A French mathematician, born at Bouligneux (Ain), 1640; died in Paris, 3 April, 1717. He came of a rich family which had renounced the Jewish for the Catholic religion. From the same family sprang the better known Antoine-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 Lyons, 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 Leibnitz. "Récréations", translated later into English and well known today, was published in 1694. He was elected member of the Academy of 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.
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 gaming. 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. Among his chief works are: "Table des sinus, tangentes, et sécantes" (Lyons, 1670); "Methode générale pour tracer des cadrans" (Paris, 1673); "Geometrie pratique" (Paris, 1684); "Traité des lignes du premier genre" (Paris, 1687); "De l'usage du compas" (Paris, 1688); "Dictionnaire mathématique" (Paris, 1691); "Cours de mathématiques" (Paris, 1693, 5 vols., tr. into English, London, 1712); "Traité de la fortification" (Paris, 1694); "Récréations mathématiques et physiques" (Paris, 1694, 2 vols., revised by Montucla, Paris, 1778, 4 vols., tr. by Hutton, London, 1803, 4 vols., revised by Riddle, London, 1844); "Nouvelle Trigonométrie" (Paris, 1698); "Méthode facile pour arpenter" (Paris, 1699); "Nouveaux Eléments d'Algèbre" (Amsterdam, 1702); "La Géographie et Cosmographie" (Paris, 1711); "La Perspective" (Paris, 1711).
St.tecla Holy Card
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