Cassini family
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Giovanni Filippo Maraldi
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Giovanni Filippo Maraldi, referred to as Maraldi III

A portrait of Giovanni Filippo Maraldi – with the permission of Castello Maraldi

The Cassini and Maraldi families were inter-married from the middle of the seventeenth century. Both families were and are considered important in scientific circles, particularly in the development of astronomy and cartography. Despite this, it has been difficult discovering as much about the Maraldi side of this scientific family as the Cassinis. This is particularly true of Giovanni Filippo Maraldi.

To add to the Maraldi branch of the family, there was a third Maraldi, Jacques Philippe Maraldi, who was mentioned by Delambre (1827). I have so far been able to discover little else about him despite the apparent tradition of members of the family taking an interest in astronomy – as well as other related scientific disciplines.

J D Cassini

Giovanni Filippo, or Jacques Philippe as he was known in France, was born in 1746 and died in 1797. I have seen a record of his dying in 1814, though I have assumed this to be a mistake or to refer to another member of the family.

He is recorded as having carried out observations of planetary satellites at Perinaldo in north Italy where he seems to have spent his life. Because of this I have assumed he was born and died in Perinaldo. He is generally referred to as Maraldi III.

According to a genealogical chart I have seen of the Maraldi family, Giovanni Filippo Maraldi’s father was Giacomo Francesco Maraldi who, after the death of his wife, became a priest – though this might refer to Giovanni Filippo’s grandfather, Giovanni Domenico Maraldi.

Giacomo Francesco Maraldi was the younger brother of Giovanni Domenico Maraldi, Maraldi II.

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Giovanni Filippo was married to Angela Caterina Aprosio on the 21st April 1776, and had nine children, not all of whom survived long:

  • Maria Angelica Maraldi, born 1778, who married a Giacomo Valotti,
  • Giacomo Francisco Filippo Maraldi, born 1779 and who died in 1802,
  • Giovanni Domenico Maraldi, born in 1782 and died in 1783,
  • Angela Francesca Maraldi, born in 1783 and married a Giovanni Vincenzo Ferraironi,
  • Giovanni Domenico Maraldi, born 1786 who became a Doctor of Medecine and died in 1819,
  • Giacomo Bernardo Maraldi, born 1789 and died in 1792,
  • Giacomo Filippo Maraldi, born 1792 and died in 1792,
  • Giacomo Filippo Maraldi, born 1793, who became Governor of Genio and Governor General of Alexandria, and died in 1870 *, and
  • Pietro Barnardo Maraldi, born 1796, and died 1837.

* He obtained dispensation to marry his cousin, Maria Carola Anmgela Maraldi, in 1849, his first wife dying in Turin, 1846.

I am not able to say with absolute certainty which son was sent to Paris in 1797, to study under Joseph Jérôme Lefrançois de Lalande who held the chair of astronomy in the Collège de France for forty-six years, until his death in 1807. This fourth Maraldi is recorded in Jean Baptiste Joseph Delambre’s ‘Histoire de l’astronomie au dix-huitième siècle’, as dying shortly after his arrival in Paris. The odds are that it was Giacomo Francisco Filippo Maraldi as he was born in 1779 and died in 1802, though his death is recorded as being in Perinaldo.

You will see that I have preferred to use Giacomo Filippo’s Italian name as I think that more reasonable because he appears to have been born, worked and lived in Italy. To date, what I have written here is all that I have been able to find out about him, but I shall add what I can when I can…

Giovanni Domenico Maraldi   |   top   |   Giacomo Francisco Filippo Maraldi

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