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August in the Historical Sciences

A calendar of anniversaries in the palaetiological sciences of evolutionary biology, systematics, historical linguistics, text transmission, historical geology, paleontology, genealogy, archeology, anthropology, cosmology, historical geography, and related fields, from the Darwin-L Archives on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

August 1

1744: JEAN BAPTISTE PIERRE ANTOINE DE MONET, CHEVALIER DE LAMARCK is born at Bazentin-le-Petit, Picardy, France. A pioneer of invertebrate paleontology, Lamarck will come to reject the fixity of species late in his life and will expound an evolutionary view of nature, first in 1802, and then more thoroughly in 1809 in his Philosophie Zoologique.

August 5

1852: FRANTIŠEK LADISLAV ČELAKOVSKÝ, Professor of Slavic Philology at Charles University in Prague, dies. A collector of Slavic proverbs and folktales, as well as a linguist and amateur botanist, Čelakovsky will draw one of the first trees of language history. The diagram will be published from his lecture notes in 1853, a year after his death.

August 31

1815: HEINRICH ERNST BEYRICH is born at Berlin, Germany. Beyrich will study natural science at the Universities of Berlin and Bonn, and will come to specialize in paleontology. While travelling through Europe he will make the acquaintance of many of the leading geologists of his day, and will eventually take up a teaching post at Berlin where he will remain for his entire career. Commissioned in 1842 to survey the geology of Silesia, he will publish his results as Über die Entwickelung des Flötzgebirges in Schlesien, a work that will establish him as a prominent figure in the European geological community. He will play an important role in the founding of the German Geological Society in 1848, and will become director of the Berlin Museum of Natural History in 1873. His extensive publications on the geology and paleontology of central Europe will lay the groundwork for many future investigations.

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