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Carl Friedrich Gauss

Also, since I am in possession of thoroughly reliable source material from which this sketch is drawn, I wish to correct certain erroneous rumors which have been given publicity. Now I give it to the public, hoping it may find a friendly reception among the many students and admirers of the great mathematician, and may also create a wider interest. From time to time in world history highly gifted, rarely endowed natures have stepped forth from the murk of their surroundings and through the creative force of their minds and the energy of their achievements have exercised a surpassing influence upon the spiritual development of nations. They stand like boundary stones between different centuries. From them new trends have come into Man's civilization. As such pioneer spirits we have in the history of mathematics and the natural sciences Archimedes of Syracuse for ancient times, Newton after the close of the Middle Ages, and for our day Gauss, whose life was ended this year, 1855, on the 23rd day of February. During his life we saw in him an extraordinary Spirit, mightily striving, richly endowed by nature with very great gifts. To his profound power of thought was added an amazing memory. He had moreover a strength of will which carried him through seemingly impossible tasks.