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Abraham Gotthelf Kästner

Abraham Gotthelf Kästner
Abraham Gotthelf Kästner
Born (1719-09-27)27 September 1719
Leipzig, Electorate of Saxony
Died 20 June 1800(1800-06-20) (aged 80)
Göttingen, Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Residence Germany
Nationality German
Fields Mathematics
Institutions University of Leipzig
University of Göttingen
Alma mater University of Leipzig
Doctoral advisor Christian August Hausen
Doctoral students Johann Friedrich Pfaff
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Johann Tobias Mayer
Heinrich Wilhelm Brandes
Johann Christian Polycarp Erxleben
Other notable students Farkas Bolyai
Known for Textbook writing

Abraham Gotthelf Kästner (27 September 1719 – 20 June 1800) was a German mathematician and epigrammatist.

He was known in his professional life for writing textbooks and compiling encyclopedias rather than for original research. Kästner on the Moon is named after him.


  • Life 1
  • Work 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Kästner was the son of law professor Abraham Kästner. He married Anna Rosina Baumann in 1757 after a 12-year engagement. She died on 4 March 1758, less than a year later, of a lung disease. Later Kästner had a daughter Catharine with his cleaning lady.

Kästner studied law, philosophy, physics, mathematics and metaphysics in Georg Klügel. Kästner died in 1800 in Göttingen.


Kaestner became most well known for his poems, which appeared first in print without his consent in 1781 and were notable for their biting humour and sharp irony on different contemporary personalities. They were published in Vermischten Schriften 1 und 2 (Altenburg 1783, 2 volumes), and further poems were published in Gesammelten poetischen und prosaischen schönwissenschaftlichen Werken (Berlin 1841, 4 volumes) and later in Joseph Kürschner's Deutscher Nationalliteratur, volume 73 (hrsg. von Minor; Stuttgart 1883).

His numerous mathematical writings include Anfangsgründe der Mathematik ("Foundations of Mathematics") (Göttingen 1758-69, 4 volumes; 6th edition 1800) and Geschichte der Mathematik ("History of Mathematics") (Göttingen 1796-1800, 4 volumes). Geschichte der Mathematik is considered an astute work, but lacks a comprehensive overview of all subsections of mathematics.

He also translated many volumes of the Proceedings of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences into German, including all volumes of the Proceedings (Handlingar) between 1749 and 1781 and some volumes of New Proceedings (Nya handlingar) from 1784 to 1792.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in April 1789.[1]


  1. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 7 November 2010. 

External links

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