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Caramuel y Lobkowitz, Juan

1. Dates
Born: Spain, 23 May 1606;
Died: Italy, 7 Sept 1682.
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 76
2. Father
Occupation: An Engineer
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: Spanish
Career: Belgium was where most of his scientific work. was done; he went on to Austria, and for his last thirty years to Italy.
Death: Italy
4. Education
Schooling: Alcala, Salamanca; Louvain, D.D.
Studied at Univs of Alcala and Salamanca. B.A. at Alcala.
D.D. Louvain 1638.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Mathematics, Astronomy
Subordinate: Physics, Natural Philosophy
7. Means of Support
Primary: Academia, Church Life, Patronage
Taught at Louvain until he left the Low countries Planned the defenses of Louvain against Prince of Orange in 35; also wrote on military engineering. This won attention of the Hapsburgs both in Low Countries and in Prague. Dedicated books to Cardinal-Infante who governed Low Countries; became court preacher.
Also won favor and assitance of Marie de' Medici, then in exile in Low Countries. Published books defending rights of King of Spain to rule Portugal.
Won favor of Papal Nuncio, Card. Chigi (who later became Alexander VII).
In 45, disappointed at failures to gain sufficient position in Low Countries, to Prague. Wholly in service of Ferdinand III; got several ecclesiastical appointments. He quickly became prominent in the imperial court. Further aided by heroic actions at seige of Prague.
In 55, when old patron Chigi became Pope, to Rome. In Italy he obtained successively two minor bishoprics.
The second of the bishoprics, Vigevano near Milan, he owed to the intervention of the Hapsburgs.
8. Patronage
Types: Court, Ecclesiastical Officials
Caramuel would be a great study for patronage. He was pursuing it all his life but never quite getting all he wanted. He won the favor of the Hapsburgs and of Chigi, but clearly Chigi also though that he was a bit crazy, as indeed he was. Pastine has quite a bit of detail and references to sources one could pursue.
9. Technological Involvement
Types: Mil Engineering, Navigation
In regard to latter, developed a system to determine longitude via lunar position.
10. Scientific Societies
Membership: Accademia degli Investiganti (Naples)
Attended Accademia degli Investiganti, dedicated to the study of physical nature through experimentation, in Naples while Bishop of Campania.
  1. José Maria Lopez Piñero, et al., Diccionaria historico de la ciencia moderna en España, 2 vols. (Barcelona: Ediciones Peninsula, 1983). Jose Maria Lopez Pinero, Ciencia y tecnica en la sociedad espanola de los siglos XVI y XVII, (Barcelona: Labor, 1979).
  2. Dino Pastine, Juan Caramuel, (Firenze, 1975).
  3. David Fernandez Dieguez, "Juan Caramuel," Revista mathematica hispano-americano, 1 (1919), 121-7, 178-89, 203-12.
Not Available and Not Consulted
  1. R. Ceñal, "Juan Caramuel. Su epistolaio con Atanasio Kricher, S.I.,"Revista de la Filosofia, 12 (1953), 101-47.
  2. L. Ceyssens, "Autour de Carmuel, Bulletin Inst. Hist. Belge de Rome 33 (1961), 329-410.
  3. A. Floirensa, "Juan Caramuel y su arquitectura oblicua," Associacion Española para el Progreso de las Ciencias, Congreso de Barcelona (1929), 1, 105-21.
  4. S. Garma, Aportaciones de Juan Caramuel al nacimiento de la matematica moderna, Tesis de Valencia, 1978.
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue cannot answer email on geneological questions.

©1995 Al Van Helden
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