Luca Valerio
Luca Valerio was an Italian
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study is the field of mathematics. Mathematicians are concerned with quantity, structure, space, and change....

. He developed ways to find volume
Volume is the quantity of three-dimensional space enclosed by some closed boundary, for example, the space that a substance or shape occupies or contains....

s and centers of gravity
Center of mass
In physics, the center of mass or barycenter of a system is the average location of all of its mass. In the case of a rigid body, the position of the center of mass is fixed in relation to the body...

 of solid bodies
Physical body
In physics, a physical body or physical object is a collection of masses, taken to be one...

 using the methods of Archimedes
Archimedes of Syracuse was a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer. Although few details of his life are known, he is regarded as one of the leading scientists in classical antiquity. Among his advances in physics are the foundations of hydrostatics, statics and an...

. He corresponded with Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei , was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for Copernicanism...

 and was a member of the Accademia dei Lincei
Accademia dei Lincei
The Accademia dei Lincei, , is an Italian science academy, located at the Palazzo Corsini on the Via della Lungara in Rome, Italy....



Luca Valerio was born in Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 in 1553 He entered in the Jesuit order
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

 in 1570. He studied philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 and theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 at the Roman College as a student of Christopher Clavius
Christopher Clavius
Christopher Clavius was a German Jesuit mathematician and astronomer who was the main architect of the modern Gregorian calendar...

, and left the Jesuits in 1580. He later taught rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

 and Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 at the Collegio Pontifico Greco and mathematics and ethics at the Sapienza University of Rome. In 1611 Valerio obtained a position in the Vatican library
Vatican Library
The Vatican Library is the library of the Holy See, currently located in Vatican City. It is one of the oldest libraries in the world and contains one of the most significant collections of historical texts. Formally established in 1475, though in fact much older, it has 75,000 codices from...

 in addition to his post at Sapienza giving him close connection with the top people in the Roman Catholic church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...


Galileo and Copernicus

Valerio met Galileo on a visit to Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

 in 1584. He corresponded with Galileo from 1609 until 1616 and in 1612 he became a member of the Accademia dei Lincei
Accademia dei Lincei
The Accademia dei Lincei, , is an Italian science academy, located at the Palazzo Corsini on the Via della Lungara in Rome, Italy....

, a group which also included Galileo as a member. On March 5, 1616 Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, chief theologian of the Roman Catholic Church, issued a decree
A decree is a rule of law issued by a head of state , according to certain procedures . It has the force of law...

 that Copernicanism was false and erroneous. The prospect of being called before the Inquisition
The Inquisition, Inquisitio Haereticae Pravitatis , was the "fight against heretics" by several institutions within the justice-system of the Roman Catholic Church. It started in the 12th century, with the introduction of torture in the persecution of heresy...

 caused Valerio to end all correspondence with Galileo and resign from the Accademia dei Lincei. His resignation was rejected by the Accademia, but they took his right to participate in Accademia meetings. Federico Cesi
Federico Cesi
Federico Angelo Cesi was an Italian scientist, naturalist, and founder of the Accademia dei Lincei. On his father's death in 1630, he became briefly lord of Acquasparta.- Biography :...

, the Accademia dei Lincei's founder, still hoped however that Valerio could re-enter in the ranks of the academics, but the mathematician died in January of 1618.


  • Subtilium indagationum liber, 1582
  • De centro gravitatis solidorum libri tres, Rome 1604 - Includes applying general methods to find volumes and centers of gravity of solid bodies.
  • Quadratura parabolae per simplex falsum, Rome 1606

External links

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