Richer, Peter De Belleval

, an ingenious French botanist, was born in 1558, at Chalons in Champagne, and studied medicine. The humane and skilful services he rendered to the people of Pezenas, during an epidemic disorder, recommended him to the patronage of the constable de Montmorency, by whose interest he was appointed professor of botany and anatomy in the university of Montpellier, and Henry IV. committed to him the care of establishing a public garden in that university. This design was executed in the most skilful and splendid manner. Belleval published a catalogue of the garden in 1598, and a French treatise, in 1605, recommending an inquiry into the native plants of Languedoc. This last was accompanied by five plates, intended as a specimen of a future work, for which he subsequently prepared a number of engravings, rude and stiff in execution, but exhibiting many rare species. He never lived to publish these, and the plates remained neglected in the hands of his family, till Gouan recovered them, and sent impressions to Linnaeus. At length Gillibert obtained the plates, and published them in 1796. The two pamphlets above mentioned were republished in 1785, by the celebrated and unfortunate Broussonet; along with a treatise on the white mulberry, by Olivier de Serres, originally printed in 1603. Richer de Belleval lived to see his garden destroyed by the fury of civil war, and was beginning to restore it, when he died in 1623. His nephew accomplished the re-establishment of the garden, on a more extensive scale. M. Dorthes of Montpellier published, in 1786, “Recherches sur la Vie et les Ouvrages de Pierre Richer de Belleval,” in which every thing that could be collected on the subject is recorded. Some writers erroneously mention Belleval as the first botanist who gave copper-plate figures of plants. This honour is due to Fabius Columns, whose “Phytobasanos” appeared in 1592. We must not omit to mention, | that Scopoli has named a genus BeUcvalio t a name, or something like it, which Belleval himself was fond of giving to the lily of the valley. 1

11ICIUS (Paul), was a learned German Jew, who, having been converted, taught philosophy with great credit at Padua, and was afterwards invited into Germany, by the emperor Maximilian, and appointed one of his physicians. There are no particulars of his life upon record, except the above general facts. He published many works against the Jews, and on different subjects, in which he maintains that the heavens are animated, and advances other paradoxes. “De Ccelesti Agricultural,’' Bas. 1587, in folio;” Talmudica Commentariola,“Augsburg, 1519, 4to;” De 73 Mosaicae Sanctionis Edictis," Augsburg, 1515, 4to. His candour, honesty, moderation, and learning, are much praised. He lived in the sixteenth century, and Erasmus has given his eulogy in the last letter of his first book. 2

2

Gen. Dict. —Moreri. —Dict. Hist.