Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/90

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
82THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Unknown Ethiopia attracted his attention, and he engaged with his brother Arnould in archaeological researches. Archæology proved unfruitful, and the two brothers took up geodesy. For eleven years Antoine d'Abbadie traveled though Ethiopia, living the life of the natives, and making himself master of the five Abyssinian dialects. The exploration was difficult and sown with dangers. Antoine d'Abbadie covered the country from Massouah, on the shore of the Red Sea, to the interior of the land of Kaffa, which he was the first to visit, with a triangulation that involved the fixing of five thousand positions at five hundred and twenty-five successive stations. The distance between Massouah and Mount Wocho in southern Kaffa is

PSM V54 D090 Chateau dabbadie.png
Fig. 1.—Château d'Abbadie. General view. (A gift to the French Academy of Sciences.)

about one thousand kilometres, a little more than the crossing of France along the meridian of Paris, and the trigonometric network reached two hundred and fifty kilometres in breadth. Antoine d'Abbadie remained in Gallaland from 1837 to 1848. The labors of the two brothers, too numerous to cite here, concerned also ethnography and linguistics. Both were nominated Chevaliers of the Legion of Honor on the same day, September 27, 1850. The doors of the Academy of Sciences were opened to Antoine d'Abbadie August 27, 1867, and he was named a member of the Bureau des Longitudes in 1878. He was in charge of the observation of the transit of Venus in Santo Domingo in 1882.

Instead of devoting himself to a specialty, as is done now to excess, d'Abbadie pursued the scientific movement in its various forms, and was at once an astronomer, geodesian, archæologist, ethnographer, numismatist, and interested in other fields. With his noble character he made himself esteemed and loved during his whole