He was partly Czech (on his mother side) but for the world he was known as Spaniard (his father was a Spaniard, his mother was Czech noblewoman from Lobkovic). He was born in Madrid (23 May 1606) and died in Vigevano, Italy (8 September 1682). At one time, he was a Catholic bishop in Bohemia, but for his views was at odds with Jesuits. He was well known scientist and he corresponded with Marci and Kircher. Among other things, he was interested in mathematics and Asian languages, especially Chinese (that was probably the reason he exchanged letters with Kircher).
Picture courtesy of http://pagesperso-orange.fr/caramuel/
He entered the Order of Cistercians in Spain and later moved to Flanders where he obtained a doctorate of theology at the University of Louvain. He had to leave later because of the Palatinate war and was accepted in the Court of Ferdinand III (who was once taught by Mnishovsky) in Vienna. Later again he was made an Abbot in Scotland and later still in Vienna. Eventually, he became the archvicar in Prague.
In 1648 he defended with musket the barricade on Charles Bridge in Prague against the Swedes and for his heroism he got from Emperor the golden chain - while Marci got (for the same heroism) his title "de Kronland". He became a bishop of Hradec Kralove region, Bohemia and later an archbishop in Otranto, Italy and died as a bishop of Vigevano, Italy. He wrote about 262 works on grammar, poetry, rhetoric, mathematics (mainly combinatorics and probability), on astronomy, architecture, physics, logic, metaphysics, theology, etc.
More about his work can be found in this page Unfortunately, some works quoted there are not available on Net. There are some very interesting data and documents from that website which I believe should be investigating further:
- 1644 Letter to Marci, 26th June (Mathesis biceps, vol I, 479a)
- 1644 (9th July, from Speyer, Germany) letter to Descart (published by Pastine, 187-188) More of the same letters with same dates: a letter to Marci, to Count Martinic, to friends in Louvain (Adrianus Crommius, Jan de Jonghe, The Ignatius Kennis, Ludovicus Schildere, Franciscus de Cleyn), Jan Jongelinus, Fernando Nifo (documented in Velarde Lombrana 1989, 126).
- 1644 (26th July, Speyer, a letter to Kircher (Rome, APUG, Ms.. 556, Carteggio Kircher II, f. 365-365, published by Cenal 1953, 122-124).
- 1644 (10th September, Frankenthal) letter to Pierre Gassendi (published in Gassendi, Opera, IV, 480) and a letter to Marci (Mathesis biceps, 469).
- 1647 (Spring, Prague) Caramuel came to Prague and settled in the monastery Emauzy Monastery (plausible date suggested by Velarde Lombrana 1989, 200). During that time, he became a close friend of Jan Marcus Marci (see ThMF, § 1623, Rome 1656, II, 109).
- 1647 ( 24th October, Prague, Emauzy, he wrote the book: Authoris de projecto pacis, ab Excellentissimis Dominis plenipotentiariis exhibito iudicium, printed in SR Imperii Pax licita demonstrata. Editio tertia (Vienna 1649, 164-166).
-1650 (28th March, Prague) letter to Marci (Theologia moralist fundamentalis, Rome 1656, I, 129; of Editio Tertio, Lyons 1657, 101-102).
- 1650 (Easter, Prague, Emauzy: Declaration of papal authority (Theologia moralis fundamentalis, Rome 1656, I, 95: "Pragae in Caesarea Montisserati Monasterio pridie solennitatem paschatis Anno 1650"; similar version in theology moralis fundamentalis. Editio Tertio, Lyons 1657, 75).
- 1653 (16th January, Prague, Emauzy) The first letter to François de la Bonne Esperance, OCD (reprinted in Noctua Belgica ad aquilam Germanicam, Louvain 1657, np).
- 1653 (8th November, Prague, Emauzy), the second letter to François de la Bonne Esperance, OCD (reprinted in noctua Belgica ad aquilam Germanicam, Louvain 1657, np).
- 1654, 4th February: Caramuel's theology moralis fundamentalis (first published in Frankfurt 1652) The work was condemned by Jesuits.
- 1654 (4th May, Prague, Emauzy) letter to Pietro Francesco Passerinimu ( (repr. in Passerini's Schedarium liberale, Piacenza, 1659)
- 1655 (April: Caramuel left Prague for Rome. His travel itinerary (Prague, Bratislava, Trieste, Venice) is documented in a letter sent to Pope Alexander VII (Vatican Library, ASV, Segretario di Stato, Particolari, 30, f. 365r,)
- 1657 (he returns to Prague, 8th May, Prague, Emauzy: letter to Alexander VII (Vatican Library, ASV, Segretario di Stato, Vescovi,, 43, f. 90R-v,).
In 2006, the conference was held in the Czech Republic under the auspices of the Academy of Sciences and the diocese of Hradec Králové, devoted to the work Juan Caramuel, see here, also available in English.
Note 1: In 1635 Ferdinand III of Spain invited the Benedictines from Montserrat to Prague and they settled in Emauzy. In his books Caramuel called the monastery as "of Monsterrat", although the monastery was built originally by Charles IV for Balkan Benedictines. Note2: There is one quote in Schoenberg Center Archive: "The earliest cryptographic treatise by a Spaniard appears to be the Steganographia of Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz (Madrid, 1606-1682), a mathematician, and was not published until 1635 in Latin and in Cologne, Germany."
There is apparently more we can learn about Caramuel and his friendship with Marci. He came to Prague ten years after Baresch wrote his first letter to Kircher. There is also a remote possibility he might have learned about the VM and even seen it.