Kazimer Semianovich (Kazimierz Siemienowicz) 
(1600? - 1651?)

Kazimer Semianovich was a famous in Military Engineer, General of Commonwealth of Poland, Lithuania and Rus' (Rzech Pospolita) Crown Artillery. when he had retired he settled in Netherlands. It is here that he started to work on theory of artillery and rocket science. He had wrote (in Latin) an all encompassing textbook on artillery and rocket science - Artis Magne Artilleriae  - Pars Prima - the standard European reference for artillery until the Napoleonic era, which included the first description of multi-stage rockets. This was a classic book of reference for military engineers and rocket builders for 150 years. It contains the mathematical and physical foundations of artillery as well as basic information on the technology of metals and the chemistry of explosives, units of measure. Semianovich suggests here designs of hand grenades, time bombs, It also contains detailed descriptions of many rocket constructions with rules for the composition of explosives according to rocket size and dimension. Semianovich suggests the use of multi-staged rockets, booster rockets, combination of multi-stage rocket with boosters, rockets stabilized by the addition of delta-wings (for more information see J. Thor, "Siemienowicz's Contribution to the Development of 17th and 18th Century Rockets," in Actes du XIe Congrès International d'Histoire des Sciences, Vol. 6 (1968), pp. 215-19. In one year after publishing the Artis Magne Artilleriae was translated from Latin into French. It was later translated in German (1676) and English (1729) 

General Semianovich was probably the first human advanced enough to see the ethical ugliness of chemical and biological warfare. Here's what he writes in Grand Art d'Artillerie (1650), (as quoted by Appfel, J. `Les projectiles toxiques en 1650´, Mar. 1929, p.234.)

[...] and most of all, they shall not construct any poisoned globes, nor other sorts of pyrobolic inventions, in which he shall introduce no poison whatsoever, besides which, they shall never employ them for the ruin and destruction of men, because the first inventors of our art thought such actions as unjust among themselves as unworthy of a man of heart and a real soldier.

Links related to Kazimir Semianovich (Kazimierz Siemienowicz):

Artis Magne Artilleriae  - Pars Prima illustrations
Semianovich page at Brown University
Buy first edition of Semianovich Artis Magne Artilleriae  - Pars Prima for only US $6,500
Biography of Semianovich from Society of Belarusian Language (in Belarusian)
"Famous Names of Fatherland" ("Slavutyia Imiony Bac'kaushchyny" - collection of stories. Issue 1. Composed by U. Hilep and others, Chief Ed. A. Hryckevich - Minsk, BFK, 200. ISBN 985-6523-07-0

Other Relevant Pages of the Virtual Guide to Belarus

Belarusian Castles and Knighthood
Historic Belarusian Battles
Belarusian Statehood 
History of Belarus

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