Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Christopher Clavius [1537-1612]...the Euclid of the Sixteenth Century


The Jesuit scientist Christopher Clavius (1538-1612) has been the most influential teacher of the renaissance. His contributions to algebra, geometry, astronomy and cartography are enormous. He paved the way, with his texts and his teaching for 40 years in the the Collegio Romano, to the development of these sciences and their fruitful spread all around the World, along the commercial paths of Portugal,which become also the missionary paths for the Jesuits. The books of Clavius were translated into Chinese, by one of his students Matteo Ricci ”Li Madou” (1562-1610), and his influence for the development of science in China was crucial. The Jesuits become skilled astronomers, cartographers and mathematicians thanks to the example and the impulse given by Clavius. This success was possible also thanks to the contribution of Clavius in the definition of the ratio studiorum, the program of studies, in the Jesuit colleges, so influential for the whole history of modern Europe and all western World.

"Christopher Clavius astronomer and mathematician" by C. Sigismondi

Christopher Clavius [Wikipedia]

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