Astruc, Jean

Astruc, Jean an eminent French physician, was born at Sauve, in Languedoc, March 19, 1684. His father was a Protestant minister, who, on the revocation of the edict of Nantes, became a Roman Catholic. The son studied in the University of Montpellier, and became M.D. in 1703. In 1710 he was made professor of anatomy and medicine in Toulouse; and he was called to Montpellier in 1715, where he remained until 1728. In 1731 he was appointed professor of medicine in the College of France, and he remained in Paris until his death, May 5, 1766. In his profession Astruc was very eminent as teacher, practitioner, and writer; but he is entitled to a place here from a work published in 1753, entitled Conjectures sur les Memoires originaux dont il parait que Moise s'est servi pour conmposer le livre da la Genese (Bruxelles and Paris, 1753, 12mo), in which he started for the first time the theory now so prevalent, that the fact that Moses compiled Genesis, in part at least, from pre-existing documents, is shown by the distinction in the use of the two names Elohim and Jehovah in the different parts of the book. The work is marked by great skill and acuteness, and opened a new aera in the criticism of the Pentateuch. SEE GENESIS. In 1755 Astruc published a treatise Sur l'immortalite, l'immaterialite, et la liberte de l'ame (Paris, 12mo). — Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 3, 487; Herzog, Real-Encyklopadie, Suppl. 1:103.

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