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Valerio [Valeri], Luca

1. Dates
Born: Naples, 1552
Died: Rome, 17 January 1618
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 66
2. Father
Occupation: Unknown
We are told that Giovanni Valeri was from Ferrara. Valerio's mother was from a noble family of Corfu.
No clear evidence of the family's financial status. 3. Nationality.
Birth: Iy.
Career: Iy.
Death: Iy.
3. Nationality
4. Education
Schooling: Collegio Romano, PD, DD
Valerio's mother was of Greek extraction, from the island of Corfu, and there he was initially reared. He attended the Collegio Romano, where Clavius was his teacher in mathematics. He earned a doctorate in philosophy and theology, apparently at the Collegio. Although a bachelor's degree is not mentioned, I assume it.
Toward 1590 he was in Pisa The sources say he was studying there, but I did not see any evidence that testified to more than his presence there. (He and Galileo both later acknowledged becoming acquainted in Pisa.) Note that Valerio would have been thirty-eight at that time.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic 6. Disciplines: Mth.
Valerio contributed to quadratures. De centro gravitatis, 1604, applied Archimedean methods to the problems of volumes and centers of gravity of solids of revolution. Quadratura parabolae, 1606, was in the same tradition.
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: None
7. Means of Support
Primary: Schoolmastering, Academia
Secondary: Miscellaneous
Valerio spent most of his life in Rome as a teacher, private and public. He taught rhetoric and Greek at the Collegio Greco. Among his pupils at some point was the future Clement VIII (Aldobrandini).
In 1591 he began to teach rhetoric at the Sapienza, and from 1600 until his death he taught mathematics there.
At some point he added the position of corrector of Greek at the Valican library: he was on the role of the library in 1611.
At some point Valerio, who by every account was a very withdrawn and isolated person, became the lover--almost love slave according to the accounts--of the flamboyant Margherita Sarrocchi, poetess and littérateur.
8. Patronage
Types: Eccesiastic Official, Aristrocrat
Clement VIII was Pope from 1592 to 1605. He was a Cardinal at the time of Valerio's initial appointment at the Sapienza, ands Pope a year later. Valerio dedicated De centro gravitatis, 1604, to Clement, and in the dedication he indicated the favor of the Papal nephew, Cardinal Petro Aldobrandini.
He owed the position in the Vatican library to Cardinal Antonio Colonna.
I consider his membership in Cesi's Accademia dei Lincei an act of patronage.
The first part of his Quadratura parabolae, 1606, took the form of a letter to "Marco Columnae Lagaroli duci."
9. Technological Involvement
Type: None
10. Scientific Societies
Membership: Accademia dei Lincei
Having met Galileo in Pisa about 1590, Valerio corresponded with him from 1609 until 1616.
Cesi enrolled Valerio in the Accademia dei Lincei in 1602 (I think this is a typo for 1612). Valerio was thoroughly frightened by the Copernican affair in 1616 and submitted his resignation. The Accademia did not accept the resignation but voted to bar him from participation.
  1. Giuseppe Gabrieli, "Luca Valerio linceo e un episodo memorabile della vecchia Accademia," Rendiconti della R. Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Classe di scienze morali, storiche e filologiche, 6th ser., 9 (1933), 691-728.
  2. H. Bosmans, "Les démonstrations par l'analyse infinitésimale chez Luca Valerio," Annales de la Société scientifiques de Bruxelles, 37 (1912-13), 211-28.
Not Available and Not Consulted
  1. Ada Alessandrini, "Luca Valerio Linceo," in Lino Conti, ed. La matematizzazzione dell'universo: Momenti della cultura matematica tra '500 e '600, (Assisi, 1992), pp. 238-52.
  2. Silvio Maracchia, "Luca Valerio matematico Linceo," in Lino Conti, ed. La matematizzazzione dell'universo: Momenti della cultura matematica tra '500 e '600, (Assisi, 1992), pp. 253-302.
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue cannot answer email on geneological questions.

©1995 Al Van Helden
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