Jacob Bernoulli's tomb in Basel

Jacob Bernoulli was so impressed by the equiangular or logarithmic spiral that he called it the spira mirabilis.

In particular, he was impressed that the curve is "self-similar". That is, any expansion of the curve will produce the same curve.

He wanted it carved on his tombstone with the Latin motto Eadem mutata resurgo [Although changed, I will rise again the same].

Unfortunately, the mason who did the carving misunderstood the instructions and gave him an Archimedean spiral instead.


The inscription can be translated as:

Jacob Bernoulli
Incomparable mathematician
Professor at the University of Basel
For more than
18 years
Member of the Royal Academies of Paris and Berlin
Famous for his writings
Of a chronic illness, of sound mind to the end
Died in the year of grace
1705, the 16th of August
At the age of
50 years and 7 months
Awaiting the resurrection
Judith Stupanus
His wife for
20 years
And his two children
erected a monument to the husband and father
they miss so much.