French botanist, b. at Aix in Provence, 5 June, 1656; d. at Paris, 28 Dec., 1708. After his school-days at a Jesuit college he studied theology at Aix, but in 1677 he turned his attention entirely to botany. He studied medicine at Montpellier and Barcelona. In 1683 he was made a professor and director at the Jardin des Plantes, Paris ; he became later a member of the Academy (1692), a doctor of medicine (1698), and professor of medicine at the Collège de France (1702). Tournefort is recognized as a botanical explorer, and as the author of the artificial system of plants named after him. As a youth he travelled repeatedly through western Europe, exploring particularly the region of the Pyrenees. In 1700-2 he visited the Orient, passing through Greece. The account of this journey, "Relation d'un voyage du Levant" (Paris, 1717), appeared after his death; his work is a classic and was translated into English (1741) and German (1776). He collected 1356 species of plants during this one journey.
Tournefort's system of classifying plants is based on the form of the corolla. Up to about 1750 the system was in high repute, being accepted even by Linnæus, but as research advanced it lost its importance. Of permanent importance are the clear distinction Tournefort makes between genus and species, and the exhaustive analyses of genera which he was the first to draw up and illustrate. Linnæus says of him: "Primus characteres genericos condidit." He expounded his system in his "Eléments de botanique" (3 vols. in 8°, Paris, 1694), containing 451 plates; rewritten in Latin as "Institutiones rei herbariæ" (3 vols., Paris, 1700), with 476 plates (in 1703 a supplement was issued containing thirteen plates; a new edition by Adrien de Jussieu in 1719; English tr., London, 1735, French tr., Lyons, 1797). The "Institutiones" was preceded by a defence of his system which was entitled, "De optima methode instituenda in re herbaria" (Paris, 1697), and by a "Histoire des plantes qui naissent aux environs de Paris" (Paris, 1698), an English translation of which appeared in 1732. A genus with about 120 species, belonging to the family of the Borraginaceæ, was named by Linnæus Tournefortia , and still retains this designation.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online