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CRITICAL AND HISTORICAL,
OF THE MOST EMINENT PERSONS OF ALL AGES, COUNTRIES, CON-
PRINTED FOR J. JOHNSON, ST. PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD; G.' AND J. ROBINSON, PATER-NOSTER-ROW;
AND COLBERT, CAPEL-STREET, DUBLIN.
HAAS, JOHN MATTHEW, a celebrated geo
grapher and mathematician, was born at Augsburg in 1684. Having completed the first part of his education, he was sent to Helmstadt to study theology; but the mathematics being his favourite pursuit, after defending in a public thesis a treatise which he wrote on the geometry of the Chinese, he removed to Leipsic, where he applied to the mathematics with great diligence and success. In 1707 he obtained the degree of master of arts, and soon after returned to the place of his nativity, where he became private tutor in a gentleman's family. While in this situation, he constructed several maps, which were afterwards engraven, and which gained him great applause among the learned. Some years after, he attended one of his pupils to Leipsic; and, in 1716, had the honour of being admitted a member of the faculty of philosophy, but without any salary. He now abandoned philosophy as a profession, and devoted himself entirely to the mathematics. His situation, however, at Leipsic, where he supported himself merely by teaching, was not the most agreeable; but, in 1720, he was so fortunate as to obtain an appointment at Wittenberg, where he soon distinguished himself by an ingenious and well-written treatise on gauging, which was published in 1728, under the title of " Doliorum Dimensiones, sive Pithometria." But he was indebted for the greatest share of the celebrity he acquired to his maps; the prin
cipal object of which was to exhibit with more
accuracy the situation of countries at that time little known. On this account his maps of Hungary, Russia, China, and Africa, were much esteemed. Busching gives them the character of being constructed with uncommon care and critical accuracy. That of Russia, entitled "Tabula Imperii Russici & Tartaria Universæ," excited the astonishment of the Russians themselves; and Busching says, that, in regard to the projection, it may be considered as a model. It was received with great approbation by the Imperial Academy of Sciences at Petersburgh. Another work, which gained him considerable credit, was his "Descriptio Geographica & Historica Regni Davidici & Salomonæi, cum Delineatione Syriæ & Ægypti, &c." Norimb. 1739 & 1745, fol. cum fig. Being convinced, as all those who have studied history must be, that it is impossible to form any proper idea of the variations and changes which have taken place in regard to the origin and downfal of kingdoms, and the emigrations of different nations and tribes, without a thorough knowledge of geography, and the assistance of good maps, constructed according to the different periods of history, he laboured for many years on a work of this kind, part of which was published under the title of "Prodromus Historiarum: sive, Prodromus Theatri summorum Imperiorum; hoc est, Historia Politicæ universalis, potioris, & principalis, &c." Leips.