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Long Omontanus

village, tycho, name and brahe

LONG OMONTANUS (CHaIsTIAN), a learned astronomer, born in Denmark in 1562, in the village of Longomontam, whence he took his name. Vossius, by mistake, calls him Christopher. Being the son of a poor man, a ploughman, he was obliged to suffer, during his studies, all the hardships to which he could be exposed, dividing his time, like the phi losopher Cleanthes, between the cultiva tion of the earth, and the lessons he re ceived from the minister of the place. At length, at fifteen years old, he stole away from his family, and went to Wiburg, where there was a college, in which he spent eleven years; and though he was obliged to earn his livelihood as he could, his close application to study enabled him to make a great progress in learn ing, particularly in the mathematical sciences.

FroM hence he went to Copenhagen ; where the professors of that University soon conceived a very high opinion of him, and recommended him to the cele brated Tycho Brahe ; with whom Longo montanus lived eight years, and was of great service to him in his observations and calculations. At length, being very desirons of obtaining a professor's chair in Denmark, Tycho Brahe consented with some difficulty to his leaving him; giving him a discharge filled with the highest testimonies of his esteem, and furnishing him with money for the expense of his long journey from Germany, whither Tycho had retired.

Ile accordingly obtained a professor ship of mathematics in the University of Copenhagen, in 1605 ; the duty of which he discharged very worthily till his death, which happened in 1647, at eighty-five years of age.

Longomontanus was author of several works, which showgreat talents in mathe matics and astronomy. The most distin guished of them is his " Astronomica Da idea," first printed in quarto, 1621, and afterwards in folio, in 1640, with augmen tations. He amused himself with endea vouring to square the circle, and pre tended that he had made the discovery of it ; but our countryman, Dr. John Pell, attacked him warmly on the subject, and proved that he was mistaken. It is re markable, that, obscure as his village and father were, he contrived to dignify and eternize them both ; for he took his name from his village, and in the title-page to some of his works, he wrote himself Christianus Longomontanus Severini fi lius ;this father's name being Severin or Severinus.