Martene, Edmund

Martene, Edmund a learned French Benedictine, was born at St. Jean de Losne, in the diocese of Dijon, Dec. 22, 1654. After completing his studies, he took the vows in the Benedictine convent of St. Remi, at Rheims, Sept. 8, 1672. He soon distinguished himself by his thorough acquaintance with the ancient ascetic writers, and was sent by the superiors of the Congregation of St. Maur, upon whom his convent depended, to the headquarters of the order, St. Germain des Pres, at Paris. Here he was placed under the guidance, and enjoyed the friendship of the great lights D'Achery and Mabillon. He soon afterwards published his Commentarius in regulam S. P. Benedicti (Paris, 16190, 4to), which met with great success. He was well versed in monastic archaeology, and, encouraged by Mabillon, published next De Antiquis monachorum ritibus libri quinque (Lugd. 1690, 2 vols. 4to). He was then sent to the convent of Marmoutier, where he remained several years, continuing his studies, and imbibing the strong ascetic views of Claudius Martin, whose biography he wrote upon the death of Martin. His exaggerated praise of this mystic ascetist seemed to his superiors more likely to provoke ridicule than admiration in the age of Louis XIV, and its publication was forbidden. The Vie du vieneable P. Dom Claude Aiartin, etc., was nevertheless published either with or without the author's consent (Tours, 1697, 8vo). He was exiled to Evreux for his insubordination. He was, however, soon transferred to the convent of St. Ouen, at Rouen, and there assisted Dom de Sainte Marthe in his edition of the work of Gregory the Great. Here he republished the life of Martin, and added Maximies sjpirituelles du vienraeble P. D. Claude Mairtin (Rouen, 1698, 12mo). His next work, to which the above De antiquis moonachorum, etc., was but a preface, is De antiquis ecclesiae ritibus (Rotomagi. 1700 sq., 3 vols. 4to), and as appendix the Tractatus de antiquae ecclesiae disciplina in celebrandis offciis (Ludg. 1706, 4to). In 1700 he published also, as a complement to D'Achery's Spicilegium, his Vetersm scriptorunm et monuslentorusm... collectio nova, after which he devoted himself especially to antiquarian researches, and writing commentaries on the works of ancient writers. In 1708 the general chapter of his order sent him on a journey through France, to visit all the libraries, and to collect documents for a new Gallia Christiana. Dom Ursinus Durand (q.v.) was given him as colleague in 1709, and after six years thus employed the result of their researches was published under the title Thesaurus norus Anecdotorume (Paris, 1717, 5 vols. fol.), and Voyage litteraire de deux

religieux Benedictins, etc. (Paris, 1717, 4to). In the same year he was allowed by chancellor D'Aguesseau to compile a new collection of the works of French historical writers, more complete than that of Andrew Duchesne, but was prevented from carrying out his plan by political events. He was now sent again, with his former colleague, on a literary journey, from which they returned in 1724. The result of it was the Veterums scriptorums et monumentorum... amplissima collectio (Paris, 1724-33, 9 vols. fol.). In 1734 he fell into disgrace in consequence of his opposition to the bull Unigenitus, thereafter devoted himself exclusively to his studies, and in 1738 published a much enlarged edition of his archaeological works. He also continued Mabillon's Annales ordisis S. Benedicti, tom. vi, ab anno Christi 1117 ad 1157 (Paris, 1739), and prepared a continuation of the Actea Sanctorumiis ordinis S. Benedicti, and an edition of the life and works of Thomas of Canterbury. He also asked permission to publish a Histoire de la Congregatione S. Meturl, but was refused on account of its too enthusiastic praise of the monastic life. He died June 20, 1739. See Tassin, Hist. Litt. de la Congr. de S. Maur; Moreri, Dict. Histor.; Mercure de France, August, 1739; Le Pour et le Contre, vol. xii, n. 249; Christian Obserer, vol. 18; Dowling, Introd. to Ch. Hist.; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 9:119; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 33:1003; Pierer, Universal-Lexikon, 10:926. (J. N. P.)

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