‘Gravitando’ verso il centro del mondo. Alcune critiche di Guidobaldo del Monte a Giambattista Benedetti


Guidobaldo del Monte and Giambattista Benedetti are the two major “mathematici” of the pre-Galilean time. They contributed to the restart of mechanical studies which followed the Archimedes’ works, and which characterized the mathematical debate in the second half of the Sixteenth Century. In the wake of this revival, fundamental physical notions were introduced, such as gravity, momentum, and virtual motion. Although they both working within the same Archimedeam tradition, Guidobaldo and Giambattista often disagreed about the correct way of solving specific problems. Their disagreements were probably due to the fact that some mechanical problems they were struggling with, such as the angular lever (i.e. a lever whose arm is not straight) had not been addressed by Archimedes. Within their discussion, “non-Archimedean” themes are also to be found, which, while pertaining to the field of natural philsophy, can be traced back ways of treating mechanical problems associated with the Aristotelian school.

Key-words: Gravitate; Lever; Archimedes