Reference Work Entry

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

pp 786-789


Gassendi, Pierre

  • Robert Alan HatchAffiliated withDepartment of History, University of Florida Email author 

BornChamptercier (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence), France, 22 January 1592

DiedParis, France, 24 October 1655

Gassendi, Pierre. Courtesy of History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries, Small Portraits Collection

Among the most celebrated philosophers of his century, Pierre Gassendi was one of three surviving children born to Antoine Gassendi and Françoise Fabry, a humble farm family from the south of France. Educated initially by his uncle Thomas Fabry, Gassendi later studied at Digne (1599–1606) and Aix (with Philibert Fesaye, 1609–1612) before being appointed canon and finally Principal of the Collège of Digne in 1612. After receiving his doctorat in theology from Avignon in 1614 (under Professor Raphaelis), Gassendi was ordained priest and accepted the chair in philosophy at Aix, which he held from 1616 to1623. Here Gassendi lodged with Joseph Gaultier, then the most noted astronomer in France. During this time Gassendi also visited Paris (April 1615) where he first met

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