The birthdate of Gotthold Eisenstein is Apr. 16, 1823 as is stated in the Wikipedia. But a letter(whose recipient is Gauss) of Encke on Oct. 11, 1852 clearly states that the birthdate of Eisenstein is Apr. 10(see the last page of the quoted letter). The date is also implied by the calculation of Gauss on the same page of the letter.

Question: What is the exact birthdate of Eisenstein?

  • $\begingroup$ Your letter appears to be badly "outvoted" by direct and secondary references from said Wikipedia page. You need a good reason to trust the accuracy of the letter-writer, who may well have used an incorrect source himself $\endgroup$ Jul 6 '18 at 13:27
  • $\begingroup$ The letter, which comes from Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, is not "my letter", but the letter written by the very close friend of Gauss and a contemporary of Gotthold Eisenstein, Johann Franz Encke. The letter is also quoted by A. Galle in his "Gauss als Zahlenrechner" in 1917(see p. 7 of the document). The earliest document which stated Apr. 16 should be the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie in 1877, which is 20 years later than Encke's letter. $\endgroup$
    – zy_
    Jul 6 '18 at 16:25
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    $\begingroup$ Adding to Francois Ziegler's pointer: This work from 1895 reproduces the original German text of Eisenstein's CV, starting at p. 146: "Curriculum Vitae des Gotth. Ferdinand Eisenstein". On p. 148 one reads: "Das Licht der Welt erblickte ich am 16. April des Jahres 1823 in Berlin." $\endgroup$
    – njuffa
    Jul 6 '18 at 23:28
  • $\begingroup$ @FrancoisZiegler@njuffa:Ah! Thank you for your great remarks! I knew the English translation of that CV. I should have read the CV more carefully. Then it is very likely that Encke made a mistake in his letter. Maybe he mistook "6" for "0" in the source of Eisenstein's birthday. I also take a look at the letters that Eisenstein wrote to Gauss. "0" and "6" are completely different in Eisenstein's handwriting(e.g. see gauss.adw-goe.de/handle/gauss/2580). $\endgroup$
    – zy_
    Jul 7 '18 at 0:40

(Moving my comment here, to take this off the unanswered list:) Wikipedia links a pdf The life of Gotthold Ferdinand Eisenstein which translates, from his Mathematische Werke (1975), a 1843 CV where he wrote

I first saw the light of day on April sixteenth, in the year 1823 in Berlin.


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