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Hermann, Jakob

1. Dates
Born: Basel, 16 Jul 1678
Died: Basel, 11 Jul 1733
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 55
2. Father
Occupation: Schoolmaster
His father was Germannus Hermann, rector of a school in Basel.
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: Basel, Switzerland
Career: mostly in Germany, though he also spent a. significant number of years in Italy and Russia, until he returned to Switzerland near the end of his career.
Death: Basel, Switzerland
4. Education
Schooling: Basel, M.A., D.D.
Studied theology at Basel, receiving his B.A. (1695), his M.A. (1696), and passing his theological examination (1701). (This is ambiguous; I interpret it to mean a degree in theology.) He studied mathematics contemporaneously under Jakob I Bernoulli.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Calvinst (assumed)
He was not comfortable living in Catholic Italy.
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Mathematics, Mechanics
7. Means of Support
Primary: Academia
1707-1713, occupied the chair of mathematics at the University of Padua.
1713-1724, he had a position (I am not certain what kind) at Frankfurt-an-der-Oder.
1724-1731, he was connected with the St. Petersburg academy, some sources call him the "professor of higher mathematics." He left finally with a pension of 200 Rubels.
1722, he received--by lottery--the professorship of ethics and natural law at Basel. He was bound to remain in St. Petersburg, so he arranged a substitute until he was able to return in 1731.
1731, assumed his chair at Basel.
8. Patronage
Types: Scientist, Court Official
His most important patron was Leibnitz, who arranged his membership in the Berlin academy (1701), and his appointments at Padua (1707) and Frankfurt.a.d.O.
While at St. Petersburg, Hermann gave instruction in mathematics to Peter the Great's grandson, the future Peter II.
9. Technological Involvement
Types: None
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: Berlin Academy, Institute Bologna, Russian Academy (St. Petersburg), Académie Royal des Sciences
1701, Berlin academy.
1708, Bologna academy.
1724, St. Petersburg academy.
c. 1733, Paris academy.
  1. Cantor, Allgemeine deutsche Biographie, 12, 181-2.
  2. Not consulted: Mercure suisse (Oct., 1733), 77-85; and (Feb. 1734) -- contain a eulogy and a list of publications.
  3. Guido Grandi and Jacob Hermann, Carteggio (1708-1714), ed. Silvia Mazzone and Clara Silvia Roero, (Firenze, 1992).
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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