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Lax, Gaspar

1. Dates
Born: Sariñen, Aragon, 1487
Died: Zaragoza, 23 February 1560
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 73
2. Father
Occupation: No Information
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: Spanish
Career: French and Spanish
Death: Spanish
4. Education
Schooling: Zaragoza, M.A.; Paris, D.D.
Began higher education at Univ. of Zaragoza. Most sources say that he did both B.A. and M.A. there.
Went on to Paris. One source says he did his B.A. and M.A. there. All agree that he proceeded in Paris to D.D.
Villoslada seems to place the degrees in Paris; D.D. from the Sorbonne.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Scholastic Philosophy, Mathematics
Lax was engrossed in nominalist logical subtleties; he was known as the Prince of Sophists. In his own age he was better known as a mathematician, a field in which he published. He also published a Quaestiones phisicales, 1527.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Academic Position
Lax stayed on in Paris, teaching at the College de Calvi and the College de Montaigu until 1523.
He returned to Spain in 1524, became a professor at Zaragoza, where he was later both Vice Chancellor and Rector. There until his death.
8. Patronage
Types: Eccesiastic Official, Government Official, Aristrocrat
Lax dedicated his work on Speculative Arithmetic to Franciso de Mello (scion of a wealthy Portuguese family). He dedicated his Quaestiaones phisicales to Miguel Donlope.
Elie says that he addressed the prefaces of his works mostly to Spanish and Portuguese lords and protectors who paid for his stay in Paris--particularly to Anoine Augustin (Chancellor of the Archbishop of Zaragoza), to Christobule Sanchez (Archbishop of Zaragoza), to Francisco de Mello, to Jerome de Cabanyelles (Knight of the Golden Fleece and representative of Ferdinand of Aragon at the French court, who dispensed funds to Spanish students in Paris).
I find another dedicated to Diego Alcaraz, Archdeacon of Valladolid, and another to Jeronimo Cavanilles, Spanish Ambassador to France.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: None
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
  1. Ricardo G. Villoslada, La Universidad de Paris durante los estudios de Francisco de Vitoria, vol. 14 of Analecta Gregoriana, Series Fac. Hist. Ecc. Sectio B, num. 2 (Roma, 1938), pp. 404- 7.
  2. Enciclopedia universal ilustrada.
  3. 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).
  4. Felipe Picatoste y Rodriguez, Apuntes para una biblioteca cientifica española del siglo XVI, (Madrid, 1891).
  5. Hubert Elie, "Quelques maitres de l'université de Paris vers l'an 1500," Archives d'historie doctrinale de littéraire du moyen age, 25-6 (1950-51), 214-16.
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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