Gerolamo Cardano


Gerolamo Cardano was born a bastard of Fazio Cardano and Chiara Micheria on September 24, 1501 in Pavia, Italy. His three other siblings died from the plague and he was the only survivor. His father was a lawyer, and also the friend of Leonardo da Vinci.

Early life

Gerolamo Cardano was considered a mathematician, physician, astrologer, and a gambler. He attended the University of Pavia and Padua to study medicine. He found it hard to find a job due to his reputation that was perceived by his confrontational attitude and due to the face that he was born illegitimate. He was later known for his reputation as a physicist and was the first person to describe typhoid fever.

Present day contributions

In present day, he is best known for his contributions to algebra. He published the solutions to the cubic and quartic equations in his book ‘Ars Magna’. Niccolo Fontana was promised by Cardano to keep the cubic equation a secret, and this brought about a decade long hostility between the two, while the quartic equation was solved by one of Cardano’s students.

Getting through life

He made his money through gambling and even wrote a book called, ‘Liber de ludo aleae’ which contained mathematical problems on probability and effective cheating methods. Cardano also invented several mechanical devices and also held the fact that perpetual motion is impossible, except in celestial bodies.


He later died in Rome on September 21, 1576 in Rome. He died on the supposed astrologically calculated day that he predicated earlier. Suspicions that suicide may have been the cause of death remain strong.

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