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Niccolo Tartaglia(1499-1557)
 Nicolo Fontana, known as the Stammerer (Tartaglia), was an excellent engineer, surveyor and mathematician in his time. This book, which dealt with gunnery, surveying and military defense construction, was his first published work.
 At that time, there were great improvements being made in the construction of the cannon, and a more powerful type of gunpowder was being developed in Germany. As a result, the range of the gun was expanded, but the difficulties of laying were increased. Tartaglia, therefore, investigated the field of ballistics to obtain the maximum range and accuracy of laying. By this, however, he consequently came to criticize Aristotele’s theory of motion.
 At the end of the mediaeval period, Artistotele’s theory had already been modified by Philoponos’s (c.530 A.D.) “impetus” theory, which had been refined through the nominalists of Paris. According to this theory, the projectile was given “impetus” when it was fired, and by this maintained a flat trajectory, then curved downward as “impetus” was gradually exhausted. On the contrary, Tartaglia discovered that the trajectory of a projectile is curved everywhere by this its weight.
 Tartaglia also found that the maximum range of a gun can be attained at a 45 degree elevation of the gun. He intended to form a mathematical theory which could explain the locus of projectile without inconsistency, but he could not succeed in that. It was Galileo, who established the principle of dynamics for the projectile and deducted the mathematical theory of ballistics from this.
 Tartaglia took a great step forward in the field of dynamics and contributed to the practice of gunnery with devices such as the gunner’s quadrant and the related guardant. He also is famed for his solution of the cubic equation x3+ax=b in mathematics, although he did not publish this achievement in an attempt to keep it a secret. Girolamo Cardano succeeded in extracting some information about this from Tartaglia himself in 1539, and published a more general solution prior to Tartaglia in “Artis Magnae” in 1545. Consequently, there arose the famous argument on priority between them that continued for almost ten years. In view of that, it is a wonder that Tartaglia did not publish his solution until 1545. Today, this method is known ironically as “Cardano’s rule”.