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Borelli, Giovanni Alfonso

BORELLI, GIOVANNI ALFONSO (1608-1679), Italian physiologist and physicist, was born at Naples on the 28th of January 1608. He was appointed professor of mathematics at Messina in 1649 and at Pisa in 1656. In 1667 he returned to Messina, but in 1674 was obliged to retire to Rome, where he lived under the protection of Christina, queen of Sweden, and died on the 31st of December 1679. His best-known work is De motu animalium (Rome, 1680-1681), in which he sought to explain the movements of the animal body on mechanical principles; he thus ranks as the founder of the iatrophysical school. In a letter, Del movimento della cometa apparsa il mese di decembre 1664, published in 1665 under the pseudonym Pier Maria Mutoli, he was the first to suggest the idea of a parabolic path; and another of his astronomical works was Theorica mediceorum planetarum ex causis physicis deducta (Florence, 1666), in which he considered the influence of attraction on the satellites of Jupiter. He also wrote: Della Causa delle Febbri maligni (Pisa, 1658); De Renum usu Judicium (Strassburg, 1664); Euclides Restitutus (Pisa, 1658); Apollonii Pergaei Conicorum libri v., vi. et vii. (Florence, 1661); De vi percussionis (Bologna, 1667); Meteorologia Aetnea (Reggio, 1669); and De motionibus naturalibus a gravitate pendentibus (Bologna, 1670).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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