometrical text into any European vernacular. Other works include*Nova scientia*/*New Science*(1537), a treatise on me-chanics which advances an influential theorem defining the proper ele-vation (45 degrees) for attaining the maximum range for a cannon and which also shows some significant departures from Aristotelian physics;*Quesiti e inventioni diverse*/*Various Questions and Inventions*(1546); and his last work,*General trattato di numeri e misure*/*General Treatise on Numbers and Measures*(1556), a survey of pure and applied mathematics. Tartaglia's greatest single mathematical discovery, the so-lution for cubic equations, was made at**Verona**. This discovery led to a quarrel with**Girolamo Cardano**, who published it in 1545 (without Tartaglia's permission, but giving him credit) after Tartaglia had divulged it to him in secret.

*Historical Dictionary of Renaissance.
Charles G. Nauert.
2004.*