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Ruel, Jean

1. Dates
Born: Soissons, 1474
Died: Paris, 1537
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 63
2. Father
Occupation: No Information
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: French
Career: French
Death: French
4. Education
Schooling: Unknown, M.D.
He was self-taught in Greek and Latin. Although few details are known of his life, it is known that he studied medicine and received his M.D. in 1508. (Hazon cites 1502 as the date he received his M.D.). I assume a B.A. or its equivalent.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic
When his wife died he entered holy orders so he could devote himself entirely to his studies. Etienne Porcher, Bishop of Paris, obtained for Ruel a canonry at Notre-Dame. Upon his death Ruel was buried at Notre-Dame.
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Medicine, Pharmacology, Botany
Although Ruel's works were compilations of the works of earlier authors, they represented a first attempt at popularizing botany. In 1516 he published a translation of Dioscorides' De materia medica. De medicina veterina (1530) was a Latin compilation of everything written in Greek on veterinary medicine. His botanical work, De natura stirpium presented an alphabetical ordering of plants; provided information on odors and tastes of plants; and separated each topic (i.e. leaves, bark, etc.) into its own chapter. As an etymological source Ruel's work was unreliable because it relied on ancient authors.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Church Life, Patronage, Medicine
Secondary: Academia
1508-9, regent at Paris.
In 1509, he became the physician to Francis I.
He became a canon at Notre-Dame which freed him from material concerns.
The entry for medical practice is frankly speculation. It is not mentioned, but I have been unable to believe that he became physician to Francis without establishing a reputation as a physician.
8. Patronage
Types: Court Official, Eccesiastic Official
He was a physician to Francis I.
Etienne Porcher, Bishop of Paris, obtained for Ruel a canonry at Notre-Dame.
9. Technological Involvement
Types: Medical Practice, Pharmacology
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
  1. Michaud, Biographie générale.
  2. Antoine L.J. Bayle and _____ Thillaye, Biographie médicale, (Glasgow, 1906).
  3. Hoefer, Nouvelle biographie générale, (Paris, 1857-66).
  4. J.A. Hazon, ed., Notice des hommes les plus célèbres de la Faculté de Médecine en l'Université de Paris, (Paris 1778).
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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