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Mirko Danijel Bogdanić (1760-1802), Astronomer, Mathematician, Surveyor and Croatian Educator

Tatjana Kren


This article provides valuable information about the life and work of Mirko Danijel Bogdanić (Bogdanić Imre Dániel) (Virovitica, 1762 – Buda, 1802) who was an astronomer, mathematician, surveyor and the author of a book on world history in Croatian. This article observes his life and work from the historical perspective of the time of Emperor Joseph II in Austria. From 1782 to 1785, Bogdanić studied mathematics, physics and astronomy in Buda and Pešt. He often worked with famous Croatian scientists such as Ivan Paskvić (János Pasquich), Franjo Bruna (Ferenc Bruna), Josip Mitterpacher (József Mitterpacher) and others. Particular attention is paid to the period between approximately 1791 and 1796, which he spent in Vienna. At first, he focused on publishing the first volume of his history of the world in Croatian (Dogodjaji svieta (World events), 1792) in which he paid particular attention to astronomy and Croatian astronomical terminology. From 1793 to 1795, he studied astronomy at the University of Vienna. The following period was the most important in his life. He was second, then first assistant at the Buda Observatory (1796–1802) and also (1798–1802) appointed Imperial Assistant Astronomer to the cartographer János Lipszky, charged with conducting precise astronomical observations to determine the geographical coordinates for the geographical map of Hungary (Mappa Generalis Regni Hungariae). His observations, especially of latitudes, were considered excellent. He spent many long, hard hours working in the field under adverse weather conditions, leading to extreme exhaustion, which resulted in serious illness and his premature death.


astronomy; mathematics; geodesy; the Buda Observatory; geographical map of Hungary; patriotism; enlightenment (Age of Enlightenment); world history

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