Andrea Bernardoni

Technological artillery in the scientific thought during the Renaissance

  • Abstract

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This article retraces the history of artillery from its introduction in the Western World in the second half of the XVI century. Maintaining technological acquisitions makes artillery the best war machine and my research focuses on the progressive characterization of cannons as objects of theoretical knowledge. During this period artillery from "silence", technological manufacturing first became, an object worthy of being portrayed, then an object worthy of theoretical observation and speculative knowledge. Taking Italian scenery as a first reference, we underline the coming in to being of artillery as a scientific object in manuscripts by authors with technical backgrounds such as Francesco di Giorgio, Leonardo da Vinci, Vannoccio Biringuccio, and mathematicians like Niccolò Tartaglia. They try to explain chemical and physical phenomena inside the artillery from the moment the artillery fires to the bullet's ejection, underlining a series of problems that will subsequently become part of the internal ballistics in a very theoretical and engineering renewal context.

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