Early Life


Carl Friedrich Gauss was born on 30 April 1777 in Braunschweig, in the duchy of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (now in Niedersachsen/Lower Saxony), as the only child of poor working-class parents, Gerhard Dietrich und Dorothea Gauß (mother neeé Benze)

His mother was almost illiterate and never recorded the date of his birth, remembering only that he had been born on a Wednesday, eight days before the Feast of the Ascension, which itself occurs 40 days after Easter. Gauss would later solve this puzzle for his birthdate in the context of finding the date of Easter, deriving methods to compute the date in both past and future years.

He was christened and confirmed in a church near the school he attended as a child.