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Peter Apian

Leisning 1495 - Ingolstadt 1552


Peter Apian (actually Peter Bienewitz or Benewitz) was born on April 16, 1495, in Leisnig, Saxony. Peter Apian studied mathematics, astronomy, and geography in Leipzig and Vienna from 1516 until 1521. He was appointed professor for mathematics at the University of Ingolstadt in 1527 where he lived and taught until his death.
Besides astronomical observations and publishing various cartographic works, he occupied himself mainly with the description and use of scientific instruments. His "Instrument Buch" (1533), which appeared in German, represents the zenith of these practical depictions. One of his early publications, the "Cosmographicus liber" (1524), a book on navigation, won the favor of Emperor Charles V, who publicly honored him in Regensburg in 1530 and granted him the right to print in 1532 and a civil coat of arms in 1534. In return, Apian dedicated his "Astronomicum Caesareum" (1540) to the Emperor and his brother. This book is a splendid tome with numerous artistically intricate discs that represent the movement of the planets.
Charles V named Apian court mathematician in 1541, gave him the knighthood and granted him the honor title Imperial Duke of the Court and Palatinate. Peter Apian belongs to the most important scholars of the Renaissance who distinguished themselves through their versatile scientific and editorial work.
Peter Apian died on April 21, 1552 in Ingolstadt, Bavaria.


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