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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 111 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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DIONYSIUS LAMBINUS, the Latinized name of DENIS LAMBIN (152o—1572), French classical scholar, born at Montreuilsur-mer in Picardy. Having devoted several years to classical studies during a residence in Italy, he was invited to Paris in 165o to fill the professorship of Latin in the College de France, which he soon afterwards exchanged for that of Greek. His lectures were frequently interrupted by his ill-health and the religious disturbances of the time. His death (September 1572) is said to have been caused by his apprehension that he might share the fate of his friend Peter Ramus (Pierre de la Ramee), who had been killed in the massacre of St Bartholomew. Lambinus was one of the greatest scholars of his age, and his editions of classical authors are still useful. In textual criticism he was a conservative, but by no means a slavish one; indeed, his opponents accused him of rashness in emendation. His chief defect is that he refers vaguely to his MSS. without specifying the source of his readings, so that their relative importance cannot be estimated. But his commentaries, with their wealth of illustration and parallel passages, are a mine of information. In the opinion of the best scholars, he preserved the happy mean in his annotations, although his own countrymen have coined the word lambiner to express trifling and diffuseness. His chief editions are: Horace (1561); Lucretius (1564), on which see H. A. J. Munro's preface to his edition; Cicero (1566); Cornelius Nepos (1569) ; Demosthenes (1570), completing the unfinished work of Guillaume Morel; Plautus (1576). See Peter Lazer, De Dionysio Lambino narratio, printed in Orelli's Onomasticon Tullianum (i. 1836), and Trium disertissimorum virorum praefationes ac epistolae familiares aliquot: Mureti, Lambini, Regii (Paris, 1579) ; also Sandys, Hist. of Classical Scholar-ship (1908, ii. 188), and A. Horowitz in Ersch and Gruber's Allge, meine Encyclopadie.

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