Cours de Mathematiques, a l'Usage des Gardes du Corps de la Marine

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by Etienne Bézout

Cours de Mathematiques
George Wythe bookplate.jpg
Title not held by The Wolf Law Library
at the College of William & Mary.
Author Etienne Bézout
Published :
Edition Precise edition unknown.
Volumes volume set
Desc. 8vo

In 1763 Bézout was appointed examiner of marine guards by Choiseul.[1] He was responsible for drafting a mathematics course called "Mathematics for the use of flag guards and navy", reference book repeatedly reissued.[2] On the death of Charles-Étienne Camus in 1768, he was appointed Examiner student body of artillery and writes the "Full Mathematics for the use of naval and artillery", which later became the reference book of candidates for the entrance examination for the Ecole Polytechnique. He is also the author of "General theory of algebraic equations," published in 1779, dedicated to the elimination theory and symmetric functions of the roots of an algebraic equation.[3] This volume in particular was used as mathematical instruction manual for the officer corps of the marines with the aim of teaching practical mathematics to the French corps of officers.[4]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as "Mathematiques de Bezout. 3d. & 4th. vols. 8vo." and given by Thomas Jefferson to James Ogilvie, the tutor of Jefferson's grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The precise edition owned by Wythe is unknown. The Brown Bibliography[5] lists either the 1775 or 1781-1784 editions. George Wythe's Library[6] on LibraryThing indicates "Precise edition unknown. Several quarto editions were published at Paris. Jefferson's copy was of the 1781 edition." As yet, the Wolf Law Library has been unable to procure a copy of Cours de Mathematiques.

See also


  1. Étienne Bézout (Bezout biography) [1]
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012, rev. 2014) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  6. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on January 28, 2015.