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William Stukeley and the Mystery of Stonehenge

William Stukeley and the Mystery of Stonehenge

Stonehenge, photo: wikipedia On November 7, 1687, English antiquarian and Anglican clergyman William Stukeley was born. He pioneered the archaeological investigation of the prehistoric monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury, work for which he has been remembered as probably the most important of the early forerunners of the discipline of archaeology. Stukeley was also one of the first biographers of Isaac Newton, of whom he was a friend. William Stukeley was born in Holbeach in Lincolnshire, as…
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Giovanni Maria Lancisi and his Medical Discoveries

Giovanni Maria Lancisi and his Medical Discoveries

Giovanni Maria Lancisi (1654-1720) On October 26, 1654, Italian physician, epidemiologist and anatomist Giovanni Maria Lancisi was born. A personal physician to three popes, he is considered the first modern hygienist. He made a correlation between the presence of mosquitoes and the prevalence of malaria. He was also known for his studies about cardiovascular diseases, and is remembered in the eponymous Lancisi’s sign. Giovanni Maria Lancisi, also often referred to under his…
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Bernard Siegfried Albinus and his Anatomic Works

Bernard Siegfried Albinus and his Anatomic Works

Bernhard Siegfried Albinus: Tabulae sceleti et musculorum corporis humani. London 1749. On September 9, 1770, German anatomist Bernard Siegfried Albinus passed away. He was the first to show the connection of the vascular systems of the mother and the fetus. He is best known for the excellent drawings in his Tabulae sceleti et musculorum corporis humani (1747; “Tables of the Skeleton and Muscles of the Human Body”). Bernard Siegfried Weiss was born in…
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Richard Mead and the Understanding of Transmissible Diseases

Richard Mead and the Understanding of Transmissible Diseases

On August 11, 1673, English physician Richard Mead was born. His work, A Short Discourse concerning Pestilential Contagion, and the Method to be used to prevent it, was of historic importance in the understanding of transmissible diseases. Richard Mead was mostly educated at home by his father and a private tutor, who also lived with them. He moved to Leyden in 1692 in order to study at the local University and decided to…
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Jean Picard and his Love for Accuracy

Jean Picard and his Love for Accuracy

Jean-Félix Picard (1620 – 1682) On July 21, 1620, French astronomer, cartographer and hydraulic engineer Jean-Félix Picard was born. He is regarded as the founder of modern astronomy in France. He introduced new methods, improved the old instruments, and added new devices, such as Huygens‘ pendulum clock to record times and time intervals. Jean-Félix Picard was born as a son of a bookseller and was allowed to study at the Jesuit Collège Royal…
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Royal Botanist Charles Plumier

Royal Botanist Charles Plumier

On April 20, 1646, French botanist Charles Plumier was born. He is considered one of the most important of the botanical explorers of his time. He made three botanizing expeditions to the West Indies, which resulted in a massive work Nova Plantarum Americanarum Genera (1703–04) and was appointed botanist to king Louis XIV of France. Charles Plumier was born in Marseille and entered the order of the Minims, when he was 16…
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Joseph Sauveur and the Science of Acoustics

Joseph Sauveur and the Science of Acoustics

On March 24, 1653, French mathematician and physicist Joseph Sauveur was born. Sauveur is known principally for his detailed studies on acoustics, a term he also has coined for the first time. Joseph Sauveur was the son of a provincial notary in La Fléche, France. Despite a hearing and speech impairment that kept him totally mute until he was seven, Joseph benefited from a fine education at the Jesuit College of La…
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Peter the Great and the Grand Embassy

Peter the Great and the Grand Embassy

On March 10, 1697, Russian Tsar Peter the Great began his diplomatic mission to Western Europe, referred to as the ‘Grand Embassy‘. The goal of this mission was to strengthen and broaden Russia‘s influence in Western Europe and to find allies against the Ottoman Empire. What makes the mission so special is that Peter the Great led the mission himself, but incognito under a wrong name. At the age of 10, Peter…
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John Flamsteed – Astronomer Royal

John Flamsteed – Astronomer Royal

On March 4, 1675, the English King Charles II appoints John Flamsteed to “The King’s Astronomical Observator” – the first English Astronomer Royal, with an allowance of £100 a year. In the same year, the Royal Greenwich Observatory was founded and Flamsteed laid the foundation stone. John Flamsteed’s early interests concentrated mainly on the fields of history and languages, especially Latin. He grew up in Denby, England as the son of a…
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The Assassination of Wallenstein

The Assassination of Wallenstein

On February 24, 1634, Bohemian military leader and politician Count Albrecht von Wallenstein was assassinated at Cheb in Bohemia. An imperial generalissimo of the Thirty Year’s War, and Admiral of the Baltic Sea, he had made himself ruler of the lands of the Duchy of Friedland in northern Bohemia. Wallenstein found himself released from imperial service in 1630 after Emperor Ferdinand grew wary of his ambition. Wallenstein was born into a rather…
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