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HENRI DE [VALESIUS] VALOIS (1603-1676)

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Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 865 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HENRI DE [VALESIUS] VALOIS (1603-1676), French scholar, was born at Paris on the loth of September 1603. He was a pupil of the Jesuits at the college of Clermont, then studied law at Bourges. He was called to the bar in 1623, but before long devoted himself entirely to literature. He had an extra-ordinary memory and a thorough knowledge of the classics, and to him we owe editions of several of the Greek historians, with excellent Latin translations, the only fault found with which is that they are too elegant: Polybii, Diodori Siculi, A'icolai Damasceni, Dionysii Halicarnassii, Appiani et Joannis Antiocheni excerpta (1634; Henri de Valois used for this edition a manuscript coming from Cyprus, which had been acquired by Peiresc); Ammiani Marcellini rerum gestarum libri 18 (1636); Easebii ecclesiastica historia, et vita imperatoris Constantini, gracce et latine (1659); Socratis, Sozomeni, Theodoreti et Evagrii Historia ecclesiastica (1668-1673). When almost sixty years of age, and nearly blind, he married Marguerite Chesneau (1664), and had by her four sons and three daughters He died in Paris on the 7th of May 1676. His brothel, ADRIEN DE VALOIS (1607-1692), was also a well-known scholar. He made the acquaintance of Father Petau, Father Sirmond and the brothers Dupuy, who turned his attention towards medieval studies. He was appointed historiographer in 166o. He undertook the task of writing a critical history of France, but did not get further than the deposition of Childeric III. (752). He devoted, however, to this period three folio volumes (Gesta Francorum seu rerum francicarum torrid Tres, 1646–1658), which form a critical commentary of much value, and in many points new, on the chroniclers of the Merovingian age. His study on the palaces constructed by the Merovingian kings (De basilicis quas primi Francorum reges condiderunt, 1658–166o) is noteworthy in this connexion. In 1675 appeared his Notitia Galliarum ordine lilterarzzzn digester, a work of the highest merit, which laid the foundations of the scientific study of historical geography in France; but, like all the scholars of his age, he had no solid knowledge of philology. His last work was a life of his elder brother (De Vita Henrici Valesii, 1677). Adrien's son, CHARLES DE VALOIS (1671-1747), was a distinguished numismatist, and formed a fine collection of medals, chiefly Roman. He entered at an early age the Academie des Inscriplions et Belles Lettres, where he became first a pupil (1705), then an associate (1714) and finally a pensionnaire (1722). He published little; we know, however, an Histoire des Amphictyons by him. His best work, the Valesiana (1694), was inspired by filial affection; in it he collected a number of historical and critical observations, anecdotes and Latin poems of his father. His Eloge, by Freret, is in the Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions, vol. xxi. p. 234 (1747)•
End of Article: HENRI DE [VALESIUS] VALOIS (1603-1676)
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