Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Stansel, Valentine

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STANSEL (styled by Spanish and Portuguese writers STANCEL, ESTANSEL, and ESTANCEL), Valentine, German astronomer, b. in Moravia in 1621; d. in Bahia, Brazil, 18 Dec., 1705. He became a Jesuit in 1637, and taught rhetoric and mathematics in the colleges of Olmutz and Prague. He was in Brazil in 1664, and took observations of the comets that appeared in that and the following year. He was appointed professor of theology in the Jesuit college of San Salvador, and continued to make astronomical observations, the results of which he sent to Europe. There is a full list of his works in Backer's “Bibliothèque des écrivains de la Compagnie de Jesus” (5th series), in which it is also shown that the dates of his death given in the “Biographie universelle” and other biographical dictionaries are incorrect. His principal writings are “Orbis Alfonsinus” (Evora, 1658); “Legatus uranicus ex orbe novo in veterem; hoc est. Observationes Americanæ cometarum factæ conscriptæ ac in Europam missæ” (Prague, 1683); “Uranophilus cœlestis peregrinus, sive mentis Uranicæ per mundum sidereum peregrinantis ecstases” (Antwerp and Ghent, 1685); and “Mercurius Brasilicus, sive Cœli et soli brasiliensis œconomica.”