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Giovanni Bianchini: Life And Work

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Chapter Summary

What little is known about the life of Giovanni Bianchini was reported by G. Federici Vescovini (1968). Bianchini was probably born in the first decade of the 15th century, and he died sometime after 1469. Bianchini's scientific writings, all of which deal with astronomy and mathematics, were composed between 1440 and 1460. In 1463-1464 he corresponded with Regiomontanus (1436-1476). This chapter focuses on Bianchini's best known work, his Tabulae astronomiae (1495), consisting of astronomical tables and a set of canons explaining their use. It demonstrates that these tables depend on the Alfonsine Tables that were later printed in Venice in 1483 and 1492, but Bianchini added many special features which gave his tables a completely different presentation from that of the standard Alfonsine tables. In spite of their unusual presentation and lack of user-friendliness, Bianchini's tables were appreciated and used by quite a number of astronomers.

Keywords: Alfonsine Tables; astronomical tables; Giovanni Bianchini; Regiomontanus; Tabulae astronomiae



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