The Correspondence of Pietro Mengoli

Primary Contributors:

Cultures of Knowledge, with La Casa Editrice Leo S. Olschki

Title-page from Novae quadraturae arithmeticae, by Pietro Mengoli. 1650. (Source of image: The Internet Archive)

Pietro Mengoli (1626–1686)

Born in 1626, Pietro Mengoli studied with the Jesuat mathematician Bonaventura Cavalieri at the University of Bologna, and became his successor following his death in 1647. He held a number of chairs at the university during the course of his life, including those of arithmetic, mechanics, and mathematics. Mengoli was awarded a doctorate in philosophy in 1650, and, three years later, in civil and canon law. Upon his ordination, he served as priest at the parish of Santa Maria Maddalena, Bologna, for the two and a half decades prior to his death in  the city in 1685.

In his use of algebraic methods to develop further the indivisible method pioneered by Cavalieri, Mengoli made significant contributions to contemporary work on quadratures. His published works include Novae quadraturae arithmeticae, seu de additione fractionum (1650), Geometria speciose elementa (1659), and Speculazioni musicali (1670).


Partners and Additional Contributors

The metadata for this listing of Mengoli’s correspondence have been drawn from Gabriele Baroncini and Marta Cavazza’s edition of Mengoli’s correspondence, which was published in 1986 by Casa Editrice Leo S. Olschki. EMLO is grateful to Filippo Polenchi and the publishing house of Olschki for collaborative support.

EMLO intern Dr Francesca Giuliano collated the metadata in association with Cultures of Knowledge, and thanks are extended to EMLO’s former intern and current Editorial Assistant Charlotte Marique for her help to prepare the inventory for upload.

EMLO would like to thank Dr Philip Beeley for his contribution to the text on this introductory page.


Key Bibliographic Source(s)

La Corrispondenza di Pietro Mengoli‘, ed. Gabriele Baroncini and Marta Cavazza, Archivio della corrispondenza degli scienziati italiani, 2 (Florence: Leo S. Olschki Editore, 1986).


Further resources

Selected bibliography

E. Bortolotti, La storia della matematica nella università di Bologna, (Bologna, 1947), pp. 98–101, and 137–8.

G. Fantuzzi, Notizie degli scittori bolognesi, (Bologna, 1781–94), p. 6, and pp. 9–11.


Launch Catalogue

Please see our citation guidelines for instructions on how to cite this catalogue.