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Duhamel, Jean-Baptiste

1. Dates
Born: Vire (France), 11 June 1623 (DBF says 1624)
Died: France, 6 Aug. 1706
Dateinfo: Birth Uncertain
Lifespan: 83
2. Father
Occupation: Lawyer
Nicolas DuHamel was a lawyer.
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: French
Career: French
Death: French
4. Education
Schooling: Caen, Paris
He began his studies in rhetoric and philosophy in Caen and completed them in Paris. I take this to mean a B.A.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Scientific Organization, Anatomy, Astronomy
Subordinate: Physics, Natural Philosophy
His fame is due primarily to the high office that he held from 1666 to 1697 in the first French Académie. Being the secretary of the Académie Royale des Sciences, he assisted in preserving the Academy, and published the first printed summary of its history.
He published several works in anatomy and in astronomy. In the latter field: Elementa astronomice (1642) and Astronmia physica (1659). Also, De meteores . . .
7. Means of Support
Primary: Academia, Church Life, Scientific Society
Secondary: Patronage
Admitted to the Institution de l'Oratoire in Paris in 1643.
Taught philosophy at the Collège Universitaire of Angers, 1644-1652.
Instructed the young Oratorians in positive theology in the rue St.Honore, 1652-1653.
Parish priest in Neuilly-sur-Marne, 1653-1663.
Royal chaplain, 1656- .
Prof. of Greek and Latin Philosophy at the Collège Royale, 1657.
Chancellor to the bishop of Bayeux in Paris, 1663-1666.
Secretaty of the Académie Royale des Sciences, 1666-1697.
Pensionary anatomist of the AR, 1699-1706.
Professor of Greek and Latin philosophy at the College de France, 1682-1706.
8. Patronage
Types: Court Official, Eccesiastic Official, Government Official, Aristrocrat
He was appointed royal chaplain in 1656.
He was chancellor of the bishop of Bayeux after 1663.
It was Colbert who proposed him for the Académie in 1666.
Cardinal Antoine Barberin, Grand Almoner of France, made Duhamel almoner to the king in 1656. The Cardinal was apparently a continuing patron.
In 1668 Colbert de Croissy, plenipotentiary of the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, took Duhamel to England, where de Croissy was ambassador. Duhamel also spent some time in the Netherlands.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: None
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: Académie Royal des Sciences, 1666-1706
Secretary of AR, 1666-1697.
Pensionary anatomist, 1699-1706.
  1. Fontenelle, "Éloge de Mr. du Hamel", L'Histoire et mémoires de l'Académie royale des sciences, pt.1, (Paris, 1707), pp.142- 153.
  2. "Mémoire sur la vie et les écrits de J.B. du Hamel, prieur de St.
  3. Lambert", Journal des scavans, supp. (Feb. 1707), pp.88-94.
  4. Microprint Q111 .L2 no .J41; Also Lilly Library.
  5. Dictionnaire de biographie Française, 12, 15-16, P. Humbert, "Les astronomes françaises de 1610 à 1667," Bulletin de la Société d'études scientifiques et archéologiques de Draguignan et du Var, 42 (1942), pp. 5-72.
Not Available and Not Consulted
  1. Louis Battarel, Memoires domestiques pour servir à l'histoire de l'Oratoire, Bonnardet-Ingold, ed., (Paris, 1904), 3, 142-55.
  2. Abbé Augustin Vialard, Le premier secrétaire perpetuel de l"Académie des sciences: J.-B. Du Hamel, (Paris, 1884).
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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