Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Cassini de Thury, César-François

Reference work entry

Alternate Name

 Cassini III

BornThury near Clermont, (Oise), France, 17 June 1714

DiedParis, France, 4 September 1784

Cassini de Thury was best known as a cartographer and was a key figure in the controversy over the shape of the Earth. He was the son of  Jacques Cassini(Cassini II) and Suzanne-François Charpentier de Charmois. César-François was educated at the family home in the Paris Observatory by his granduncle  Giacomo Maraldi. Elected to membership of the Académie des sciences in 1735, he succeeded his father as director of the Paris Observatory.

Cassini began his career just as the controversy over the shape of the Earth reached its peak, with the Cartesian concept seemingly in the ascendancy. At this stage he was loyal to the family’s Cartesian leanings, that the Earth is elongated along the line of its poles. In 1733/1734, he, with others, assisted his father to determine the arc of the great circle perpendicular to the meridian of Paris, a survey necessary for the mapping of...

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Selected Reference

  1. Hahn, Roger (1971). The Anatomy of a Scientific Institution: The Paris Academy of Sciences, 16661803. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chester, County ChesterUK