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Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 136 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MARTIN EDUARD VON SIMSON (1810-1899), German jurist and politician, was born at Konigsberg, in Prussia, on the loth of November 181o, of Jewish parentage. After the usual course at the gymnasium of his native town, he entered its university in 1826 as a student of jurisprudence, and specially of Roman law. He continued 'his studies at Berlin and Bonn, and, having graduated doctor juris, attended lectures at the Ecole de Droit in Paris. Returning to Konigsberg in 1831 he established himself as a Privatdozent in Roman law, becoming two years later extraordinary, and in 1836 ordinary, professor in that faculty at the university. Like many other distinguished German jurists, •pari passu with his professorial activity, Simson followed the judicial branch of the legal profession, and, passing rapidly through the subordinate stages of auscultator and assessor, became adviser (Rath) to the Landgericht in 1846. In this year he stood for the representation of Konigsberg in the National Assembly at Frankfort-on-Main, and on his election was immediately appointed secretary, and in the course of the same year became successively its vice-president and president. In his capacity of president he appeared, on 3rd April 1849, in Berlin at the head of a deputation of the Frankfort parliament to announce to King Frederick William IV. his election as German Emperor by the representatives of the people. The king, either apprehensive of a rupture with Austria, or fearing detriment to the prerogatives of the Prussian crown should he he laboured. His next publications were A Treatise on the Nature and Laws of Chance (1740); Essays on Several Curious and Useful • Subjects in Speculative and Mixed Mathematicks (1740) ; The Doctrine of Annuities and Reversions deduced from General and Evident Principles (1942); and Mathematical Dissertations on a Variety of Physical and Analytical Subjects (1743). Soon after the publication of his Essays he was chosen a member of the Royal Academy at Stockholm; in 1743 he was appointed professor of mathematics in the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich; and in 1745 he was admitted a fellow of the Royal Society of London. In 1745 he published A Treatise of Algebra, with an appendix containing the construction of geometrical problems, and in 1747 the Elements of Plane Geometry. The latter book, unlike many others with the same title, is not an edition of Euclid's Elements, but, an independent treatise, and the solutions of problems contained in it (and in the appendix to the Algebra as well) are in general exceedingly ingenious. In his Trigonometry, Plane and Spherical, with the Construction and Application of Logarithms, which appeared in 1948, there is a tolerably uniform use of contractions for the words sine, tangent, &c., prefixed to the symbol of the angle. The Doctrine and Application of Fluxions (1750) was more comprehensive than his earlier work on the same subject and was so different that he wished it to be considered as a new book and not as a second 'edition of the former. In 1752 appeared Select Exercises for Young Proficients in the Mathematicks, and in 1757 his Miscellaneous Tracts on Some Curious and Very Interesting Subjects in Mechanics, Physical Astronomy and Speculative Mathematics, the last and perhaps the greatest of all his works. From the year 1735 he had been a frequent contributor to the Ladies' Diary, an annual publication partly devoted to the solution of mathematical problems, and from 1754 till 176o inclusive he was the editor of it. He died at Market Bosworth on the 14th of May 1761. See Charles Hutton, Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary (1815).
End of Article: MARTIN EDUARD VON SIMSON (1810-1899)
ROBERT SIMSON (1687-1768)

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