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calls of his profession, he amused bimself with writing remarks
sir Robert Sibbald's 66 Prodromus Historiæ Naturalis Scotiæ,” who had published a treatise ridiculing the new method of applying geometry to physic; in return to which Pitcairne wrote, “ Dissertatio de Legibus Historiæ Naturalis," and published it, but not anonymously, as has been asserted, in the abovementioned year. Pitcairne likewise used to divert himself sometimes with writing Latin verses of considerable merit, which were collected after his death. The occasion of their appearance was a remark of Peter Burman, in his preface to his edition of Buchanan's history, on the inconsiderable number of Latin writers, especially in poetry, whom Britain had produced. Ruddiman on this endeavoured to vindicate his native country from its share in this degrading censure; and with that view published, in 1727, a small volume entitled “ Selecta Poemata Archibaldi Pitcairnii et aliorum,” &c. But, says lord Woodhouselee, this very attempt affords a demonstration of the truth of the proposition it was meant to disprove, for the poems of Pitcairne comprise almost all that are of any merit in the volume, and even these, from the nature of their subjects, temporary political satire (against the revolution) the commemoration of local incidents, or allusions to private characters, have none of the requisites to found either a general or a permanent reputation.
These poems, says the same critic, which have the merit of excellent Latinity, and easy and spirited numbers, must bave had a poignant relish in his own age, from the very circumstances which render them little interesting in ours. Lord Hailes once intended to have redeemed them from oblivion by a commentary, a specimen of which he
gave in the Edinburgh Magazine and Review for February 1774; but, as he had no congeniality of opinion with Pitcairne, either as to religion or politics, there would have been a perpetual war betwixt the author and his commentator. With respect to his religion, although Dr.Webster tells us he “ died a worthy and religious man,” there is reason to think he had not always lived with much religious impression on his mind. He wrote a comedy, called “ The Assembly," printed at London in 1722, which Mr. George Chalmers says is a personal and political, sarcastic and prophane, and never could have been acted on any stage.” He was also the author of an attack on revealed religion, entitled “ Epistola Archimedis ad regem Gelo
nem Albæ Græcæ reperta, anno æræ Christianæ '1688.” This was made the subject of the inaugural oration of the Rev. Thomas Haly burton, professor of divinity in the university of St. Andrew's in 1710, and published at Edinburgh in 1714, 4to. The late Dr. William and Dr. David Pitcairne were related to our author, but not his immediate descendants.
PITHOU (PETER), or Pitheus, a French gentleman of eminence in the republic of letters, was descended from an ancient and noble family in Normandy, and born at Troyes Nov. 1, 1539. His taste for literature discovered itself early, and it was cultivated to the utmost by the care of his father. He entered upon his studies at Troyes, and was afterwards sent to Paris, where he became first the scholar, and then the friend, of Turnebus. When he had finished his pursuits in languages and the belles letters, he was removed to Bourges, and placed under Cujacius, in order to study the civil law. His father was learned in the law, and has left no inconsiderable specimen of his judgment, in the advice he gave his son, for acquiring this branch of knowledge, which was, not to spend his time and pains upon voluminous and barren commentators, but to confine his reading chiefly to original writers. He made so wonderful a progress, that at seventeen he was able to discuss without preparation the most difficult questions ; and his master was not ashamed to own, that he was indebted to him for some useful suggestions. Cujacius removing to Valence, Pithou followed him thither, and continued to profit by his lectures, to 1560. He then returned to Paris, and frequented the bar of the parliament there, for the sake of joining practical forms and usages to theoretic knowledge.
In 1563, being then twenty-four, he gave the first fruits of bis studies to the public, in a work entitled “Adversaria Subseciva ;" which was highly applauded by Turnebus, Lipsius, and other learned men, and laid the foundation of that great and extensive fame which he afterwards acquired. A little time after, he was advanced by Henry-111. to some considerable post; in which, as well as at the bar, he acquitted himself with high honour. Pithou' was a Protestant, and was almost involved in the terrible massacre
I Gen. Dict.-Account of his Life, &c. by Dr. Charles Webster, 1781, 8vo.Chalmers's Life of Ruudiman, p. 24-31, 61, 96.Tytler's Life of Lord Kames.
of Saint Bartholomew in 1572. His escape indeed was very narrow, for he was at Paris during the whole, and in the same lodgings with several protestants, who were all murdered. Whether from fear or conviction, he soon afterwards openly embraced the Catholic faith. Afterwards he attended the duke of Montmorency into England; and in 1572 was honoured with the degree of LL. D. at Oxford, where he resided for some time; and upon his return, by reason of his great wisdom, amiable manners, and profound kuowledge, became a kind of oracle to his countrymen, who consulted him on all important occasions. Nor was his fame less in other parts of the continent; Ferdinand the Great duke of Tuscany not only consulted him, but even submitted to his determination, in a point contrary to his interests. Henry III. and IV. were greatly obliged to him for combating the league in the most intrepid manner, and for many other services, in which he had recourse to his pen, as well as to other
Pithou died upon his birth-day, November 1, 1596, leaving behind him a wife, whom he had married in 1579, and some children. Thuanus has represented him as the most excellent and accomplished man of the age in which he lived ; an opinion in which his learned contemporaries seem agreed. He collected a most valuable library, which was rich in manuscripts, as well as printed books, and he took many precautions to binder its being dispersed after his death, but in vain. He published a great number of works on various subjects of law, history, and classical literature, and he gave several new and correct editions of ancient writers. He was the first who made the world. acquainted with the “ Fables of Phædrus:" they, together with the name of their author, being utterly unknown, till published from a manuscript, which had been discovered by his brother, Francis Pithou. The principal works of Peter Pithou are, l. “A Treatise on the Liberties of the Gallican Church," four volumes folio; the foundation of all that has been written on that subject since. The best edition is Paris, 1731. 2. Editions of many important monuments relative to French history. 3. Notes on many classical authors. 4. A volume of smaller works, or “Opuscula,” printed collectively at Paris in 1609, besides many publications on civil and canon law, some issued separately, and some in conjunction with bis brother. It was his intenVOL. XXIV.
tion 'to have published a complete body of French historians, but he published only two volumes on the subject, one in octavo, and the other in quarto."
PITHOU (FRANCIS), advocate to the parliament of Paris, brother of the preceding, and also a very learned man, was born in 1544, at Troyes. He was well acquainted with the belles lettres, and law, and discovered, as we have just observed, the MS. of the fables of Phædrus, which he sent to his brother, and which was published in 1596, in 12mo. Francis, with the assistance of his brother, applied himself particularly to revise and explain the “ Body of Canon Law,” which was printed according to their corrections, 1687, 2 vols. folio; an edition which is reckoned the best. His other works are, “ Codex Canonum," 1687, folio. An edition of the “ Salic Law," with notes. The “ Roman Laws,” compared with those of Moses, 1673, 12mo. “Observationes ad Codicem,” 1689, folio. “ Antiqui Rhetores Latini, Rutilius Lupus, Aquila Romanus, Julius Rufinianus, Curius Fortunatianus, Marius Victorinus,” &c. Paris, 1599, 4to. republished by M. Caperonier, Strasburg, 4to. &c. He died February 7, 1621, aged seventy-eight.
PITISCUS (SAMUEL), a very learned scholar and editor, was born at Zutphen, March 30, 1637. His grandfather, there is reason to think, was Bartholomew Pitiscus, preacher to the elector palatine, who died in 1613, and was the author of a Latin work on “ Trigonometry,” reprinted in 1612, and very much approved by Tycho Brahe. His father, Samuel, appears to have been a refu- . gee for the sake of the protestant religion, and took up his abode at Zutphen, where our author was first educated, but he afterwards studied polite literature at Daventer under John Frederick Gronovius, for two years, and divinity for three, at Groningen. After finishing this course he was admitted into the church, and appointed master of the public school at Zutphen in 1685. About the same time he was intrusted with the direction of the college of St. Jerome at Utrecht, which he retained until 1717, when, being in his eightieth year, he resigned with great credit, but lived ten years longer, and died Feb. 1, 1727. He married two wives, one while schoolmaster at Zutphen, who gave him much uneasiness, having contracted a habit
1 Life, by Grossley, 1756, 2 vols. 8vo.-Batesii Vitæ Selectorum ; in which is his will, a curious composition. Thuani Hist. ad ann. 1596.-Niceron, vol. V.--Bullart's Academie des Sciences, ---Ath. Ox. vol. 1.--Saxii Quomąst.
2 Moreri. -Dict. Hist.
of drunkenness, to gratify which she used to steal and sell his books. The other, whom he married at Utrecht, restored that domestic happiness which suited his retired and studious disposition. He acquired considerable property by his works, and left at his death 10,000 florins to the poor. He was a man of extensive learning, directed chiefly to the illustration of the classical authors, and was long in the highest esteem as a teacher.
His works are, 1. “ Fundamenta religionis Christianæ in usum Gymnasii Zutphaniensis,” 8vo. 2. “ Quintus Curtius cum comentario perpetuo, variisque iconismis æri affabre incisis," Utrecht, 1685, the first of the classic authors whom he illustrated by the explanation of ancient customs, represented by engravings. 3. “ Suetonius," ibid. 1690, 2 vols. Svo, and Leovard. 1715, 2 vols. 4to.
This last is the best edition of this elegant and useful work, which is well known to classical scholars. 4. " Aurelius Victor," with the notes of various commentators and engravings, Utrecht, 1696, 8vo, a rare and valuable edition. 5. “ Lexicon Latino-Belgicum," the best edition of which is that printed at Dort in 1725, 4to. 6. 66 Lexicon Antiquitatum Romanarum,” Utrecht, 2 vols. folio, a work of great erudition, and the labour of many years. 7. 66 So. lini Polyhistor, cum Salmasii exercitationibus Plinianis,” Utrecht, 2 vols. folio. 8. “ Francisci Pomey Pantheon Mythicum." 9. “ Rosini Antiq. Romanarum corpus," Utrecht, 1701, 4to. Of these last three he was only the editor."
PITOT (HENRY), an ingenious mathematician, descended of a noble family of Languedoc, was born in 1695. In his early mathematical studies, he appears to have had no instructor; but going, in his twenty-third year, to Paris, he formed an acquaintance with Reaumur In 1724 he was received into the academy of sciences, in the Memoirs of which he wrote a great many papers. He wrote a valuable work, entitled “ The Theory of working Ships, 1731, which procured him to be elected a member of the Royal Society of London. In 1740, the states general of Languedoc gave him the appointment of principal engineer to the province, and also that of inspector-general of the famous canal which forms a bavigable janction between the Mediterranean sea and the bay of Biscay. One of his
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