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Marin Mersenne

Marin Mersenne (1588-1648) was a French priest belonging to the Order of Minims. (It is sometimes incorrectly stated that he was a Jesuit; he was educated by Jesuits, but he never joined the Society of Jesus.)

He taught theology and philosophy at Nevers[?] and Paris.

Mersenne is today remembered thanks to his association with the Mersenne primes. However, he was not primarily a mathematician; he wrote about music theory and other subjects. He edited works of Euclid, Archimedes, and other Greek mathematicians. But his perhaps most important contribution to the advance of learning was his extensive correspondence (in Latin, of course) with mathematicians and other scientists in many countries. At a time when the scientific journal had not yet come into being, Mersenne was the center of a network for exchange of information.

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