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Denis, Jean-Baptiste

1. Dates
Born: Paris, ca 1640
Died: 3 Oct. 1704
Dateinfo: Birth Uncertain
Lifespan: 64
2. Father
Occupation: Engineer
His father was Louis XIV's chief engineer. Niceron says that his father made water pumps.
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: French
Career: French
Death: French
4. Education
Schooling: Montpelier, M.D.
Studied medicine at Montpellier, no record of any degree. Both Niceron and Hoefer say that he received an M.D., however. I assume a B.A. or its equivalent.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic (assumed)
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Medicine
Subordinate: Astrology
He is remembered for his transfusion experiments. He performed the transfusion of blood on dogs and on men in 1667 and 1668.
He published a Discours sur l'astrologie judicaire et sur les horoscopes (1669).
7. Means of Support
Primary: Patronage, Medicine, Schoolmastering
After receiving his degree, Denis was attached to the Chambre royal. He had the title of ordinary consulting physician to the king. Although I did not find explicit mention, everything suggests a medical practice as well.
He taught philosophy and mathematics in Paris, assuming the title of professor. Beginning in 1664, Denis gave public lectures in physics, mathematics and medicine at his home in Paris.
In 1673 he was invited to England by Charles II, but later returned to France to continue his interests in science and mathematics.
8. Patronage
Type: Court
Charles II invited him to England in 1673. The king wished to learn about transfusion and Denis'other remedies.
He had a relation with Louis XIV (see above), and he published Recueil de mémoires & conferences sur les arts & les sciences, presentées à M. le Dauphin pendant l'année 1672.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Medical Practice
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
He jointed the Montmort group in 1664.
  1. J.P.Niceron, Memoires pour servir a l'histoire des hommes illustres de la republique des lettres, XXXVII, Paris, 1727, pp. 77-81.
  2. Hoefer, Nouvelle biographie générale, (Paris, 1857-66), 13 636.
Not Available and Not Consulted
  1. Jean Astruc, Mémoires pour servir a l'histoire de la Faculté de Montpellier, M.Lorry and P.G.Cavelier, 5, (Paris, 1767), 378.
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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