baroque

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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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. Becoming Russian Tsar At the age…
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The Rise and Fall of the British East India Company

The Rise and Fall of the British East India Company

On December 31, 1600, the British East India Company (EIC) received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies pursuing trade with the East Indies. The Foundation Already 12 years before, the Spanish Armada was defeated and merchants turned to the Queen, asking for permission to sail to the Indian Ocean, which was granted. Some smaller companies formed, but several ships got lost…
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Otto von Guericke and the Horror of Vacuum

Otto von Guericke and the Horror of Vacuum

Caspar Schott’s illustation of the vacuum experiment On November 30, 1602, German scientist, inventor, and politician Otto von Guericke was born. One of his major scientific achievements was the establishment of the physics of vacuums, which he gave proof of in a very famous public experiment. Otto von Guericke enrolled at the University of Leipzig in 1617 and continued his studies in law and engineering later on in Helmstedt, Jena, and Leiden.…
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The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge

The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge

Burlington House, where the Royal Society was based between 1873 and 1967 On November 28, 1660, at Gresham College, London, UK, 12 men, including Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, and Sir Robert Moray decide to found what is later known as the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, a learned society for science, and possibly the oldest such society still in existence. It is said that everything started with…
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Leibniz and the Integral Calculus

Leibniz and the Integral Calculus

On November 11, 1675, German mathematician and polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz demonstrates integral calculus for the first time to find the area under the graph of y = ƒ(x). Integral calculus is part of infinitesimal calculus, which in addition also comprises differential calculus. In general, infinitesimal calculus is the part of mathematics concerned with finding tangent lines to curves, areas under curves, minima and maxima, and other geometric and analytic problems. Today, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz…
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The Peace of Westphalia and the End of the Thirty Year’s War

The Peace of Westphalia and the End of the Thirty Year’s War

The Ratification of the Treaty of Munster, Painting by Gerard Ter Borch (1648) On October 24, 1648, the signing of the Peace of Westphalia treaty in Osnabrück and Münster put an end to Europe’s Thirty Years’ War (1618 – 1648) in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Eighty Years’ War (1568 – 1648) between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognizing the independence of the Dutch Republic. “In the name…
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Andreas Gryphius – Master Poet of the German Baroque

Andreas Gryphius – Master Poet of the German Baroque

Andreas Gryphius (1616-1664) On October 11, 1616, German Baroque lyric poet and dramatist Andreas Gryphius was born. For his poems and tragedies Gryphius chose the topics of pain and moral decay during the times of the Thirty Years War as well as human restlessness, solitude and inner conflicts. Unless you have attended a German highschool or have a strong interest in baroque poetry, you might have never heard of Andreas Gryphius. Back…
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