Jean Beaugrand

Born: 1595 in Paris, France
Died: 22 Dec 1640 in Paris, France

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Jean Beaugrand studied under Viète. He became a friend of Fermat and Mersenne. He was also a friend of Desargues but later had a dispute with him.

Beaugrand met Hobbes, Cavalieri, Castelli, Galileo and corresponded with them. He also corresponded frequently with Fermat and it is through this correspondence that Fermat's work became known in Paris.

In 1630 Beaugrand became a Court Official being named mathematician to Gaston of Orleans. Gaston, the third son of King Henry IV, had been made Duke of Orleans in 1626. However he soon came into conflict with Louis XIII and a military conflict resulted. He fled to Lorraine in 1631, then to the Spanish Netherlands in 1632. As with many mathematicians in this period Beaugrand's life was greatly affected by wars and the fate of his employer.

Beaugrand published Geostatique in 1636 and also published on mathematics. As well as mathematics, Beaugrand was interested in astronomy. He observed eclipses and other astronomical events.

Beaugrand claimed that Descartes' work was copied from Harriot. It seems unlikely that this claim is true although many historians still argue over how much Harriot influenced the work of others. It was not the custom of the time to acknowledge sources of ideas as it is today so it is possible that Beaugrand's claim is at least in some small degree true.

References (2 books/articles)

References elsewhere in this archive:

Tell me about his part in the longitude problem

Other Web sites:

Rice University, USA

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JOC/EFR December 1996