Emanuel Swedenborg

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) is perhaps best known as a natural philosopher and for his interpretation of the Christian religion. In his early years, however, he showed a great interest in mathematics. During his educational tour of England, France, and Holland 1710–1715, he met many scientists and mathematicians, such as Halley, Varignon, de la Hire, etc. In September 1713 he bought the first true textbook on differential and integral calculus, Analyse Démontrée, by the Frenchman Charles Reyneau. It served as the basis for the earliest notations about infinitesimal calculus still preserved in Sweden today.

Swedenborg's copy of Reyneau's Analyse Démontrée. The book is in the Swedenborg
Collection at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Swedenborg (his name was then Swedberg, ennobled in 1719) published
Sweden's first scientific journal, Daedalus Hyperboreus from 1716 to 1718.

In the foreword to the first issue he wrote:

”What now sees the light of day is the fruit and a maiden issue of the correspondence that some Learned Men and lovers of the Mathematical sciences in Upsala had with our Swedish Archimedes, Master Assessor Christopher Polhammar.”

”Learned Men” refers to Collegium Curiosorum.

Last modified: 2023-01-18