Monteil, Amans Alexis
MONTEIL, AMANS ALEXIS (1769-1850), French historian, was born at Rodez in 1769, and died at Cely (Seine-et-Marne) in 1850. His tastes were historical, and he taught history at Rodez, at Fontainebleau and at St Cyr. He held that a disproportionate importance had been given to kings, their ministers and generals, and that it was necessary rather to study the people. In his Histoire des franc,ais des divers etats, ou histoire de France aux cinq derniers siecles (10 vols., 1828-1844) he undertook to describe the different classes and occupations of the community. For this he made a collection of manuscripts, which he sold in 1835 (many of them passed into the library of Sir Thomas Philipps), drawing up a catalogue under the singular title of Traite de mattriaux manuscrits de divers genres d'histoire. He boasted of having been the first to write really " national " history, and he wished further to show this in a memoir entitled L'Influence de I'histoire des divers etats, ou comment fut allte la France si elle eut eu cette histoire (1840; reprinted in 1841 under the title: Les Fran^ais pour la. premiere fois dans I'histoire de France, ou poetique de I'histoire des divers etats). Monteil did not invent the history of civilization, but he was one of the first in France, and perhaps in Europe, to point out its extreme importance. He revised the third edition of his history himself (5 vols., 1848) ; a fourth appeared after his death with a preface by Jules Janin (5 vols., 1853).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)