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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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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