CLERC (John le)

, a celebrated writer and universal scholar, was born at Geneva in 1657. After passing through the usual course of study at Geneva, he went to France in 1678; but returning the year after, he took holy orders. In 1682 Le Clerc visited England, to learn the language: but the smoky air of London not agreeing with his lungs, he soon returned to Holland, where he settled; and was appointed professor of philosophy, polite literature, and the Hebrew tongue, in the school at Amsterdam. Here he long continued | to read lectures; for which purpose he drew up and published his Logic, Ontology, Pneumatology, and Natural Philosophy. He published also Ars Critica; a Commentary on the Old Testament; a Compendium of Universal History; an Ecclesiastical History of the two first centuries; a French translation of the New Testament, and other works. In 1686, he began, jointly with M. de la Crose, his Bibliotheque Universelle et Historique, in imitation of other literary journals; which was continued to the year 1693, making 26 volumes. In 1703 he began his Bibliotheque Choisie, and continued it to 1714, when he commenced another work on the same plan, called Bibliotheque Ancienne et Moderne, which he continued to the year 1728; all of them justly esteemed excellent stores of useful knowledge. He published also, in 1713, a neat little treatise on Practical Geometry, in 2 vols. small 8vo, called, Pratique de la Geometric, sur le papier et sur le terrain. In 1728 he was seized with a palsy and fever; and, after spending the last six years of his life with little or no understanding, he died in 1736, at 79 years of age.

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Entry taken from A Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary, by Charles Hutton, 1796.

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CLAIRAULT (Alexis-Claude)
CLAVIUS (Christopher)
* CLERC (John le)