Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 70 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
HAUREAU (JEAN) BARTHELEMY (1812-1896), French historian and miscellaneous writer, was born in Paris. At the age of twenty he published a series of apologetic studies on the Montagnards. In later years he regretted the youthful enthusiasm of these papers, and endeavoured to destroy the copies. He joined the staff of the National, and was praised by Theophile Gautier as the " tribune " of romanticism. At that time he seemed to be destined to a political career, and, indeed, after the revolution of the 24th of February 1848 was elected member of the National Assembly; but close contact with revolutionary men and ideas gradually cooled his old ardour. Throughout his life he was an enemy to innovators, not only in politics and religion, but also in literature. This attitude sometimes led him to form unjust estimates, but only on very rare occasions, for his character was as just as his erudition was scrupulous. After the coup dual he resigned his position as director of the MS. department of the Bibliotheque Nationale, to which he had been appointed in 1848, and he refused to accept any administrative post until after the fall of the empire. After having acted as director of the national printing press from 1870 to 1881, he retired, but in 1893 accepted the post of director of the Fondation Thiers. He was also a member of the council of improvement of the Ecole des Chartes. He died on the 29th of April 1896. For over half a century he was engaged in writing on the religious, philosophical, and more particularly the literary history of the middle ages. Appointed librarian of the town of Le Mans in 1835, he was first attracted by the history of Maine, and in 1843 published the first volume of his Histoire litteraire du Maine (4 vols., 1543-1852); which he subsequently recast on a new plan (10 vols., 187o-1877). In 1845 he brought out an edition of vol. ii. of G. Menage's Histoire de Sable. He then undertook the continuation of the Gallia christiana, and produced val. xiv. (1856) for the province of Tours, vol. xv. (1862) for the province of Besancon, and vol. xvi. (1865-1870) for the province of Vienne. This important work gained him admission to the Academic des Inscriptions et Belles-Let tres (1862). In the Notices et extraits des manuscrits he inserted several papers which were afterwards published separately, with additions and corrections, under the title Notices ct extra its de quelques manuscrits de la Bibliotheque Nationale (6 vols., 1890-1893). To the Histoire litteraire de la France he contributed a number of studies, among which must be mentioned that relating to the sermon-writers (vol. xxvi., 1873), whose works, being often anonymous, raise many problems of attribution, and, though deficient in orginality of thought and style, reflect the very spirit of the middle ages. Among his other works mention must be made of his remarkable Histoire de la philosophic scalastique (1872-1880), extending from the time of Charlemagne to the 13th century, which was expanded from a paper crowned by the Academic des Sciences Morales et Politiques in 1S5o; Les Melanges poetiques d'Hildeberl de Lavardin (1S82); an edition of the Works of Hugh of St Victor (1886); a critical study of the Latin poems attributed to St Bernard (18go); and Bernard Ddlicieux et l'inquisition albigeoise (1877). To these must be added his contributions to the Dictionnaire des sciences philosophiques, Didot's Biographic generate, the Biblio- 0 ideas or things with which the Hausa must have been familiar from the very earliest time are obviously connected with Arabic or Semitic roots. There is a certain amount of resemblance between the Hausa language and that spoken by the Berbers to the south of Tripoli and Tunis. This language, again, has several striking points of resemblance with Coptic. If, as seems likely, the connexion between these three languages should be demonstrated, such connexion would serve to corroborate the Hausa tradition that their ancestors came from the very far east away beyond Mecca. The Hausa language has been reduced to writing for at least a century, possibly very much longer. It is the only language in tropical Africa which has been reduced to writing by the natives themselves, unless the Vai alphabet, introduced by a native inventor in the interior of Liberia in the first half of the 19th century be excepted; the character used is a modified form of Arabic. Some fragments of literature exist, consisting of political and religious poems, together with a limited amount of native history. A volume, consisting of history and poems reproduced in facsimile, with translations, has been published by the Cambridge University Press. Religion.—About one-third of the people are professed Mahommedans, one-third are heathen, and the remainder have apparently no definite form of religion. Their Mahommedanism dates from the 14th century, but became more general when the Fula sheikh Dan Fodio initiated the religious war which ended in the founding of the Fula empire. Ever since then the ruler of Sokoto has been acknowledged as the religious head of the whole country, and tribute has been paid to him as such. The Hausa who profess Mahommedanism are extremely ignorant of their own faith, and what little religious fanaticism exists is chiefly confined to the Fula. Large numbers of the Hausa start every year on the pilgrimage to Mecca, travelling sometimes across the Sahara desert and by way of Tripoli and Alexandria, sometimes by way of Wadai, Darfur, Khartum and Suakin. The journey often occupies five or six years, and is undertaken quite as much from trading as from religious motives. Mahommedanism is making very slow, if any, progress amongst the Hausa. The greatest obstacle to its general acceptance is the institution of the Ramadan fast. In a climate so hot as that of Hausaland, the obligation to abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset during one month in the year is a serious difficulty. Until the last decade of the 19th century no important attempt had been made to introduce Christianity, but the fact that the Hausa are fond of reading, and that native schools exist in all parts of the country, should greatly facilitate the work of Christian missionaries.
End of Article: HAUREAU (JEAN) BARTHELEMY (1812-1896)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.