2015年6月10日 星期三

Bernard Palissy 帕利西 (c. 1510 – c. 1590) 快樂的大笨蛋 (張文亮)

Bernard Palissy, self-portrait in faience

Bernard Palissy (c. 1510 – c. 1590) was a French Huguenot potterhydraulics engineer and craftsman, famous for having struggled for sixteen years to imitate Chinese porcelain. In the 19th-century, Palissy's pottery became the inspiration for Mintons Ltd's Victorian majolica, which was exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851 under the name "Palissy ware".
Palissy is known for his contributions to the natural sciences, and is famous for discovering principles of geologyhydrology and fossil formation.[1] A Protestant, Palissy was imprisoned for his belief during the tumultuous French Wars of Religion and sentenced to death. He died of poor treatment in the Bastille in 1590.[2][3]


If things conceived in the mind could be executed, [alchemists] would do great things... [We must] confess that practice is the source of theory... By experiment I prove in several places that the theory of several philosophers is false, even of the most renowned and the most ancient.
—Bernard Palissy, (quoted by Henry Morley in 1780)[3]

Imprisonment and death[edit]

The close of Palissy's life was quite in keeping with his active and stormy youth. Despite the protection of the nobles and the court, the fanatical outburst of 1588 associated with the War of the Three Henrys led to his being thrown into the Bastille. According to D'Aubigné and fellow Protestants, Henry III offered Palissy his freedom if he would recant, though Palissy refused.[2] Condemned to death when nearly eighty years of age, he died in a Bastille dungeon in 1590. Friend, chronicler and fellow prisoner Pierre de L'Estoilelater recounted Palissy's fate:
In this same year 1590, master Bernard Palissy died in the dungeons of the Bastille, a prisoner for his religion, aged 80 years, and killed by misery, need and poor treatment. With him were three other women detained as prisoners also for their religion, themselves strangled by hunger or vermin... The very good woman who brought me the news had returned from the Bastille, where she had inquired about Palissy's condition. There she found Palissy had died, and was told that if she wanted to see him, she could find him on the ramparts with the dogs, where he had been placed since he was a dog himself.
—Pierre L'Estoile[2]

Palissy's life and work are described in A.S. Byatt's The Children's Book. Palissy serves as an inspiration to the potter Benedict Fludd and his apprentice Philip Warren.[8]

  法國的大科學家帕利西(Bernoard Palissy, 1509-1590),在活著的時候被稱為「大笨蛋」(great dolt),但是今天在大學的「水土保持學系」,帕利西被稱為「水土保持學之父」(father of soil and water conservation);大學裏的「農藝學系」,帕利西是「近代農藝學的先鋒」(pioneer of modern agronomy);大學裏土木工程裏重要的「水文學」,帕利西是「水文學之父」(father of hydrology)。怎麼這些學術冠冕會戴在一個「大笨蛋」的頭上呢?
他沒有想到,他是科學史上第一個去研究這些自然景物的人,我們今天有很多耳熟能詳的知識,例如「雲是空氣中的水氣凝結成的」,「雲在空氣中飄動是風的吹動」,「滿月的時候,河水水位會最高」,「距離地面愈高,空氣的溫度也愈低」,「下雨以後水有些會先入滲到土壤裏,再慢慢流到河川」,「土壤不是均勻的,而是有好幾層堆在一起」,「為了保持土壤不會被沖刷,需要保護森林」,「整個地球上的水份一直是在循環流動的」等,這些論點都是帕利西首先提出來的。帕利西於一五七五年至一五八0年在巴黎開班講「自然科學」,並在一五八0年出版「論述極美之物」(Discours Admirables)。