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Guldin, Paul

1. Dates
Born: St. Gall, Switzerland, 12 June 1577
Died: Graz, Austria (Ge), 3 Nov 1643
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 66
2. Father
Occupation: Unknown
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: St. Gall, Switzerland
Career: Italy and Germany
Death: Graz, Austria
4. Education
Schooling: Collegio Romano, D.D.
1609, he was sent to Rome by the Jesuit order for further education. He studied at the Collegio Romano under Clavius. I assume a B.A. As a Jesuit he would have had a doctorate in theology, even though he does not appear to have advanced to the fourth vow.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Jew, Catholic.
He was of Jewish descent, but his parents were protestant and he was raised as such. But in 1597 he converted to Catholicism and entered the Jesuit order, changing his name from Habakkuk to Paul. It is of interest that the order recognized his talents rather late; although he received the full education, he remained a "spiritual coadjutor" and was not admitted to the fourth vow. Can this mean that the order chose not to recognize the talents of a Jew?
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Mathematics
Subordinate: Mechanics
In mechanics he worked on centers of gravity in general, of the earth in particular.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Church Life, Academia
Secondary: Art
He began work as a goldsmith and worked as such in several German towns.
After becoming a Jesuit and receiving his education, he taught mathematics at the Jesuit colleges in Rome and Graz (1617).
When a severe illness forced him to suspend his lecturing, he was sent to Vienna (1623), where he became a professor at the university. In 1629, he was posted to Sagan to the Jesuit gymnasium established by Wallenstein, but returned eventually to Vienna.
1637, he returned to Graz, where he died in 1643.
8. Patronage
Type: Court Official
He was influential at the court of the Emperor Ferdinand II. Kepler had a short correspondence with him on account of this.
9. Technological Involvement
Types: None
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
  1. Franz Hammer, Neue deutsche Biographie, (Berlin, 1952- ), 7, 304a.
  2. M. Cantor, Vorlesungen ueber Geschichte der Mathematik, 2, (Leipzig, 1900), 840-4. [QA26.C2]
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
Last updated
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