Saint Cedd (Missionary Bishop, Northumbria) c. 620s - 664

St Cedd Demographics:
  • Birth - Early 620s?
  • Birth place - kingdom of Northumbria
  • Death - October 26, 664 (plague)
  • Siblings - 3 brothers, Chad (originally Ceadda), Cynibil & Caelin.
  • Occupation - Missionary Bishop
Important Background Facts:
  • Most that is known about Saint Cedd comes from the writings of Saint Bede (Ecclesiastical History Of The English People).
Childhood & Education:
  • Born in the kingdom of Northumbria.
  • Likely he was the oldest of 4 brothers in the family.
  • Brought up on the island of Lindisfarne by Saint Aidan.
Adult Life:
  • He was a priest by the year 653.
  • Was acknowledged head of the family.
  • While he was alive, he seems to have taken the lead, while his brother Chad was the chosen successor.
Influence of Saint Aidan:
  • Saint Aidan came to Northumbria from Iona, bringing with him his practices known as the Celtic Rite.
  • Aidan was well-known for his austerity & disinterest in wealth & power.
  • Bede comments that Cedd & Chad learned from Saint Aidan's example & traditions.
  • It is believed that Cedd owed his training as a priest & scholar to Aidan & Lindisfarne.
Cedd's Evangelising of the Middle Angles / Mercia:
  • King Oswiu sent Cedd & 3 other priests on an evangelical mission to Mercia in 653 AD.
  • Peada (son of sub-king Penda) agreed to become a Christian in return for the hand in marriage of Oswiu's daughter, Alchflaed.
  • Cedd, with the other 3 priests (Adda, Betti & Diuma) accompanied Peada back to Middle Anglia, making many christian converts on the journey.
Cedd Becomes Bishop of East Saxon Kingdom:
  • King Oswiu then sent Cedd to the East Saxon kingdom at the request of King Sigeberht to help re-convert his subjects (having been originally converted by Canterbury missionaries).
  • King Sigeberht's baptism & decision to reconvert his kingdom to christianity was due to the efforts of King Oswiu.
  • Cedd then returned to Lindisfarne and reported to Finan who ordained him as bishop of the East Saxons.
  • Once Cedd was a bishop he became very commited to his beliefs & was unafraid to confront the powerful.
  • Cedd on one occasion confronted king Sigeberht about associating with an undesirable thegn (whom Cedd had excommunicated) & foretold that the king would die in that house (Sigeberht was later murdered by the pagan Swithelm).
  • Swithelm went on to became king after Sigeberht's death, and some time later Swithelm accepted baptism from Cedd at Ethelwald's home.
Cedd's Abbot Roots At Lastingham Monastery:
  • Cedd subsequently went on to found many churches, as well as monasteries at Tilaburg & Ithancester.
  • He also became abbot of the monastery of Lastingham in Northumbria, where he remained abbott until his death.
  • Cedd, however, still kept his position as a missionary bishop & diplomat, so he was not always present at the monastery, thus appointing others to deal with routine matters.
Cedd's Later Life:
  • Cedd was involved in the council negotiations between those trained in the Celtic Rite and those of the Roman Rite.
  • When the council ended, he returned to Essex and recommenced his work as a bishop.
  • Cedd, following the negotiations, did accept the Roman Rite of observance of Easter.
  • He then travelled back to the monastery at Lastingham, where he fell ill with the plague & died on October 26, 664.
  • His brother Chad succeeded Cedd as abbot at Lastingham monastery.
  • King Swithelm also died at about the same time as Cedd.
  • There followed a partial reversion to paganism which was also blamed on the effects of the plague.

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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Regiomontanus or Johannes Müller von Königsberg (Astronomer, Mathematician, Astrologer) 1436-1476

Regiomontanus Demographics:
  • Name - Johannes Müller von Königsberg.
  • Other names - Full Latin name Joannes de Regio monte, abbreviated to Regiomontanus; Johannes Müller, der Königsberger (Johannes Müller of Königsberg).
  • Birth - 6 June 1436
  • Birth place - Franconian village of Unfinden near Königsberg, Bavaria.
  • Death - 6 July 1476 (probably bubonic plague)
  • Death place - Rome
  • Nationality - German
  • Occupation - Astronomer, Astrologer & Mathematician.
Regiomontanus Early Life & Education:
  • Student prodigy at the university in Leipzig, 11 years of age.
  • Continued his studies at Alma Mater Rudolfina, the university in Vienna, Austria.
  • Was pupil & friend of Georg von Peurbach.
  • Degree of "magister artium" (Master of Arts) in 1457 from University of Vienna.
  • Then went on to teach optics & ancient literature.
Adult Life:
  • Regiomontanus was internationally famous in his lifetime.
  • From 1461 to 1465 Regiomontanus lived & worked at Cardinal Bessarion's house in Rome.
  • In 1467 Regiomontanus left Rome to work at the court of Matthias Corvinus of Hungary.
  • Whilst in Hungary he calculated extensive astronomical tables & built numerous astronomical instruments.
  • In 1471 he then moved to the Free City of Nuremberg, in Franconia.
  • In 1475 he went to Rome to work with Pope Sixtus IV on calendar reform.
  • On the way to Rome he published his "Ephemeris" in Venice.
  • Regiomontanus died in Rome, July 6, 1476, probably from bubonic plague, though others suggest he may have been assassinated.

Regiomontanus & Astronomy:
  • He was arguably the most important astronomer of the fifteenth century.
  • Regiomontanus built astrolabes for Matthias Corvinus of Hungary & Cardinal Bessarion.
  • He built a portable sundial for Pope Paul II in 1465.
  • Regiomontanus was a geocentrist, after the teachings of Ptolemy.
  • He is famous for having built, at Nuremberg, the first astronomical observatory in Germany.
  • Nicolaus Copernicus' teacher, Domenico Maria Novara da Ferrara, is reported as referring to Regiomontanus as his own teacher.
  • See image of Regiomontanus Sun Calendar (opposite)
Regiomontanus & Astrology:
  • Regiomontanus apprently became less interested in astrology over his lifetime.
  • As a result Regiomontanus concentrated his efforts more on mathematical astronomy to model the celestial motions more accurately.
  • Christopher Columbus used Regiomontanus' "Ephemeris" in 1504 (whilst stranded for a year on Jamaica) to successfully predict a lunar eclipse for the 29 February 1504, so astounding the natives, and inducing them to give supplies to his voyage.
Written Works:
  • De Triangulis omnimodus (1464) - On Triangles detailed the current state of trigonometry.
  • Epytoma in almagesti Ptolemei - Nicolaus Copernicus commented that this had an influence on his own work.
  • "Theoricae novae Planetarum" (1472) - astronomical textbook of his teacher Georg von Peurbach.
Regiomontanus Quotes:
"You who wish to study great and wonderful things, who wonder about the movement of the stars, must read these theorems about triangles. Knowing these ideas will open the door to all of astronomy and to certain geometric problems."
Cultural Acknowledgements:
  • The crater Regiomontanus on the Moon is named after him.

Image Credit - by oschene (cc)

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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