Fine Art


Jacques Ozanam 16 June 1640 in Sainte Olive (Ain), France - 3 April 1718 in Paris was a French mathematician.


Jacques Ozanam was born in Sainte Olive, Ain, France.

He came of a rich family which had renounced the Jewish for the Catholic religion (family legend) . From the same family sprang the better known Frédéric Ozanam. Though he began the study of theology to please his father, he was more strongly attracted to mathematics, which he mastered without the aid of a teacher. At the age of fifteen he produced a mathematical treatise. Upon the death of his father, he gave up theology after four years of study and began, at Lyon, to give free private instruction in mathematics. Later, as the family property passed entirely to his elder brother, he was reluctantly driven to accept fees for his lessons.

In 1670, he published trigonometric and logarithmic tables more accurate than the then existing ones of Ulacq, Pitiscus, and Briggs. An act of kindness in lending money to two strangers secured for him the notice of M. d'Aguesseau, father of the chancellor, and an invitation to settle in Paris. There he enjoyed prosperity and contentment for many years. He married, had a large family, and derived an ample income from teaching mathematics to private pupils, chiefly foreigners.

His mathematical publications were numerous and well received. The manuscript entitled Les six livres de l'Arithmétique de Diophante augmentés et reduits à la spécieuse received the praise of Leibniz. Récréations, translated later into English and well known today, was published in 1694. He was elected member of the Académie des Sciences in 1701. The death of his wife plunged him into deepest sorrow, and the loss of his foreign pupils through the War of the Spanish Succession, reduced him to poverty. He died in Paris on April 3, 1718 (frequently 1717 but it's a error datation when print "éloge de Fontenelle").

Ozanam was honoured more abroad than at home. He was devout, charitable, courageous, and of simple faith. As a young man he had overcome a passion for gambling. He was wont to say that it was for the doctors of the Sorbonne to dispute, for the pope to decide, and for a mathematician to go to heaven in a perpendicular line.

Selected works

* Table des sinus, tangentes, et sécantes (1670)
* Methode générale pour tracer des cadrans (1673)
* Geometrie pratique (1684)
* Traité des lignes du premier genre (1687)
* De l'usage du compas (1688)
* Dictionnaire mathématique (1691)
* Cours de mathématiques (Paris, 1693, 5 vols, tr. into English, London, 1712)
* Traité de la fortification" (Paris, 1694)
* Récréations mathématiques et physiques (1694, 2 vols, revised by Montucla in 1778, 4 vols)
* Nouvelle Trigonométrie (1698)
* Méthode facile pour arpenter (1699)
* Nouveaux Éléments d'Algèbre (1702)
* La Géographie et Cosmographie (1711)
* La Perspective (1711).

External links

* O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Jacques Ozanam", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews, .

This article incorporates text from the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.


Mathematics Encyclopedia

Retrieved from ""
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Hellenica World - Scientific Library