Premonstratensian, b. at Senftenberg, Bohemia, 26 March, 1698; d. at Prenditz, Moravia, 21 December, 1765. He was christened Wenceslaus, but took the name of Procopius when he became a religious. He began his studies at the Znaym Gymnasium and later entered the cloister school of the Premonstratensians at Bruck, Styria. In 1726 he was ordained and soon after became professor of philosophy at the school. His lectures on physics were illustrated by numerous interesting experiments. he received the doctorate in theology at Salzburg in 1733, his thesis being "Tractatus de Dei unitate sub inscriptione (Alpha) et (Omega) ". In 1736 he took charge of the little parish of Prenditz near Znaym. Here he had sufficient leisure for work and experiment in his favourite subjects, hydraulics and electricity, constructing the necessary instruments himself. His fame soon spread abroad, and he was called to Vienna to repeat his electrical experiments before the Emperor Francis an the Empress Maria Theresa. He was one of the first to apply electricity in the treatment of disease. In 1750, prior to the publication of the French translation of Franklin's letters to Collinson (1751), he knew of the discharging property of pointed rods and applied his knowledge to the performance of curious tricks. The first lightning-rod was erected by Divisch at Prenditz, in 1754, before Franklin's suggestions were known and before they had been carried out elsewhere. Divisch's device is quite different from that proposed by the Philadelphian. He petitioned the emperor in 1755 to put up similar rods all over the country and thus protect the land from lightning. This proposal was rejected on the advice of the mathematicians of Vienna. He also constructed the Denydor (Denis, "Divisch", d'or , "of gold"), a musical instrument, imitating string and wind instruments and producing orchestral effects. His theories are expounded in his published work, "Theoretischer Tractat oder die längst verlangte Theorie von der meteorologischen Electricität" (Tübingen, 1765; Frankfort, 1768; Bohemian tr. Prague, 1899).
The Magnificat Holy Card
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online