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Hortensius, Martinus [Ortensius or Van den Hove, Maarten]

1. Dates
Born: Delft, 1605
Died: Leiden, 7 August 1639
Dateinfo: Birth Uncertain
Lifespan: 34
2. Father
Occupation: No Information
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: Delft, Netherlands
Career: Netherlands
Death: Leiden, Netherlands
4. Education
Schooling: Leiden
Studied mathematics with Beeckman and Snel. 1625-7, he engaged in astronomical observation at Leiden though he was not enrolled. He received instruction from Snel.
1628-1630, at Leiden and Ghent, inscribed as a student.
Beeckman introduced him to Philip van Landsbergen, whose pupil he became.
Apparently he never received a B.A.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Calvinist (assumed)
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Astronomy
Subordinate: Optics, Navigation
After Snel's death, Hortensius completed and published his final work.
He lectured on optics at Amsterdam in 1635, and he lectured on navigation in 1637.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Academia
1634, lectured on mathematics at Amsterdam Atheneum, an institution just established.
He was enclouraged to apply for this position by Gerard Vossius and Caspar Barlaeus.
1635, full professor `in the Copernican theory.'
1639, nominated professor at Leiden, but died shortly after.
8. Patronage
Types: Governmental Official, Aristocracy
He dedicated a work of 1631 to Abraham van der Meer, Senator in the States of Holland.
In 1634 he was planning to dedicate a work on the diameter of the sun to Fabri de Peiresc, but it was never finished.
He dedicated his lectures on optics in 1635 to a Polish nobleman, Rozdrazewsky.
9. Technological Involvement
Types: Navigation, Instruments
1638, a member of the commission negotiating with Galileo on the determination of longitude by the method of the satelites of Jupiter. Also lectured on navigation.
He developed a method for measuring the diameters of planets based on the measured visual angle that his telescope embraced.
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
Collaborated with Philip van Lansberge. Corresponded with Descartes, Mersenne, Gassendi, Huygens, Galileo, and Crueger, Fabri de Peiresc, Schikard.
  1. C. de Waard, "Hortensius," Nieuw Nederlandsch biografisch Woordenboek, 1, (Leiden, 1911), cols. 1160-4. [ref. CT1143.M72 v.1] Robert McKeon, "Le debuts de l'astronomie de precision," Physis, 13 (1971), 225-88; 14 (1972), 221-42; especially 13, 230.
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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