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Renaudot, Eusebe

RENAUDOT, EUSEBE (1646-1720), a learned writer on the ecclesiastical history and antiquities of the Eastern church, was born at Paris in 1646. His father was first physician to the dauphin of France (afterwards Louis XIV.). Renaudot was educated at the Jesuits' college, and entered the congregation of the Oratoire, though he did not remain long in it. From his early youth he was particularly inclined to the study of the Oriental languages, but chiefly of tho Arabic, Syriac, ana Coptic tongues, by means of which he was afterwards enabled to enter so deeply into the origin and history of the Eastern church. Ho became well known at court, where his vast learning made him much esteemed and admired. In this way he was brought to the notice of Colbert, who, being then desirous of establishing printing-presses for the Oriental languages at Paris, consulted him upon the subject, engaged his services and offered him the reversion of a place in the Royal Library; but that minister having died before his views could be realised, Rcnaudot was not appointed to the vacant office. He seems however to have been employed by the king in various important negotiations with the governments of England and Spain, his time being so much taken up by these occupations, that, while they lasted, he almost entirely discontinued his favourite studies. In the year 1689 he was made a member of the French Academy, and, three years after, of that of the 'Inscriptions ct Beiles-Lettres.' In 1700 he accompanied to Rome Cardinal de Noailles, archbishop of Paris, who had become his patron, and he acted as his conelavista in the conclave which elected Clement XI. to the papal dignity. While at Rome, Renaudot resumed his favourite studies, and the library of the Vatican furnished him with ample materials for the history of the Eastern church—a subject which he had long in mind, and to which he now devoted his whole attention. In this design he was assisted by the new pope, who persuaded hirn to remain in Rome several months after the departure of Cardinal de Noailles, and cave him the priory of Frossey in Bretagne. From Rome Renaudot went to Florence, where he was equally well received and entertained by the grandduke, who caused him to be made a member of the Academy della Crusca. On his return to France, Renaudot devoted himself entirely to letters, and composed a great number of learned dissertations, which are printed in the Memoirs of the Academy. He died in 1720, at the age of 74, greatly regretted by the learned men of his time. His fine and extensive collection of Oriental manuscripts he bequeathed to the abbey of St. Germain des Pre\s. They remained there until the Revolution, when they were incorporated with the Oriental collection in the Royal Library. Renaudot wrote the following works: —1, A collection of controversial pieces on the celebrated work by Nicole, entitled 'Defense de la Perpetuity de la Foi contre les Monuments authenticities de la Religion des Grecs,' Paris, 1708, 8vo.; 2, 'Historia Patriarcharum Alexandrinorum Jac.obitarum,' &c, Paris, 1713, 4lo.; 3, ' Liturgiarum Orientalium Collectio.' Paris, 1716, 2 vols. 4to.: 4, ' Antient Account of India and China,' written by two Mohammedan travellers of the ninth century, translated from the Arabic, Paris, 1718. 8vo. This has subsequently been found to be only a translation of part of a geographical and historical work, entitled Muruju-dhdhahab wa mddanujauhar (meadows of gold and mines of gems), by the celebrated Masudl, an Arabian writer of the tenth century. 5, ' Gennadii Patriarch® Constantinopolitani Homilise de Eucharistia,' together with other Latin treatises on the same subject, Paris, 1703, 4to.

Note - this article incorporates content from The Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1840)

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