Person: Lavanha, João Baptista
Joao Baptista Lavanha was a Portuguese engineer who wrote on mathematics and navigation.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- In an attempt to correct this, Philip founded an Academy of Mathematics in Madrid with Lavanha as its first professor.
- Lavanha was appointed cosmographer to the king in 1591 (although he did not assume the full duties of that position for a few years) and about the same time he moved from Madrid to Lisbon where he taught mathematics to sailors and navigators.
- Lavanha is best known for his contributions to navigation.
- Lavanha gives rules for determining latitude and tables of declination of the Sun.
- Another work by Lavanha in this area is his Compendio de Geografia.
- Lavanha also studied instruments used in navigation, constructing astrolabes, quadrants and compasses.
- Lavanha taught mathematics to many leading people including Prince Emmanuel Filiberto of Sabóia (1528-1580) (who was Duke of Savoy from 1553 to 1580), the famous novelist, poet and playwright Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616), the dramatist and poet Félix Arturo Lope de Vega (1562-1635), and Philip IV (1605-1665) of Spain before he ascended to the throne of Spain in 1621.
- Among Lavanha's publications was a translation of Euclid (1584), the tables of the sun Taboas do lugar do So (1600), and a work containing all the mathematical facts a learned man needed to know, Descripción del Universo (1613).
- In 1609, Lavanha joined the Order of Christ which, given his Jewish origins, caused some criticism.
Born 1555, Lisbon, Portugal. Died 31 March 1624, Madrid, Spain.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Astronomy, Origin Portugal
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive