1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Montucla, Jean Étienne

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MONTUCLA, JEAN ÉTIENNE (1725-1799), French mathematician, was born at Lyons on the 5th of September 1725. In 1754 he published an anonymous treatise entitled Histoire des recherche sur la quadrature du cercle, and in 1758 the first part of his great work, Histoire des mathématiques, the first history of mathematics worthy of the name. He was appointed intendant secretary of Grenoble in 1758, secretary to the expedition for colonizing Cayenne in 1764, and “premier commis des bâtiments” and censor-royal for mathematical books in 1765. The Revolution deprived him of his income and left him in great destitution. The offer in 1795 of a mathematical chair in one of the schools of Paris was declined on account of his infirm health, and he was still in straitened circumstances in 1798, when he published a second edition of the first part of his Histoire. In 1778 he re-edited Jacques Ozanam's Récréations mathématiques, afterwards published in English by Charles Hutton (4 vols., London, 1803). He died on the 18th of December 1799. His Histoire was completed by J. J. Le F. de Lalande, and published at Paris in 1799-1802 (4 vols.).