WOBO: Search for words and phrases in the texts here...

Enter either the ID of an entry, or one or more words to find. The first match in each paragraph is shown; click on the line of text to see the full paragraph.

Currently only Chalmers’ Biographical Dictionary is indexed, terms are not stemmed, and diacritical marks are retained.

of his own. The same books were afterwards published in Greek and Latin at Paris in 1G2I, by Bachet, an ingenious and learned Frenchman, who made a new Latin version

He wrote thirteen books of arithmetic, or algebra, which, Regiomontanus in his preface to Alfraganus tells us, are still preserved in manuscript in the Vatican library. Indeed Diophantus himself tells us that his work consisted of thirteen books, viz. at the end of his address to Dionysius, placed at the beginning of the work; and from hence Regiomontanus might be led to say the thirteen books were in that library. No more than six whole books, with part of a seventh, have ever been published; and it is probable there are no more in being; indeed Bombelli, in the preface to his Algebra, written in 1572, says there were but six of the books then in the library, and that he and another were about a translation of them. Those six books, with the imperfect seventh, were first published at Basil by Xylander in 1575, but in a Latin version only, with the Greek scholia of Maximus Planudes upon the two first books, and observations of his own. The same books were afterwards published in Greek and Latin at Paris in 1G2I, by Bachet, an ingenious and learned Frenchman, who made a new Latin version of the work, and enriched it with very learned commentaries. Bachet did not entirely neglect the notes of Xylander in his edition, but he treated the scholiast Planudes with the utmost contempt. He seems to intimate, in what he says upon the 28th question of the second book, that the six books which we have of Diophantus may be nothing more than a collection made by some novice, of such propositions as he judged proper, out of the whole thirteen but Fabricius thinks there is no just ground for such a supposition. From him certain questions relating to square and cubic numbers, and to right-angled triangles, have been called Diophantine problems, because the nature of them was first and chiefly treated of by him in his arithmetic, or rather algebra.

an ingenious and learned Frenchman, and one of the best writers

, an ingenious and learned Frenchman, and one of the best writers of his time, was born at Paris in 1674. At sixteen he entered into the congregation of the fathers of the oratory, and was afterwards sent to Mans to learn philosophy. That of Aristotle then obtained in the schools, and was the only one which was permitted to be taught; nevertheless Mongault, with some of that original spirit which usually distinguishes men of uncommon abilities from the vulgar, ventured, in a public thesis, which he read at the end of the course of lectures, to oppose the opinions of Aristotle, and to maintain those of Des Cartes. Having studied theology with the same success, he quitted the oratory in 1699; and soon after went to Thoulouse, and lived with Colbert, archbishop of that place, who had procured him a priory in 1698. In 1710 the duke of Orleans, regent of the kingdom, committed to him the education of his son, the duke of Chartres; which important office he discharged so well that he acquired universal esteem. In 1714, he had the abbey Chartreuve given him, and that of Vilieneuve in 1719. The duke of Chartres, becoming colonel-general of the French infantry, chose the abbe* Mongault to fill the place of secretary-general made him also secretary of the province of Dauphiny and, after the death of the regent, his father, raised him to other considerable employments. All this while he was as assiduous as his engagements would permit in cultivating polite literature; and, in 1714, published at Paris;, in 6 vols. 12mo, an edition of “Tully’s Letters to Atticus,” with an excellent French translation, and judicious comment upon them. This work has been often reprinted, and is justly reckoned admirable; for, as Middleton has observed, in the preface to his “Life of Cicero,” the abbe Mongault “did not content himself with the retailing the remarks of other commentators, or out of the rubbish of their volumes with selecting the best, but entered upon his task with the spirit of a true critic, and, by the force of his own genius, has happily illustrated many passages which all the interpreters before him had given tip as inexplicable.” He published also a very good translation of “Herodian,” from the Greek, the best edition of which is that of 1745, in 12mo. He died at Paris, Aug. 15, 1746, aged almost seventy-two.