Gassendi's success as a historian, a scientist, and a philosopher was well recognized during his lifetime. At the height of his powers and influence, he enjoyed in the last decade of his life many of the comforts which a successful érudit might have considered to be the just rewards for years of patient scholarship. From his appointment as professor of mathematics in the Collège royal in 1645 until his death in 1655, he managed despite intermittent illnesses and the changing political fortunes of his principal patron to focus his remaining energies on the completion of the Epicurean project as well as on an impressive assortment of other writings, which included a quartet of short biographies of recent astronomers (1654), a textbook on the principles of astronomy (1647), a study of the Roman calendar (1654), and a series of historical notes on the Catholic Church in Digne (1654). The Epicurean project yielded his De vita et moribus Epicuri, his Animadversiones, and his posthumous Syntagma philosophicum, the publications of which were described in Chapter 4. It also drew him into an extended debate over the merits of his atomist principles with another professor of mathematics in the Collège royal, the astronomer Jean-Baptiste Morin. Gassendi's defense in this debate was largely handled by his disciple, the physician François Bernier, who published two polemics attacking Morin. Morin's antipathy towards Gassendi's views was certainly the exception rather than the rule among contemporary readers of his work.