|Melchisédech Thévenot (1620–1692)|
|Alternative names||Melchisédec Thévenot|
French cartographer, author, scientist and diplomat
|Date of birth/death||1620s|
|Location of birth/death||Issy-les-Moulineaux|
Melchisédech (or Melchisédec) Thévenot (c. 1620–1692) was a French author, scientist, traveler, cartographer, orientalist, inventor, and diplomat. He was the inventor of the spirit level and is also famous for his popular 1696 book The Art of Swimming, one of the first books on the subject and widely read during the 18th century (Benjamin Franklin, an avid swimmer in his youth, is known to have read it). The book popularized the breaststroke (see History of swimming). He also influenced the founding of the Académie Royale des Sciences (the French Academy of Sciences).
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