Albert Brudzewski, also Albert Blar (of Brudzewo), Albert of Brudzewo or Wojciech Brudzewski (in Latin, Albertus de Brudzewo; ca. 1445, Brudzewo, near Kalisz – ca. 1497, Vilnius) was a Polish astronomer, mathematician, philosopher and diplomat.
Albert (in Polish, Wojciech), who would sign himself "de Brudzewo" ("of Brudzewo"), was born about 1445. Scant information exists about his early life. It is only known that as a 23-year-old he matriculated at the Kraków Academy (now Jagiellonian University), where he remained through nearly all his life, teaching there for two decades. He served as the Academy's dean, as procurator (administrator of its property), and as head of the Bursa Hungarorum ("Hungarians' Dormitory").
Albert is remembered as a remarkable teacher. At the Kraków Academy he impressed students by his extraordinary knowledge of literature, and taught mathematics and astronomy. When in 1490 he became a bachelor of theology, he also lectured on Aristotle's philosophy. These lectures were attended by Nicolaus Copernicus, who enrolled at the Academy in 1491. A major accomplishment of Albert's was his modernization of the teaching of astronomy by introducing the most up-to-date texts.
Albert was well versed in Georg von Peuerbach's Theory of the Planets and Regiomontanus' Astronomical Tables. He was skeptical of the geocentric system. He was the first to state that the Moon moves in an ellipse and always shows its same side to the Earth.
He drew up tables for calculating the positions of heavenly bodies. In 1482 he wrote a Commentum planetarium in theoricas Georgii Purbachii—a commentary on Georg von Peuerbach's text, New Theories of the Planets—published in Milan by his pupil, Jan Otto de Kraceusae.
Besides Copernicus, Albert's students included the mathematician Bernard Wapowski and the German poet and Renaissance humanist, Conrad Celtis, who in Kraków established the first Central European literary society, Sodalitas Litterana Vistulana.
Full article ▸