Jerome Cardan (English version)

Girolamo or Geronimo Cardano (Italian version)

Hieronymus Cardanus (Latin version)

1501 - 1576

Portait of CardanJerome Cardan was a 16th century Italian scholar of speech and voice (among many other things), focusing his studies on the works of the ancient Greeks, including Hippocrates, Aristotle and Galen. He described a tactile method for teaching the blind to read and write, and thought it possible to teach the deaf to communicate through the use of signs.

Cardan was also an example of a Renaissance man, working in the fields medicine, philosophy, astronomy, geology, and theology. He was best known for his genius in mathematics, especially for his invention of probability theory. Cardan published two encyclopedias of natural science. Giliozzi (2008) says that they:

... contain a little of everything, from cosmology to the construction of machines, from the usefulness of natural sciences to the evil influence of demons, from the laws of mechanics to cryptology. It is a mine of facts, both real and imaginary, of notes on the state of sciences, of superstition, technology, alchemy and various branches of the occult.

Cardan is credited with a number of discoveries and inventions:

Cardan felt that the "sense of hearing and the use of spoken words were not indispensable to understanding ideas." He also held that that those who were deaf need to learn to read and write. "True, it is difficult but possible." "We can, in reality, manifest our thoughts either with words or with gestures." Cardan invented a code for teaching deaf people to read but did not pursue it.

Writings by Jerome Cardan

Cardano, Girolamo, (1989) Astrological aphorisms of Cardan, Edmonds, WA: Sure Fire Press.

Cardano, Girolamo (2002) The book of my life. trans. by Jean Stoner. New York: New York Review of Books.

Writings about Jerome Cardan

Giliozzi, M (2008). Cardano, Girolamo. Complete dictionary of scientific biography. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.

Grafton, Anthony, Cardano's Cosmos: The worlds and works of a Renaissance astrologer. Cambridge, London: Harvard University Press, 1999.

Markus, Fierz (1983). Girolamo Cardano, 1501-1576: physician, natural philosopher, mathematician, astrologer, and interpreter of dreams, Boston: Birkhauser.

Morley, Henry (1854). The life of Girolamo Cardano of Milan 2 vols. London: Chapman & Hall.

Ore, Øystein (1953) Cardano, the gambling scholar. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Siraisi, N. (1997). The clock and the mirror: Girolamo Cardano and Renaissance medicine. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Waters, W. G. (1898). Jerome Cardan: A biographical study. London. Lawrence and Bullen Limited

Wykes, Alan (1969). Dr. Cardano: Physician extraordinary. London.

Pictures of Cardan at Retrieved on May 18, 2010.