Italian Renaissance Writers : Regiomontanus and Nicholas of Cusa

Nicholas of Cusa (1400/1401-1464, in German called Nikolaud von Kues) Cardinal, after studies in Heidelberg, Padova, Bologna, Cologne entered the clergy and became papal diplomat. Present at the COUNCIL OF BASEL 1421, he was sent as papal emissary to Constantinople in 1437, won the Emperor and other potentates for the COUNCIL OF FLORENCE, was engaged in organizing a crusade against the Turks and in negotiating reconciliation with the Hussites.
Despite his diplomatic activities, Cusa found the time to write, in many fields - juridical, theological, philosophical texts as well as scientific ones, in mathematics and astronomy.

JOHANN MUELLER of Koenigsberg/Franconia, after which he called himself REGIOMONTANUS (1436-1476) was in 1461 appointed professor of philosophy (his speciality was astronomy) in Vienna. Here he met GEORGE OF TREBIZOND, a learned Greek who now was papal legate. Regiomontanus was appointed astronomer of King MATTHIAS CORVINUS of Hungary in 1468, built an observatory at NUERNBERG in 1471. Called to Rome by Pope Sixtus IV., he died before he could be appointed to further offices.
Regiomontanus made a number of important astronomic observations, paving the way for Copernicus and Kepler.

Biographies of N. of Cusa from MacTutor History of Mathematicians Archive, from the Catholic Encyclopedia
Biographies of Regiomontanus from MacTutor and from the Catholic Encyclopedia
DOCUMENTS The Works of Nicholas of Cusa, from the American Cusanus Society

This page is part of World History at KMLA
Last revised on May 31st 2001