This stuff blows my mind.
Gregory Palamas (1296–135), spelled Γρηγόριος Παλαμάς in greek, was a monk on Mount Athos, a place I’ve visited with my father two times. It is a beautiful peninsula in northern Greece, scattered with old monasteries. Furthermore, only men have been allowed on the peninsula for around a thousand years.
Palamas eventually became the Archbishop of Thessaloniki, which is a city I incidentally happened to live in from 1995-1996. Below is a picture of Gregory Palamas, in the form of an icon.
In his early youth, my father (Georgios Kefaloukos) was also a monk on Mount Athos. There he learned the art of icon painting, and could have painted one of Palamas, although I don’t think he did. Below is a picture of my father taken on Mount Athos.
When I first heard about the Math in Genealogy project, I was thrilled to find out that a Gregory Palamas, who lived long ago and was the Archbishop of Thessaloniki, apparently had a transitive relationship with people in science through an unbroken chain of mentoring (112861 “descendants” in total). I became curious, and wanted to find out which famous people he might be connected to.
While Palamas was the Archbishop of Thessaloniki he mentored Nilos Kabasilas (1298-1363), who later replaced him as Archbishop. Nilos in turn mentored Demetrios Kydones (1333-1397) and this lineage of mentoring continues in an unbroken line, through many scholars and countries, until we eventually arrive in Germany and at the famous mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauß in 1799.
Gauß himself mentored a few students, one of whom was Christian Ludwig Gerling (1788-1864), who went on to mentor Julius Plücker (1801-1868) and so forth. Again the chain of mentoring continues until we reach Marcos Vaz Salles, a Brazilian Tenure-Track Assistant Professor at the University of Copenhagen, which is the city I was born in… And here comes the surprising part, for me at least, because Marcos is now mentoring me, together with Professor Martin Zachariasen!
An unbroken line of guys mentoring guys:
- Sharaf al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī, lived c. 1135 – c. 1213 (Wikipedia)
- Kamal al Din Ibn Yunus
- Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, lived 1201 – 1274 (Wikipedia)
- Shams ad-Din Al-Bukhari, Maragheh Observatory, lived 13th century (mcgill)
- Gregory Chioniadis, Ilkhans Court at Tabriz, 1296 (Wikipedia)
- Manuel Bryennios, lived c. 1275 – c. 1340 (Wikipedia)
- Theodore Metochites, 1315
- Gregory Palamas
- Nilos Kabasilas, 1363
- Demetrios Kydones
- Manuel Chrysoloras
- Guarino da Verona, 1408
- Vittorino da Feltre, Università di Padova, 1416
- Ognibene (Omnibonus Leonicenus) Bonisoli da Lonigo, Università di Mantova
- Niccolò Leoniceno, Medicinae Dr., Università di Padova, 1453
- Antonio Musa Brasavola, Medicinae Dr., Università degli Studi di Ferrara, 1520
- Gabriele Falloppio, Medicinae Dr., Università di Padova / Università degli Studi di Ferrara, 1547
- Hieronymus (Girolamo Fabrici d’Acquapendente) Fabricius, Medicinae Dr., Università di Padova, 1559
- Adriaan van den Spieghel, Medicinae Dr., Université Catholique de Louvain / Università di Padova, 1603
- Adolph Vorstius, Philosophiae Dr., Medicinae Dr., Universiteit Leiden / Università di Padova, 1619, 1622
- Franciscus de le Boë Sylvius, Medicinae Dr., Universiteit Leiden / Universität Basel, 1634, 1637
- Rudolf Wilhelm Krause, Medicinae Dr., Universiteit Leiden, 1671
- Simon Paul Hilscher, Medicinae Dr., Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, 1704
- Johann Andreas Segner, Magister artium, Medicinae Dr. Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, 1726, 1734
- Johann Georg Büsch, Magister, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, 1752
- Johann Elert Bode, Handelsakademie Hamburg
- Johann Friedrich Pfaff, Dr. phil. Georg-August-Universität Göttingen 1786
- Carl Friedrich Gauß, Ph.D., Universität Helmstedt, 1799
- Christian Ludwig Gerling, Dr. phil., Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, 1812
- Julius Plücker, Ph.D., Philipps-Universität Marburg, 1823
- C. Felix (Christian) Klein, Dr. phil., Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, 1868
- Philipp Furtwängler, Ph.D., Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, 1896
- Nikolaus Hofreiter, Dr. phil., Universität Wien, 1927
- Edmund Hlawka, Dr. phil., Universität Wien, 1938
- Hermann Adolf Maurer, Ph.D., Technische Universität Wien, 1965
- Hans-Peter Kriegel, Dr. rer. nat., Universität Fridericiana zu Karlsruhe, 1976
- Bernhard Seeger, Dr.-Ing., Universität Bremen, 1989
- Jens-Peter Dittrich, Dr. rer. nat., Philipps-Universität Marburg, 2002
- Marcos Antonio Vaz Salles, Ph.D., Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, 2008
- Me, getting mentored in 2013
Daniel Grosu, an Associate Professor at Wayne State University has managed to track the mentor lineage through Palamas and even further back to John Mauropous (990-1092), who was a scholar at the University of Constantinople. He was a Byzantine Greek poet, hymnographer and author of letters and orations, living in the 11th century AD. Other scholars have since then tracked the lineage further back to Sharaf al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī, an astronomer living in 12th century Persia. And that is where the tale ends. For now.