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Lansberge, Philip van [Lansbergen, Philips]

1. Dates
Born: Ghent, 25 August 1561
Died: Middleburg, 8 December 1632
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 71
2. Father
Occupation: Aristocrat
Daniel van Lansberge, lord of Meulebeke--that is, an aris- tocrat. He died when Lansberge was quite young.
I saw no direct reference to the family's financial status. However, the father did have enough money to uproot the family, for religious reasons, and to take them first to France and then to England. On the other hand, at a rather young age and without a degree, Lansberge was accepting employment as a minister back in Flanders.
3. Nationality
Birth: Belgian Area
Career: Belgian Area, Dutch
Death: Dutch. His family left the Spanish Netherlands in 1566 for religious reasons, going first to France and then to England where Lansberge was educated. Lansberge returned to Flanders in 1579 to be a minister to a Protestant congregation. In 1580 he accepted a church in Antwerp. When Spain conquered Antwerp in 1585, Lansberge moved to the Netherlands for good.
4. Education
Schooling: Leiden
Without mention of an institution, the sources say that Lansberge studied mathematics and theology in England. He left England at the age of 17.
After the move to the Netherlands, he enrolled in Leiden in theology in 1585, but already in 1586 he accepted a church in Goes. There is no mention of a degree.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Calvinist
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Mathematics, Astronomy
He published on the geometry of triangles, including spherical triangles in 1583--i.e, on trigonometry--apparently an important work.
Another work offered a new method to calculate the value of pi, which he computed to 28 places.
Lansberge was a Copernican who published defenses of Copernicanism already in 1619, and again in 1629. He did not accept Kepler's ellipses, and he published astronomical tables intended to rival the Rudolphine Tables.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Church Life, Patronage, Medicine
Lansberge was a minister to the Protestant church in Antwerp, 1580-85, and to another in Goes, 1586-1613, a call he left because of political difficulties with a faction in the city.
He lived in Middleburg from 1613 until his death in 1632, partly on a pension from the States of Zeeland, granted at the time of the difficulties in Goes.
He also practiced medicine. Bosmans and Biographie nationale state that he practiced especially in Middleburg.
8. Patronage
Types: Merchant, Government Official
Lansberge dedicated his 1629 book on the Copernican system to the printer Blaeu.
He dedicated another book (I think of about 1630) to the States of Zeeland, a response to the pension he received. And I find that earlier he had dedicated a collection of sermons to the States of Zeeland.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Medical Practice
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
  1. Nieuw Nederlandsch Biographisch Woordenboek.
  2. H. Bosmans, "Philippe van Lansberge, de Gand, 1561-1632," Mathésis: recueil mathématique, 42 (1928), 5-10.
  3. Biographisch woodenboek der nederlanden (A.J. Van der Aa), 8, 48- 9.
  4. Biographie nationale, 11, 333-42.
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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