|Fields||Astronomy, mathematics, philosophy|
|Alma mater||Kraków Academy|
|Doctoral students||Nicolaus Copernicus,
Jan Otto de Kraceusae,
|Known for||Establishing moon's elliptical orbit|
Albert Brudzewski, also Albert Blar (of Brudzewo), Albert of Brudzewo or Wojciech Brudzewski (in Latin, Albertus de Brudzewo; c.1445–c.1497) was a Polish astronomer, mathematician, philosopher and diplomat.
Albert (in Polish, Wojciech), who would sign himself "de Brudzewo" ("of Brudzewo"), was born about 1445, in Brudzewo, near Kalisz. 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.
In 1495, at the behest of Cardinal Fryderyk Jagiellończyk (Frederick Jagiellon), Brudzewski moved to Vilnius as secretary to Grand Duke of Lithuania Aleksander Jagiellon, who would later become King Alexander of Poland. He served the Grand Duke as a diplomat; one of his most important missions involved negotiations with Muscovy's Tsar Ivan the Terrible. It was in Vilnius that Albert wrote his treatise, Conciliator, whose original has yet to be found.
Albert of Brudzewo died in Vilnius. The exact date of his death is not known; some sources state that he died at the age of fifty.
- Listed as "Brudzewski, Wojciech, [or] Wojciech z Brudzewa," in Encyklopedia Powszechna PWN, vol. 1, p. 353. Google Search, 29 November 2008, lists him as "Albert Brudzewski" (8,170), "Wojciech Brudzewski" (626), "Albert Blar" (611).
- Renaissance Culture in Poland
- Patronage and Humanist Literature in the Age of the Jagiellons
- It is not certain in which "Brudzewo" he was born: probably the town in present-day Kalisz County, though it may have been the town of the same name in present-day Turek County, somewhat farther from Kalisz.
- "Brudzewski, Wojciech, [or] Wojciech z Brudzewa," Encyklopedia Powszechna PWN (PWN Universal Encyclopedia), Warsaw, Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1973, vol. 1, p. 353.
- M. Iłowiecki, Dzieje nauki polskiej (History of Polish Science), Warsaw, 1981.
- Zbigniew Lenartowicz, Kaliszanie w Warszawie (Kaliszians in Warsaw), no. 32/33, 2002.
- Józef Retinger, Polacy w cywilizacjach świata (Poles in the World's Civilizations), Warsaw, 1937.
- Tadeusz Rójek, Sławni i nieznani (The Famous and the Unknown).