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Dechales, Claude F. M.

1. Dates
Born: Chambéry (Savoy), 1621
Died: Turin, 28 march 1678
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 57
2. Father
Occupation: No Information
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: French
Career: French, Italian
Death: Italian
4. Education
Schooling: Religous Order, D.D.
As a full Jesuit he would have had both the equivalent of a B.A. within the order, and a doctorate in theology.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic
He became a Jesuit in 1636 and was for a time a missionary in Turkey.
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Mathematics
Dechales is best remembered for his Cursus seu mundus mathematicus, a complete course of mathematics, including practical geometry, mechanics, statics, geography, magnetism, architecture, optics, astronomy, natural philosophy, and music.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Church Life
Secondary: Academia, Patronage
For some time he was a Jesuit missionary in Turkey.
He read public mathematical lectures at the Collège de Clermont at Paris for four years. I am almost certain that this was the Jesuit institution.
After teaching at Lyons and Chambery, he moved to Marseilles (always in Jesuit colleges), where he taught the arts of navigation and millitary engineering and the practical applications of mathematics to science. In Marseilles he was appointed Royal Professor of Hydrography by Louis XIV.
From Marseilles he went to Turin, where he was appointed professor of mathematics at the university. He died there.
8. Patronage
Type: Court Official
See the appointment by Louis XIV above as well as the chair in Turin, which had to have been due to the Duke of Savoy.
9. Technological Involvement
Types: Navigation, Military Engineering
He taught the arts of navigation and military engineering.
I am not listing cartography because I have not found any explicit reference to it; however, note that appointment as royal hydrographer.
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
Correspondence with Hevelius, Huygens, and Cardinal Bona, among others, survives.
  1. Moritz Cantor, Vorlesungen uber die Geschichte der Mathematik, 3, (Leipzig, 1913), 4-6, 15-19. QA26 .C2
  2. Dictionnaire de biographie Française, 10, 476.
  3. Joseph MacDonnell, Jesuit Geometers, (Vatican City, 1989).
Not Available and Not Consulted
  1. Hutton, Philosophical and mathematical Dictionary, 1, (London, 1815), 395-396.
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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