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Tacquet, Andreas

1. Dates
Born: Antwerp, 23 June 1612
Died: Antwerp, 22 December 1660
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 48
2. Father
Occupation: Merchant
He was son of a merchant. His father died when he was still a young boy, but he left the family with some means.
I take that to mean affluence at least.
3. Nationality
Birth: Belgian Area
Career: Belgian Area
Death: Belgian Area
4. Education
Schooling: Religous Order, D.D.
He spent seven years receiving an excellent education in the Jesuit colleg of his native town.
He spent four years (1631-5) studying logic, physics and mathematics at Louvain. I am convinced from the details of his career that Tachenius was located in the Jesuit college at Louvain, and should be seen as a student of the order, not of the university.
From 1634-5 he was a student of and secretary to Gregorius St. Vincent.
He studied theology at Louvain from 1640-4. As an ordained Jesuit professed of the fourth vow, he would have had a doctorate in theology.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic
He entered the Jesuit order in 1629. He spent two years as a novice in Malines. On 1 November 1646, he took his vows.
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Mathematics
Tacquet's importance was mainly pedagogical. His books taught elementary mathematics to many generations of readers. Most of his works were written as textbooks for Jesuit colleges and had no pretensions to originality. His Elementa geometriae was his most popular work going through several editions in the 17th and 18th centuries. The main importance of his Cylindricorum et annularium was its concern for method. His Opera mathematica was published posthumously and contained many previously printed works, some unprinted works, and his Astronomia (which I gather was also a textbook exercise).
7. Means of Support
Primary: Church Life, Patronage
After his preliminary training he taught humanities in various Jesuit colleges.
1637-9, Greek and poetry at Bruges.
1643-4, chair of mathematics at Louvain.
1644-5, mathematics at Louvain.
1645-9, 1655-60, mathematics at Antwerp.
1649-55, mathematics at Louvain and chair again.
In 1655 he returned to Antwerp to direct the studies of the young prince Henri Jules de Bourbon.
8. Patronage
Type: Aristrocrat
Among his many students at his Jesuit posts were several from the noble families of Poland, Bohemia, France, and other nations.
In 1655 he was called back to Antwerp by his superiors to take over the direction of the young Prince de Bourbon's schooling.
9. Technological Involvement
Types: None
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
Daniel Seghers acted as a go between for Tacquet and Huygens. He sent Tacquet's work to Huygens which started the correspondence between Tacquet and Huygens.
Among the principal mathematicians of his time that he corresponded with were Huygens and Van Schooten.
  1. H. Bosmans, "Tacquet", Biographie nationale (Belgian) 24, cols.
  2. 440-64.
  3. H. Bosmans, "Le Jesuite mathematicien anversois André Tacquet (1612-1660)", Gulden Passer, 3 (1925) 63-87.
  4. _____, "André Tacquet et son traité," Isis, 9 (1927), 66-82.
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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