Regiomontanus was born Johann Müller. He took his pseudonym from the name of his home town (Königsberg). The University of Leipzig admitted him at the age of eleven. In 1450 he went to Vienna to study under Peuerbach. Peuerbach died in 1461 with his translation of Ptolemy’s works unfinished. In order to complete the translation, Regiomontanus went to Italy to study Greek under Cardinal Bessarion, and to collect and copy Greek manuscripts.

In 1463 Regiomontanus completed the translation of the Almagest, published in Venice in 1496 as the Epitome. In 1464 he completed his De triangularis omnimodis libri quinque, an extensive work on plane and spherical trigonometry. As the earliest modern such book, it helped trigonometry to become a major branch of mathematics, although it was not published until 1533. In 1469 the King of Hungary, Matthias Corvinus, appointed Regiomontanus Keeper of the Royal Collection at Ofen. In 1471 Regiomontanus settled in Nuremberg, where, with funds from his pupil and patron, Bernhard Walther, he built an observatory, a printing press, and a workshop for the construction of instruments. In 1475 Regiomontanus was summoned to Rome by Pope Sixtus IV, to advise on Calendar reform. Regiomontanus died in Rome on the 6th of July, 1476. Some accounts say he died of the plague, others that he was poisoned by his enemies.

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