“A truly honest person should prefer family to himself, motherland to family and mankind to motherland,” scientist and encyclopedist Jean d’Alembert said. He was born on November 16, 1717 to unknown parents. The fact is that the baby was left on the steps of a church. As for the imposing name, the scientist invented it himself when he grew up. The adopting parents gave him good education, but regretted about their adopted son refusing from the carrier of a physician or lawyer and remaining a philosopher. In their point of view, philosophers were madmen who would torment themselves for the whole life in order to be talked about after death. It was true for d’Alembert. People of different professions talk about him. Mathematicians know the principle of d’Alembert and his operator. Military mechanics are grateful to him for scientific explanation of ricochet, while astronomers – for planetary motion perturbation theory. Besides, meteorologists, physicists and specialists in music theory have their own reasons for thanking him. Even people ignorant in science know French scientist d’Alembert who has composed and edited the famous Encyclopedia jointly with Denis Diderot. He would live for 100 livres a month until Friedrich II established a personal pension for him, yet refused from the salary of 100,000 livres a month offered by Catherine the Great for educating the heir to the throne. While rejecting the proposal he diplomatically referred to hemorrhoids allegedly becoming a fatal disease in Russia. The hint was taken: the official version said that Peter III died of hemorrhoid colic.
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