Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz

Born: 23 May 1606 in Madrid, Spain
Died: 7 Sept 1682 in Milan, Italy

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Juan Caramuel was educated at the University of Alcalá (near Madrid) where he received an M.A., then at the University of Salamanca. He received a doctorate in theology from Louvain in 1638 and worked all his life in the Cistercian Order.

He taught at Louvain until 1645 when he moved to Prague. While at Louvain he planned the defense of the city and published works on military engineering. He also wrote at this time on other topics such as a work in which he argued that the King of Spain to had the right to rule Portugal. Most of Caramuel's scientific work was done during the period in Louvain.

In Prague he held church appointments but in 1655 he moved to Italy where he was to spend the rest of his life. Supported by Pope Chigi he received a number of appointments as a bishop, one being in Vigevano near Milan, another being in Naples.

In a work in 1670 he expounded the general principle of numbers to base n pointing out the benefits of some other bases than 10. Caramuel proposed a new method of trisecting an angle and developed a system of logarithms to base 10^9 where log 10[Mathematiker Bild]^10 = 0 and log 1 = 10.

Among Caramuel's other scientific work was a system he developed to determine longitude using the position of the moon.

References (4 books/articles)

Other Web sites:

Rice University, USA

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JOC/EFR December 1996