Mathematics in the Times of the Ionian Academy (1824-1864)

TitleMathematics in the Times of the Ionian Academy (1824-1864)
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsZoumpos, G
UniversityIonian University
Publication LanguageGreek

During the years of the British “Protection” (1814-1864) the Ionian Islands started enjoying for the first time some degree of educational autonomy, with all three levels of public education functioning while their social and intellectual potential was being fully extended. In this way, the foundations for further development were being gradually laid and with the establishment of the Ionian Academy (1824-1864) a whole new scientific world was added which, in the long run, did also influence the history of the islands.
During the first period (1824-1832) of the Ionian Academy, which coincides with the term of Lord High Commissioner Adam, the figure of Ioannis Karandinos is dominant. In his relatively short academic career he translated some of the most important French books on elementary mathematics of the time and through the influence of his students he is the man who introduced French mathematics into Greek education curricula.
The second period (1833-1844) starts with the retirement of Karandinos and is characterised by a decline of the activity previously achieved in the Academy.
The third period (1845-1855) was characterised by a general decline in all levels of education in the Ionian Islands that went on until the end of the British protection, with a simultaneous shortfall of its liberal characteristics.
In the fourth period (1856-1865) the main figure is Spyridon Katsaitis. Regarding this politically difficult period that led to the unification of the Ionian Islands with Greece, the retrieved data about the teaching of mathematics (but also those regarding the overall function of the Academy) are limited.
In conclusion, the main characteristic of mathematics teaching in the Ionian Academy during the forty years of its existence is a steadfast orientation towards France and its main mathematical personalities. Apart from the local mathematicians, even the Italian Mossotti was deeply influenced in his methodology and conception by the leading French analysts and figures like Laplace, Poisson and Ampere.