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 AHS  Vol.6 No.1 , March 2017
Contribution of A. Jakstas-Dambrauskas (1860-1938) to Mathematics in Lithuania
Abstract: The article, dedicated to prelate Aleksandras Dambrauskas (pseudonym: Adomas Jakstas, 1860-1938), a Lithuanian encyclopaedist, Honorary Doctor of Mathematics, summarizes the researcher’s mathematical works and highlights his merits to the development of the science of mathematics in Lithuania. Most frequently his activities are associated with theology, philosophy, literature and politics. However, it is rarely mentioned that it was actually mathematics which led A. Jakstas’ search to be true and beautiful in philosophy, literature and theology. Firstly, he stands out as a reviewer of the fundamentals of geometry and trigonometry in the development of the science of mathematics in Lithuania. The mathematical works that were written by the prelate fall into three groups. The first group includes the original works covering the field of fundamentals of trigonometry and geometry. The second group embraces popularising and informative articles and booklets, and the third group unites school textbooks on mathematics. A. Jakstas manifested himself as a supporter of mathematics. The prelate was interested in problems which could be practically applied in everyday life or were based on all the generally accepted laws of the Universe. The major part of the mathematical works by the prelate was devoted to school mathematics. Observing the dawn of Lithuanian sciences, A. Dambrauskas’ significant contribution to mathematics in Lithuania is acknowledged. Reading the mathematical works by the prelate, his ability to fill them with humanist philosophy is admired. A. Dambrauskas is a perfect example for all the mathematicians, and his mathematical works occupy an honourable place in the history of mathematics in Lithuania. This article is dedicated to A. Jakstas-Dambrauskas, an outstanding Lithuanian personality, who left indelible marks in the Lithuanian culture and education. The latter merits are usually enthroned, whereas the prelate’s mathematical works are often neglected. In this article, the author returns to the mathematical contribution of A. Dambrauskas, supplementing his presentation delivered in Lithuania in 2011 with new sources, and aims to familiarise readers with this exceptional personality in English. To achieve the established goal not only already published but also archived materials stored in the Office of the Central State Archive of Lithuania and the Manuscripts Department of Vilnius University Library will be used. The research employs the methods characteristic of research work in humanities: text analysis, interpretation and historical description. Moreover, the criterion of objectivity and the principle of historicism are followed to revive the atmosphere of the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century.
Cite this paper: Banionis, J. (2017) Contribution of A. Jakstas-Dambrauskas (1860-1938) to Mathematics in Lithuania. Advances in Historical Studies, 6, 1-17. doi: 10.4236/ahs.2017.61001.
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