1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Tournefort, Joseph Pitton de
TOURNEFORT, JOSEPH PITTON DE (1656-1708), French botanist, was born at Aix, in Provence, on the 5th of June 1656. He studied in the convent of the Jesuits at Aix, and was destined for the Church, but the death of his father left him free to follow his botanical inclinations. After two years' collecting, he studied medicine at Montpellier, but was appointed professor of botany at the Jardin des Plantes in 1683. By the king's order he travelled through western Europe, where he made extensive collections, and subsequently spent three years in Greece and Asia Minor (1700-1702). Of this journey a description in a series of letters was posthumously published in 3 vols. (Relation d'un voyage du Levant, Lyons, 1717). His principal work is entitled Institutiones rei herbariae (3 vols. Paris, 1700), and upon this rests chiefly his claims to remembrance as one of the most eminent of the systematic botanists who prepared the way for Linnaeus. He died on the 28th of December 1708.