Mathematician:Jean-Étienne Montucla

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French mathematician and civil servant best known now for his work on the history of mathematics.

Wrote the first comprehensive history of mathematics, uncompleted at the time of his death.




  • Born: 5 Sept 1725 in Lyon, France
  • 1745: Started studying law at Toulouse, subsequently went to Paris
  • 1761: He went to Grenoble, appointed to position of intendant to Dauphiné
  • 1763: Married Marie Françoise Romand
  • 1764: Posted by French government to Cayenne as royal astronomer and secretary
  • 1765: Returned to France
  • 1766 to 1789: Appointed Head Clerk of Royal Buildings
  • 1775: Appointed Royal Censor of mathematical works
  • 1789: Lost most of his considerable wealth in the French Revolution
  • 1795: Further public appointments
  • Died: 18 Dec 1799 in Versailles, France


  • 1754: Histoire des Récherches sur la Quadrature du Cercle (anonymously)
  • 1756: Recueil de Pièces Concernant l'Inoculation de la Petite Vérole et propres à en Prouver la Sécurité et l'Utilité (with the physician Joseph Morisot-Deslandes) (Review of articles concerning inoculation against smallpox and on demonstrating the safety of the procedure)
  • 1758: Histoire des mathématiques
  • 1778: Re-edited Récréations Mathématiques et Physiques by Jacques Ozanam
  • 1798: Histoire des mathématiques (second edition)