1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Fernel, Jean François

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FERNEL, JEAN FRANÇOIS (1497–1558), French physician, was born at Clermont in 1497, and after receiving his early education at his native town, entered the college of Sainte-Barbe, Paris. At first he devoted himself to mathematical and astronomical stuclies; his Cosmotheoria (1528) records a determination of a degree of the meridian, which he made by counting the revolutions of his carriage wheels on a journey between Paris and Amiens. But from 1534 he gave himself up entirely to medicine, in which he graduated in 1530. His extraordinary general erudition, and the skill and success with which he sought to revive the study of the old Greek physicians, gained him a great reputation, and ultimately the office of physician to the court. He practised with great success, and at his death in 1558 left behind him an immense fortune. He also wrote Monalosphaerium, sive astrolabii genus, generalis horarii structura et usus (1526); De proportionibus (1528); De evacuandi ratione (1545); De abditis rerum causis (1548); and Medicina ad Henricum II. (1554).