Giuseppe Biancani

Mathematician, Deceased Person

1566 – 1624

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Who was Giuseppe Biancani?

Giuseppe Biancani was an Italian Jesuit astronomer, mathematician, and selenographer, after whom the crater Blancanus on the Moon is named. He was a native of Bologna.

His Aristotelis loca mathematica ex universes ipsius operibus collecta et explicata, published in Bologna, appeared in 1615, in which Biancani discussed Aristotelian thought on floating bodies. The work suffered censorship whilst undergoing peer review, a common Jesuit practice. The reviewer, Giovanni Camerota, wrote: "It does not seem to be either proper or useful for the books of our members to contain the ideas of Galileo Galilei, especially when they are contrary to Aristotle."

Biancani wrote his Sphaera mundi, seu cosmographia demonstrativa, ac facili methodo tradita in 1615. However, it was not published until 1619 in Bologna, after the Decree of the Congregation of the Index in 1616.

In his Sphaera mundi, Biancani expounded on his belief that God had made the earth a perfect symmetrical world: the highest mountain on land had its proportional equivalent in the lowest depth of the ocean.

The original earth emerged on the third day of the creation myth as a perfectly smooth sphere, Biancani reasoned. If not for the hand of God, "natural law" would have allowed the earth to remain in that form. Biancani believed, however, that God had created the depths of the sea and formed the mountains of the earth.

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on July 23, 2013


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