Claude Fauchet (Historian) - Encyclopedia




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CLAUDE FAUCHET (1530-1601), French historian and antiquary, was born at Paris on the 3rd of July 1530. Of his early life few particulars are known. He applied himself to the study of the early French chroniclers, and proposed to publish extracts which would throw light on the first periods of the monarchy. During the civil wars he lost a large part of his books and manuscripts in a riot, and was compelled to leave Paris. He then settled at Marseilles. Attaching himself afterwards to Cardinal de Tournon, he accompanied him in 1554 to Italy, whence he was several times sent on embassies to the king, with reports on the siege of Siena. His services at length procured him the post of president of the chambre des monnaies, and thus enabled him to resume his literary studies. Having become embarrassed with debt, he found it necessary, at the age of seventy, to sell his office; but the king, amused with an epigram, gave him a pension, with the title of historiographer of France. Fauchet has the reputation of an impartial and scrupulously accurate writer; and in his works are to be found important facts not easily accessible elsewhere. He was, however, entirely uncritical, and his style is singularly inelegant. His principal works (1 579, 1 599) treat of Gaulish and French antiquities, of the dignities and magistrates of France, of the origin of the French language and poetry, of the liberties of the Gallican church, &c. A collected edition was published in 1610. Fauchet took part in a translation of the Annals of Tacitus (1582). He died at Paris about the close of 1601.

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