1700. Abelfalva (today: Abelova, Slovakia) – 26.
March 1750. Trencsen
(today: Trencin, Slovakia)
He was born in an old aristocrat
Hungarian family, his father was an evangelist minister.
He knew Matyas Bel through his father,
Bel was teaching at Besztercebanya and most probably also
taught Mikoviny in grammar school. Mikoviny studied at the
University of Altdorf than Jena until 1723. He mastered
his knowledge of mathematics, astrology and cartography
during his travels around Europe. He also made artistic
copperplate engravings for the description of several German
He was continuously working
on the map-making of Hungary, at the beginning for his plans
on regulating water-ways and measuring the property of land-owners.
In 1731 (probably on Matyas Bel’s
advice), III. Charles charged him to help in the research
of Notitita by making
a map of Hungary. In 1732, his greatest work, Epistola de
Methodo Concinnandarum Mapparum Hungariae, a fictitious
letter written to Matyas Bel, was published in Bratislava.
In this he described the method of making maps, the cartographic
principles and the practical process. For the high standard
of this work, Mikoviny was awarded membership at the Science
Academy of Berlin in 1735.
In 1735 he became a teacher at the
Mining Academy of
Selmec. From than he was teaching during the training
season, and in the summer he carried on with his practical
work. Soon his students were helping him in the process
of map-making. He taught mathematics, mechanics, hydraulics
To satisfy the needs of the
mines at Selmec, he built
a 60 km long system of lakes consisting 16 lakes. This can
still be seen today (Selmec and its region is a part of
the world heritage). The 7 million cubic meters of water
that was held in these lakes made sure that the machinery
run by water could work even during drought. Later on he
was charged to build storage lakes at Hodritsch and Rossgrund.
He died during the regulation of the river
Vag near Trencsen in 1750. In his works he calls himself
“Nobilis Hungarus” (Hungarian noble) and “Mikoviny Samuel
Magyar Ingeniour”(Samuel Mikoviny, Hungarian engineer).