MUNSTER (Sebastian)

, an eminent German divine and mathematician, was born at Ingelheim in 1489. At the age of 14 he was sent to Heidelberg to study. Two years after, he entered the convent of the Cordeliers; where he assiduonsly studied divinity, mathematics, and geography. He was the first who published a Chaldee Grammar and Lexicon; and he shortly after gave the world a Talmudic Dictionary. He afterwards became professor of the Hebrew language at Basil. He was one of the first who attached himself to Luther, and embraced Protestantism: yet behaved himself with great moderation; never concerning himself with their disputes; but shut himself up at home and pursued his favourite studies, which were mathematics, natural philosophy, with the Hebrew and other Oriental languages. He published a great number of books on these subjects; particularly, a Latin version, from the Hebrew, of all the books of the Old Testament, with learned notes, printed at Basil in 1534 and 1546; Josephus's History of the Jews in Latin; a Treatise of Dialling, in folio, 1536; Universal Cosmography, in 6 books folio, Basil 1550. For these works he was styled the German Strabo; as he was the German Esdras, for his Oriental writings.

Munster was a meek-tempered, pacisic, studious, retired man, who wrote a great number of books, but| never meddled in controversy.—He died of the plague at Basil, in 1552, at 63 years of age.

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Entry taken from A Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary, by Charles Hutton, 1796.

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* MUNSTER (Sebastian)