# TARTAGLIA, Niccolo

- (c. 1500-1557)
A significant contributor to sixteenth-century mathematical scholarship, Nic-colo Tartaglia was born into an impoverished family, possibly surnamed Fontana, of Brescia in northern Italy. From his very early years, his life was a document in hardship. His father, a mail courier, died when the boy was about six, and afterward the family fell into poverty. In 1512 Niccolo barely escaped with his life when the French army sacked Brescia, putting much of the population to the sword. The wounds he sustained to his head and mouth, however, left him with a speech defect that earned him the name Tartaglia, from the Italian verb meaning "to stutter."Despite the family's straitened circumstances, Tartaglia's mother managed to finance her son's early education until lack of funds obliged him to continue his studies on his own. Tartaglia's mathematical aptitude developed rapidly. When he was about eighteen years of age, he became a teacher of the abacus in Verona, where he eventually started a family before moving to Venice in 1534. He was employed as a professor of mathematics in and around that city for nearly the entire remainder of his life.Given his limited formal schooling, Tartaglia's contributions to mathematical and humanistic scholarship were not inconsiderable. He acquired a favorable reputation for his work in the military sciences, particularly for his treatise on ballistics,
*Nova scientia*(1537). Also noteworthy were his translations of the Greek works of Archimedes and of Euclid's*Elements*(1543), the latter being the first translation of that work ever to reach print in a modern language. One of his principal works, the*General trattato di numeri et misure*(1556), became a widely used text in general arithmetic in his time.Tartaglia, however, is primarily associated with the unfortunate controversy that surrounded his solution for cubic equations, which he achieved in the course of a public academic debate with a pupil of Scipione del Ferro in 1535. News of Tartaglia's accomplishment eventually reached the noted physician and mathematician Girolamo Cardano* of Milan, to whom he confided the solution under an oath of secrecy. When Cardano learned of del Ferro's prior work on the subject, however, he published the solution in his algebraic text*Ars magna*(1545), giving attribution both to Tartaglia and del Ferro. The ensuing dispute produced an exchange of published challenges in mathematics (the so-called*Cartelli*) between Tartaglia and Cardano's pupil Lodovico Ferrari, whose work also appears in the*Ars magna*. The two met in public debate at Milan in 1548; although no official verdict survives, Tartaglia's defeat is suggested by his early departure from the proceedings. He eventually returned to Venice, where he died in 1557, never having achieved the professional justification nor the lasting financial security that he sought.**Bibliography**O. Ore, Cardano: The Gambling Scholar, 1953.*Michael J. Medwick*

*Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary.
Jo Eldridge Carney.
2001.*

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**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… … Historical Dictionary of Renaissance**Tartaglia , Niccoló**— (1500–1557) Italian mathematician, topographer, and military scientist Tartaglia was born Niccoló Fontana but as a boy he suffered a saber wound to his face during the French sack of Brescia (1512), his native city; this left him with a speech… … Scientists**Tartaglia, Niccolò Fontana**— ▪ Italian mathematician Tartaglia also spelled Tartalea born 1499, Brescia, republic of Venice [Italy] died Dec. 13, 1557, Venice Italian mathematician who originated the science of ballistics. During the French sack of Brescia… … Universalium**Tartaglia, Niccolò Fontana, llamado**— ► (1500 77) Matemático italiano. Se le debe la resolución algebraica de la ecuación de tercer grado y la aplicación de las matemáticas a la artillería … Enciclopedia Universal**Tartaglia**— Niccoló … Scientists**Niccolo Fontana**— Tartaglia Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia [nik:o lɔ fon ta:na tar ta:ʎ:a] (* 1499 oder 1500 in Brescia, Italien; † 13. Dezember 1557 in Venedig) war ein venetianischer Politiker und Mathematiker … Deutsch Wikipedia**Niccolo Fontana Tartaglia**— Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia [nik:o lɔ fon ta:na tar ta:ʎ:a] (* 1499 oder 1500 in Brescia, Italien; † 13. Dezember 1557 in Venedig) war ein venetianischer Politiker und Mathematiker … Deutsch Wikipedia**Niccolo Tartaglia**— Niccolo Fontana Tartaglia Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia [nik:o lɔ fon ta:na tar ta:ʎ:a] (* 1499 oder 1500 in Brescia, Italien; † 13. Dezember 1557 in Venedig) war ein venetianischer Politiker und Mathematiker … Deutsch Wikipedia**Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia**— Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia. Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia (1499/1500, Brescia – 13 December 1557, Venice) was a mathematician, an engineer (designing fortifications), a surveyor (of topography, seeking the best means of defense or offense) and a… … Wikipedia**Niccolo Tartaglia**— Niccolo Fontana Tartaglia Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia Niccolò Fontana dit Tartaglia (« Le Bègue »), né à Brescia en 1499 et décédé à Venise en 1557, est un mathématicien italien. Niccolò Fontana est issu d une famille pauvre. Lors de la… … Wikipédia en Français