Joachim Barrande

Joachim Barrande

Infobox Scientist
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birth_date = August 11, 1799
birth_place = Saugues, Haute Loire
death_date = October 5, 1883
death_place = Frohsdorf
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nationality = French
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field = geology palaeontology
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alma_mater = École Polytechnique
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Joachim Barrande (August 11, 1799 - October 5, 1883) was a French geologist and palaeontologist.

Barrande was born at Saugues, Haute Loire, and educated in the École Polytechnique at Paris. Although he had received the training of an engineer, his first appointment was that of tutor to the duc de Bordeaux (afterwards known as the comte de Chambord), grandson of Charles X, and when the king abdicated in 1830, Barrande accompanied the royal exiles to England and Scotland, and afterwards to Prague. Settling in that city in 1831, he became occupied in engineering works, and his attention was then attracted to the fossils from the Lower Palaeozoic rocks of Bohemia.

The publication in 1839 of "Murchison's Silurian System" incited Barrande to carry on systematic researches on the equivalent strata in Bohemia. For ten years (1840—1850) he made a detailed study of these rocks, engaging workmen specially to collect fossils, and in this way he obtained upwards of 3500 species of graptolites, brachiopoda, mollusca, trilobites and fishes. The first volume of his great work, "Système silurien du centre de la Bohême" (dealing with trilobites, several genera, including "Deiphon", which he personally described), appeared in 1852; and from that date until 1881, he issued twenty-one quarto volumes of text and plates. Two other volumes were issued after his death in 1887 and 1894. It is estimated that he spent nearly £10,000 on these works. In addition he published a large number of separate papers. In recognition of his important researches the Geological Society of London in 1857 awarded to him the Wollaston medal.

He was a fervent advocate of the theory of the catastrophes (as taught by Georges Cuvier), thus opposing Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. He also wrote a five-volume book on the defense of his theory of so-called "colonies", presuming that the cause of the presence of fossils typical for one layer surrounded by those typical for another is atectonical. He tended to name those colonies with names of his scientific adversaries.

Barrande died at Frohsdorf on October 5, 1883.

The district of Prague, "Barrandov", was named in honor of the scientist on February 24, 1928.


id = PMID:17782936
publication-date=1883 Dec 7
doi = 10.1126/science.ns-2.44.727

id = PMID:17730762
publication-date=1883 Nov 30
doi = 10.1126/science.ns-2.43.669


External links

* [ Detailed biography]
* [ Detailed biography (in Czech, with details of his stay in Bohemia)]

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