Clement, Francois

Clement, Francois, a learned French historian, was born at Beze, near Dijon, in 1714. He studied. at the college of the Jesuits at Dijon, and became a Benedictine of St. Matur in 1731. At, the age of twenty-five he was exhausted by literary work, and had to suspend it for- ten years. He then entered the house of the Blancs-Manteaux at Paris, and was engaged to continue L'histoire Litteraire de la France, of which he finished the eleventh and twelfth volumes, bringing it down to the year 1167. Clement rendered to chronology a service :not less important, a. Maurice d'Antine had conceived, the idea of a large work, entitiled L'Art de Verifier les Dates, the object of which was to prove in an exact manner the dates of historical facts; but his chronology was full of errors and omissions. Clemencet (q.v.) executed this task more completely, and Clement issued a new edition much superior to either of. the old. The first volume appeared in 1783, the second in 1784, and the third in 787; the tables were added in 1792. This grand work the fruit of thirteen years assiduous labor, is one of the greatest monuments of scholarship of that time. The king recompensed Clement by appointing him official historian of France, and the academy of inscriptions admitted him in 1785 to the number of its associated members. The revolution having destroyed: the religious communities, had also interrupted the scientific works of the Benedictines. Clement retired to the house of his nephew, Duboy-Lavemne, director of the national printing, where, in spite of his advanced age, he occupied himself with ardor in perfecting his great work. He had revised a large part of it, when he was attacked by apoplexy, and died March 29,1793. M. Viton de Saint-Alais, who had bought the MS., published: a new edition of the work, with the continuation (1818, 1819, 18 vols. 8v; or 5 vols. 4to); but this edition is less esteemed than the preceding. Viton, also published the posthumous work of Clement containing ,the dates before the Christian era. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generales.v.

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