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Severin [Soerensen, Longomontanus], Christian

1. Dates
Born: Longberg, Jutland, 4 Oct 1562
Died: Copenhagen, 8 Oct 1647
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 85
2. Father
Occupation: Peasant/Small Farmer
Soeren Poulsen, described as a humble peasant.
Clearly poor; the father died when Christian was eight.
3. Nationality
Birth: Longberg, Jutland, Denmark
Career: Denmark
Death: Copenhagen, Denmark
4. Education
Schooling: Copenhagen; Rostock, M.A.
Being quite poor, he did not complete his basic education until 1588.
1588, University of Copenhagen, where he studied astronomy under Tycho. I assume a B.A.
Sometime between 1597-9, on leave from his position as Tycho's assistant, he studied in several German universities; he received an M.A. from the University of Rostock.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Lutheran (assumed)
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Astronomy
7. Means of Support
Primary: Academia
Secondary: Patronage, Schoolmastering, Miscellaneous
Soerenson came from such poor circumstances that he had to support his studies by intermittent manual labor.
1588-99, in the service of Tycho Brahe. This relation may have continued until Tycho's death in 1601.
1603, rector of the school of Wibourg.
1605, Professor paedagogicus, Univ. of Copenhagen. Chancellor Friis wanted him as a professor of mathematics so much that he offered to pay him out of his own pocket, because no chairs were available. Then a professor paedagogicus opened up.
1607-47, professor of mathematics and astronomy, University of Copenhagen.
1616-7, Rector of the university.
1621, moved up to chair in astronomy (known as "Mathematicus Superior").
8. Patronage
Types: Scientist, Government Official, Court Official
Tycho supported him in the early part of his career, but he had died by the time Severin was appointed at Copenhagen, and so could not have directly influenced that.
After Tycho's death he stayed with Holgar Rosenkrantz for a time.
See the role of Chancellor Friis above.
Astronomica Danica, which he edited, was dedicated to Christian IV.
9. Technological Involvement
Types: None
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
  1. J.-B.-J. Delambre, Histoire de l`astronomie moderne, I (Paris, 1821), 262-287. [QB28.D3] Holgar F. Roerdam, Kjoebenhauns Universitets Historie fra 1637 til 1621, Copenhagen: Bianco Lunos Bogtrykkeri, 1873-7), vol. 3. Kr. P. Moesgaard, "Christian Soerensen Longomontanus," Dansk Biografisk Leksikon, 9, 109-10. Victor E. Thoren, The Lord of Uraniborg: A Biography of Tycho Brahe, (Cambridge, 1990), p. 199 and passim.
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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