Baluze, Etienne

Baluze, Etienne an eminent canonist and historian, was born at Tulle, in Limousin, December 24th, 1630. He studied first among the Jesuits at Tulle, and in 1646 was sent to the college of the company at Toulouse, where he remained for eight years. He soon acquired a high reputation in ecclesiastical history and the canon law. Not wishing to serve as a priest, but desirous of opportunity to pursue his studies quietly, he received the tonsure, and put himself under the patronage of Peter de Marca, who brought him to Paris in 1656, and made him the associate of his labors. Upon the death of De Marca in 1662, the chancellor of France, Le Tellier, took Baluze under his protection; built in 1667 he attached himself to Colbart, who made him his librarian, and it was by his care that the library of that eminent man acquired its richest treasures, and attained to such great celebrity among the learned. He left the family of Colbert in 1670, and afterward Louis XIV made him director of the royal college, with a pension. This situation he held until his eightieth year, when he was banished for having published the "Genealogical History of the House of Auvergne," in 2 vols. fol. (170-), by order of the Cardinal de Bouillon, who had fallen into disgrace at court. He obtained a recall in 1713, after the peace of Utrecht, without, however, recovering his appointments, and died July 28th, 1718. His library, when it was sold after his death, contained 1500 MSS., which were purchased for the Bibliotheque Royale. Baluze left as many as forty-five published works, of which the most important are- Regnum, Francorum Capitularia (1677, 2 vols. fol.; also, edited by Chiniac in 1780, 2 vols. fol. a superb edition): — Epistole Innocentii Papa III (1682, 2 vols. fol. This collection is incomplete, owing to the unwillingness of the Romans at the time to give him free access to the pieces in the Vatican library. Brequiny and De la Porte du Theil, in their Diplomatca, Charta, etc., 1791, have given the letters which Baluze could not obtain): — Conciliorum Nova Collectio (1683, vol. 1, fol. This work was intended to embrace all the known councils which Labbe has omitted in his collection, and would have filled many volumes; but Baluze abandoned his first design, and limited himself to one volume): — Vitae Paparum Avinionensium (" Vies des Papes d'Avignon," 1693, 2 vols. 4to, an admirable refutation of the ultramontane pretensions. He maintains that the holy see is not necessarily fixed at Rome): — Miscellanea (7 vols. 8vo. A new edition, considerably enlarged and improved, was published by Mansi at Lucca in 1761, in 4 vols. fol.). A complete list of his works may be found at p. 66 of the Capitularia. See Dupin, Eccl. Writers, 17th cent.; Vie de Baluze, written by himself, and continued by Martin.

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