Claude Gaspard Bachet de Méziriac was born on October 9, 1581, in Bourg-en-Bresse, France. This was a region which frequently allied itself to France, Spain or Italy. Bachet's grandfather, on his father's side, was Pierre Bachet de Meyzétiat who was a counselor to King Henry II of France. Bachet's father Jean Bachet, however, was a counselor to the Duke of Savoy while his mother Marie de Chavanes was a noblewoman. Savoy had been occupied a number of times by French troops but the dukes of Savoy were able to recover the territory. Twenty years before Bachet was born, Emmanuel Philibert duke of Savoy moved the capital of Savoy to Turin and made Italian the official language (before this it had been Latin).