Mathurin Jacques Brisson

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Mathurin Jacques Brisson
Brisson Mathurin Jacques 1723-1806.png
Born (1723-04-30)30 April 1723
Died 23 June 1806(1806-06-23) (aged 83)
Nationality French
Known for Ornithologie
Scientific career
Fields Zoology, ornithology, entomology
Author abbrev. (botany) Briss.
Author abbrev. (zoology) Brisson

Mathurin Jacques Brisson (30 April 1723 – 23 June 1806) was a French zoologist and natural philosopher.

Brisson was born at Fontenay-le-Comte. The earlier part of his life was spent in the pursuit of natural history, his published works in this field included Le Règne animal (1756) [1] and the highly regarded Ornithologie (1760).[2]

As a young man, he was a disciple and assistant of R. A. F. Reaumur. For a period of time he was an instructor of physical sciences and natural history to the family of the monarch.[3] He held the chair of physics at the College of Navarre, and from 1759 was a member of the Academy of Sciences.

A significant work involving the "specific weight of bodies" was his Pesanteur Spécifique des Corps (1787).[4] In his investigations of electricity, Brisson was opposed to the theories of Priestley and Franklin.[5]

He died at Croissy-sur-Seine near Paris.


  • Regnum animale in classes IX distributum sive Synopsis methodica. Haak, Paris, Leiden 1756–62.
  • Ornithologia, sive Synopsis methodica sistens avium divisionem in ordines, sectiones, genera, species, ipsarumque varietates. Bauche, Paris, Leiden 1760–63, with engraved illustrations by François-Nicolas Martinet.
  • Supplementum Ornithologiæ sive Citationes, descriptionesque antea omissæ & species de novo adjectæ, ad suaquaque genera redactæ. Paris 1760.
  • Lettres de deux Espagnols sur les manufactures. Vergera 1769.
  • Dictionnaire raisonné de physique. Thou, Paris 1781–1800.
  • Observations sur les nouvelles découvertes aërostatiques. Lamy, Paris 1784.
  • Pesanteur spécifique des corps. Paris 1787.
  • Traité élémentaire ou Principes de physique. Moutard & Bossange, Paris 1789–1803.
  • Trattato elementare ovvero Principi di fisica. Grazioli, Florenz 1791.
  • Die spezifischen Gewichte der Körper. Leipzig 1795.
  • Suplemento al Diccionario universal de física. Cano, Madrid 1796–1802.
  • Principes élémentaires de l'histoire naturelle et chymique des substances minérales. Paris 1797.
  • Anfangsgründe der Naturgeschichte und Chemie der Mineralien. Mainz 1799.
  • Instruction sur les nouveaux poids et mesures. Paris 1799.
  • Elémens ou Principes physico-chymiques. Bossange, Paris 1800.
  • Elements of the natural history and chymical analysis of mineral substances. Ritchie, Walker, Vernor & Hood, London 1800.
  • Tratado elemental ó principios de física. Madrid 1803/04.


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Brisson, Mathurin Jacques". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  1. ^ Google Books La Regne Animal.
  2. ^ Biodiversity Heritage Library Ornithologie, etc.
  3. ^ Taxidermy: Bibliography and Biography by William Swainson
  4. ^ Gallica Pesanteur Spécifique des Corps.
  5. ^ The English Cyclopædia: A New Dictionary of Universal Knowledge ..., Volume 6 edited by Charles Knight

External links

  • Works by or about Mathurin Jacques Brisson at Internet Archive
  • Gallica has a free digital download of Brisson, Mathurin-Jacques Ornithologia sive Synopsis methodica sistens avium divisionem in ordines, sectiones, genera, species, ipsarumque varietates Leiden (1760–1763) in Microforme The French word for Search is Recherche.
  • Dictionnaire raisonné de physique, 2nd éd, Planches - Linda Hall Library
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