Moreri, Louis

Moreri, Louis a French ecclesiastic noted for his literary labors, was born at Bargemont, in Provence, in 1643. He first studied the classics in the Jesuitical college at Aix, and finally theology at Lyons, and was there ordained for the priesthood. When only eighteen years of age he made himself noted as the author of an allegorical composition, and later by a collection of his poems. He applied himself diligently to the study of the Italian and Spanish languages, and translated Rodriguez's book on Christian Perfection, which he published under the title Pratique de la perfection Chretienne et religieuse, traduite de l'Espagnol (Lyons, 1677, 3 volumes, 8vo). Moreri preached for five years at Lyons with great success, and while there formed his plan for his Historical Dictionary. He so applied himself to this stupendous work, of which the first edition appeared at Lyons in 1674, that his health was impaired and his strength exhausted. In 1680 appeared the first volume of the second edition. He died in the same year, July 10. But though Moreri had lived only so few years, he had yet accomplished the work of a common lifetime, and secured a name among posterity for centuries. His Historical Dictionary contains whatever is curious and noteworthy in sacred and profane history; hence everybody was amazed to see so prodigious a work from so young a man. He was at once, after the publication of the book in 1674, surrounded by the learned of his country, taken from his charge, and made welcome into the family of the bishop of Apt, in Provence, whom he attended the year following to Paris; he was there soon introduced to the prelates, who held their assembly in St. Germain en Laye, and the learned men in the metropolis. His friends also recommended him to M. de Pompone, secretary of state, who invited him to his house in 1678; and he might have expected great advantages from the patronage of that minister had not his intense application cut short his life. Indeed, he may be said to have sacrificed both his fortune and his life for the public when he undertook so laborious a work. Besides the writings above alluded to, he put the Lives of the Saints into more elegant French, and added methodical tables for the use of preachers, with chronological. tables; and in 1671 he published at Lyons the following book, Relations

nouvelles du Levant, ou traites de la religion, du gouvernment, et des coutumes des Perses, des Armeniens, et des Gaunes, composes par le P.G.D.C.C. (that is, P. Gabriel du Chinon, capuchin), et donnms au public par le sieur L.M.P.D.E.T. (that is, Louis Moreri, pretre, Docteur en Theologie). The Historical Dictionary has passed through many editions, and has from one vol. fol. been extended constantly until in its 19th edition (Paris, 1759) it made 10 volumes, fol. Both the well-informed Bayle and the scholarly Du Pin have enlarged and enriched the work as its editors. See Genesis Biog. Dict. s.v.; Nicdron, Memoires, s.v.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.; Pericaud, Moreri a Lyon (Lyons, 1837, 8vo). (J.H.W.)

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