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Abbadie (Antoine and Arnauld d’)

Astronomer, geodetist, geographer, physician, numismatist, philologian, b. 1810; d. March 20, 1897

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Abbadie, ANTOINE D’, astronomer, geodetist, geographer, physician, numismatist, philologian, b. 1810; d. March 20, 1897. While still a young man he conceived the project of exploring Africa. Having prepared himself by six years’ study, he spent ten years exploring Ethiopia, and achieved scientific results of the greatest value. D’Abbadie was a fervent Catholic, and during his explorations in Ethiopia made every effort to plant there the Catholic Faith. It was at his suggestion and that of his brother Arnauld, companion and colaborer of Antoine, that Gregory XVI sent missionaries to carryon the work. He published in the “Revue des Questions Scientifiques,” the organ of the society, a work on the abolition of African slavery. He gave his estate, called Abbadia, in southern France, to the Academy of Sciences of Paris, to carry on research. His will provided, furthermore, for the establishment of an observatory at Abbadia, where a catalogue of 500,000 stars must be made, the work to be confided to religious and to be completed before 1950. His principal writings are: “Catalogue raisonne de manuscrits ethiopiens” (Paris, 1859); “Resume geodesique des positions determinees en Ethiopie” (Paris, 1859); “Geodesie d’Ethiopie ou Triangulation d’une partie de la haute Ethiopie” (4 vols., Paris, 1860-73); “Observations relatives a la physique du globe, faites au Bresil et en Ethiopie” (Paris, 1873); “Dictionnaire de la langue Amarinnia.”—

II. ABBADIE, ARNAULD MICHEL D’, geographer, younger brother of preceding, b. in Dublin, Ireland, 1815; d. November 8, 1893. In 1837 he accompanied his brother’s expedition to Abyssinia, where he soon acquired considerable influence, and never failed to employ it in the interest of the Catholic missions. His most important work is “Douze ans dans la haute Ethiopie” (Paris, 1868).


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