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Buteo, Johannes

1. Dates
Born: Charpey (France), ca. 1492
Died: Canar (France), between 1564-1572
Dateinfo: Both Dates Uncertain
Lifespan: 80
2. Father
Occupation: Aristocrat
His father, a seigneur d'Espenel, was from a noble family of Germany which had twenty children.
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: France
Career: France
Death: France
4. Education
Schooling: Paris
He studied languages and mathematics. In 1522 he was sent to Paris, where he studied under Oronce Finé.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic
He was a monk of the order of St. Antoine de Viennois.
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Mathematics
Buteo's fame rests only on his books, published after he was sixty years old. His most important book , the Logistica, deals with arithmetic and algebra. In other books he discussed mechanical, arithmetical, and geometrical problems, criticizing errors of many his contemporaries, particularly in terminological questions.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Church Life
Buteo entered the Abbaye de St.-Antoine about 1508. He was abbot during two of his years there. In 1562, he left the monastery because of the civil war and took refuge in Romans- sur-Isere. He died near there of boredom (according to Moreri, of grief).
Shortly after his return to St. Antoine in 1528, he was provided with the commandery of St. Croix-en-Guint. For a short period he was acting abbot of St. Chamond.
8. Patronage
Type: Court Official
Moreri implies that the Dauphin was a patron. Buteo had a nice house from the Dauphin at the abbey but was obliged to flee during the civil war because of the trouble that the strife caused to the royalty, particularly the Dauphin.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Instruments
Moreri says that he was skilled at making musical instruments and new machines.
Nouvelle biographie générale says that he invented many mathematical instruments.
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
He was a solitary figure. He had no pupils, and his critism must have estranged other mathematicians.
  1. L.Moreri, Le grand dictionaire historique, (Paris, 1740), 2, under "Botéon, Jean," 368-9.
  2. Nouvelle biographie générale, 7, 898-9.
  3. Dictionnaire de biographie française, 6, 1115.
Not Available and Not Consulted
  1. Thou, Histoire universelle ... depuis 1543 jusqu'en 1610, The Hague, 1740), III, p.493.
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue cannot answer email on geneological questions.

©1995 Al Van Helden
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