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Giovanni Inghirami

Italian astronomer, b. at Volterra, Tuscany, April 16, 1779; d. at Florence, August 15, 1851

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.

Inghirami, GIOVANNI, Italian astronomer, b. at Volterra, Tuscany, April 16, 1779; d. at Florence, August 15, 1851. He was of a noble family which produced two other distinguished scholars, Tommaso (1470-1516), humanist, and Francesco (1772-1846), archaeologist, brother of Giovanni. His education was received in his native city at the College of Saint Michael, conducted by the Piarists, popularly called the "Scolopi". This order he joined at the age of seventeen, and later became professor of mathematics and philosophy at Volterra, where one of his pupils was the future Pius IX. In 1805 he traveled in the north of Italy, and was engaged for some months in scientific work at Milan. He was called to Florence to fill the twofold office of professor of mathematics and astronomy at the College of the Scolopi, known from the adjacent church as the College of San Giovannino, and of director of the college observatory established by the Jesuit, Leonardo Ximenes. His first publications were articles on hydraulics, statics, and astronomy, astronomical tables, and elementary textbooks on mathematics and mathematical geography. In 1830, after observations extending over fourteen years, he published, with the patronage of the Grand Duke Ferdinand III, a "Carta topografica e geometrica della Toscana" on the scale of 1: 200,000-a work of high merit. When the Berlin Academy of Sciences undertook the construction of an exhaustive astronomical atlas, he was assigned a section. His performance of this task won great praise. He became successively provincial and general of his order, but his failing health and his love for scientific work caused him to resign the latter office, which had required his taking up residence in Rome, and to accept the position of vicar-general. He returned to Florence and, although almost blind for some years, continued his teaching until a few months before his death. Simplicity and piety were dominant traits of his character. The scientific works of Inghirami include: numerous articles published in the "Astronomische Nachrichten", in Zach's "Monatliche Correspondenz zur Beforderung der Erd- u. Himmelskunde" and in his own "Collezione di opusculi e notizie di Scienze" (4 vols., Florence, 1820-23); and, especially, "Effemeridi dell' occultazione delle piccole stelle sotto la luna" (ibid., 1809-30); "Tavole Astronomiche universali portatili" (ibid., 1811), and "Effemeridi di Venere e Glove ad uso di naviganti pel meridiano di Parigi" (ibid., 1821-24) .

PAUL H. LINEHAN


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