Biography of Jean Mabillon

Dom Jean Mabillon is “one of the greatest names in the history of European scholarship” [1]. He is considered the Father of Paleography (the study of ancient and historical handwriting) and the Father of Diplomatics (the scholarly discipline centered on the critical analysis of documents). He was a Benedictine monk and scholar from the Congregation of Saint Maur (founded 1618).

E. A. Lowe called Mabillon the Father of Latin paleography [2, p326].

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Timeline Biography:

1632 – he is born in the ancient Province of Champagne, in Saint-Pierremont

1644 – he is a pupil at the Collège des Bons Enfants in Reims

1650 – he enters the seminary

1653 – he becomes a monk in the Maurist Abbey of Saint-Remi

1658 – he falls ill and is sent to Corbie Abbey to heal

1663 – he is transferred to Saint-Denis Abbey near Paris

1664 – he is transferred to the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris

1667 – his edition of the works of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux is published

1668-1701 – he publishes nine volumes under the title ‘Acta Ordinis S. Benedicti’, which is a collection of the lives of the Benedictine Saints

1681 – he publishes his ‘De re diplomatica’, this is the basis for his founding of palaeography and diplomatics

1685, November – He visits the Badia di Cava, the Benedictine abbey in Salerno. The abbey is also known as La Trinità della Cava [2, p326].

1701 – he is appointed by the king as one of the founding members of the ‘Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres

1704 – he publishes a supplement to ‘De re diplomatica’

1707 – he dies and is buried in the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in Paris

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[1] –

[2] – Accessed 22 July 2020.

[3] –

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