When Louis XV was seated on the throne of France, he had as "médecin" consultant a man of remarkable intellectual activity and ability, an author, investigator and practitioner, whose fields of interest went afar from medicine. Osler once wrote that if one asked thirty physicians who Astruc was, doubtless none would have heard of him. Yet in his day few were as widely known, and few the medical men of the time whose books were as widely read.
Astruc was born on March 19, 1684, at Sauve in Languedoc, and died on May 5, 1766. His father, a Huguenot clergyman of a well connected family, turned Roman Catholic, and his son Jean never knew any other religion, and was a staunch son of the church. He studied at Montpellier, where he received the degree of bachelor of medicine in 1702, and his doctorat the following year. From 1706 to 1710,