French physicist and theologian ; b. at Toulouse, 17 July, 1601; d. at Toulouse, 29 October, 1676. His father was dean of the Chancery of that city and his mother's father was professor of medicine at the University of Toulouse. He studied the humanities at the Jesuit college. At the age of eighteen he joined the Order of Minims. His instructor in philosophy was a follower of Aristotle, but Maignan soon began to dispute and oppose all that seemed to him false in Aristotle's teachings, especially of physics. He preferred Plato to Aristotle. He mastered the mathematics of the day, practically without aid from any one. At the end of a few years his ability was recognized by his superiors and he was given charge of the instruction of novices. In 1636 he was called to Rome by the general of the order to teach mathematics at the convent of the Trinità dei Monti. There he lived for fourteen years, engaged in mathematics and in physical experiments, and publishing his work on gnomonics and perspective. In 1650 he returned to Toulouse and was made provincial. When his tree years were up, he was glad to devote himself entirely to his studies. When Louis XIV, having seen his machines and curiosities at Toulouse, invited him to Paris, in 1669, through Cardinal Mazarin, he begged to be allowed to pass his life in the seclusion of the convent. His published works are: "Perspectiva horaria, sive de horologiographia, tum teorica, tum practica" (4 vols., Rome, 1848); "Cursus philosophicus" (1st ed., 4 vols., Toulouse, 1652; 2nd ed. with changes and additions, Lyons, 1673); "Sacra philosophia entis supernaturalis" (Lyons, 1662, 1st vol., and 1672, 2nd vol.); "Dissertatio theologica de usu licito pecuniæ" (Lyons, 1673). This dissertation seemed to authorize usury and was therefore censured by a number of bishops.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online