It’s true. Leonhard Euler, author of over sixty volumes of ground-breaking mathematical work, the man called “analysis incarnate”, was indeed part of the historical Frederick universe. After Frederick’s father gutted Prussian academic life (he once sent his Tobacco Club fool to a prestigious university to debate with the professors there a topic along the lines of, “You’re all ponces and scoffworks gifted only at wasting my money. Discuss.”), Frederick went to great pains to put his Berlin Academy on sound footing.

His people told him that Euler was The Mathematician To Get, so he made the offer, and Euler came to Berlin. However, he and Frederick never really got along, as Euler was prone to long-winded pronouncements on religious topics which annoyed and bored Frederick to no end. Lagrange, the other greatest mathematician of his day, who was also lured to the Berlin Academy, was more Frederick’s style for, whenever presented with a religious or political question, he just said, “I don’t know” and left it at that.

So, Euler eventually left to take up residence in Catherine the Great’s court, continuing his monumental work even as he went entirely blind.

Milton. Bach. Euler. Daredevil. Blind people totally rock.

– DvL