Astruc, John

, a very celebrated French physiciaiTj was born in 1684, at Sauve in the diocese of Alais. His father, who was a Protestant clergyman, bestowed great pains upon his early education, after which he was sent to the university of Montpelier, where he was created M. A, in 1700. He then began the study of medicine; and in two years obtained the degree of bachelor^ having upon that occasion written a dissertation on the cause of fermentation, which he defended in a very able manner. On Jan. 25, 1703, he was created doctor of physic, after which, before arriving at extensive practice, he applied to the study of medical authors, both ancient and modern, with uncommon assiduity. The good effects of this study soon appeared; for in 1710 he published a treatise concerning muscular motion, from which he acquired very high reputation. In 1717 he was appointed to teach medicine at Montpelier, which he did with such perspicuity and eloquence* that his fame soon rose to a very great height; the king assigned him an annual salary, and he was at the same time appointed to superintend the mineral waters in the province of Languedoc. But as Montpelier did not afford sufficient scope for one of his celebrity, he went to Paris with a great numher of manuscripts, which he designed for the press. Soon afterwards, however, he left it, having in 1729 accepted the office of first physician to the king of Poland, which was then offered to him; but here his stay was very short, as he disliked the ceremonious restraint of a court. He again therefore returned to Paris, and upon the death of the celebrated Geoffroy, in 1731, he was appointed regins professor. The duties of this office he discharged in such a manner as toanswer the most sanguine expectations; and he drew, from the other universities to that of Paris, a great concourse of medical students, foreigners as well as natives. At the same time he was not more celebrated as a professor than as a practitioner, and his private character was in all respects truly amiable. He reached a very advanced age, and died May 5, 1766. Of his works, which are very numerous, the following are the principal 1. “Origine de la Peste,1721, 8vo. 2. “De ia Contagion cle la Peste,1724. 8vo. 3. “De Motu Musculari,1710, 12mo. 4. “Memoires pour servir a l’Histoire naturelle cle Languedoc,1737, 4to. 5. “De Morbis Veuereis, libri’sex,1736, 4 to, afterwards enlarged to -t 8vo Vols. and translated into French by Jault, 4 vols. 12mo, | Traitedes maladies desFemmes,1761—1765, 6vols. 12tno. 7. “L’Art crAccoucher reduit a ses principles,1766, 12mo. 8. “Theses de Phantasia,” &c. 9. “De motus Fermentativi causa,1702, 12mo. 10. “Memo ire sur la Digestion,1714, 8vo. 11.“Tractatus Pathologicus,1766, 8vo. Besides these, in 1759 he published “Trait des Tumeurs,” 2 vols. 12mo; and one or two treatises not connected with medicine, one with the singular title of “Conjectures sur les Memoires originaux qui ont servi a Moise pour ecrire la Genese,Paris, 1753, 12mo, and a dissertation on the immateriality and immortality of the Soul, Paris, 1755. His work on the venereal disease, and those on the diseases of women, and on midwifery, have been translated into English. 1

1

Hist.-^Biof Univrseile,EncyClop. Brit.-r-HaUer Bibl. Med. Saxii.