Ferdinand Karl Schweikart

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ferdinand Karl Schweikart
Ferdinand Karl Schweikart.jpg
Born(1780-02-28)February 28, 1780
DiedAugust 17, 1857(1857-08-17) (aged 77)
Alma materUniversity of Marburg
Scientific career
FieldsMathematics, Jurisprudence
InstitutionsUniversity of Marburg
University of Königsberg

Ferdinand Karl Schweikart (1780–1857) was a German jurist and amateur mathematician who developed an astral geometry before the discovery of non-Euclidean geometry.

Life and work[edit]

Schweikart, son of an attorney in Hesse, was educated in the school of his town. He went to the high school in Hanau and Waldeck before entering in 1796 to study law in the university of Marburg, where He attended lectures of the mathematics professor J.K.F. Hauff.[1] He was awarded a doctorate in law at the university of Jena in 1798.

After practicing as a lawyer for a few years in Erbach, He was, from 1803 to 1807, instructor of the youngest prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen.[2] From 1809 He was university professor of jurisprudence successively at the universities of Giessen (1809-1812), Kharkiv (1812-1816), Marburg (1816-1821) and Königsberg (1821 afterwards).[3]

But Schweikart is best remembered for his works on mathematics: in 1807 he published Die Theorie der Parallellinien, nebst dem Vorschlage ihrer Verbannung aus der Geometrie (The theory of parallel lines, along with the suggestions of their banishment from geometry).[4] Then, in 1818 he wrote to Gauss, through his student Christian Ludwig Gerling, about a new geometry, called by him as astral geometry, where the sum of the angles of a triangle was less than 180º (as in hyperbolic geometry).[5] He influenced the work of his nephew, the mathematician Franz Taurinus.


  1. ^ Halsted 1896, p. 105.
  2. ^ Winter 1891, p. 358.
  3. ^ Meyer, 1909. Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon.
  4. ^ Bardi 2009, p. 127.
  5. ^ Gray 2006, p. 66.


  • Bardi, Jason Socrates (2009). The fifth postulate: how unraveling a two-thousand-year-old mystery unraveled the universe. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-470-14909-6.
  • Gray, Jeremy (2006). "Gauss and Non-Euclidean Geometry". In András Prékopa; Emil Molnár (eds.). Non-Euclidean Geometries. Mathematics and its Applications. 581. Springer. pp. 61–80. doi:10.1007/0-387-29555-0_2. ISBN 978-0-387-29554-1.
  • Halsted, George Bruce (1896). "Subconscious Pangeometry". The Monist. 7 (1): 100–106. doi:10.5840/monist1896713. ISSN 0026-9662.
  • Winter, Georg (1891). "Schweikart, Ferdinand Karl". Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (in German). Historischen Kommission bei der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. p. 358.

External links[edit]

  • "Schweikart". Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon. 1909. Retrieved October 12, 2018.