Ozanam, Antoine Frederic

Ozanam, Antoine Frederic a distinguished French philosopher and polemic, was born at Milan April 23, 1813. He studied at the college in Lyons, and in 1832 went to Paris to study law. He took the degrees of M.A. and LL.D., and in 1840 was called to the professorship of foreign literature by the Academy of Sciences of Paris,. a position which his thorough knowledge of English, German, Italian, and Spanish, besides Hebrew and Sanscrit, enabled him to fill with great success. He died at Marseilles Sept. 8, 1853. Ozanam was a zealous opponent of Protestantism. Among his works, the most important is Dante et la philosophic Catholique au treizieme siecle (Paris, 1839 8vo; 2d ed. 1845). Four Italian and one German translation appeared between the first and second editions. It has been very variously judged, according to the standpoint taken by the critics. Ozanam, following the example of Artaud de Montor, attempted to prove the Roman Catholic orthodoxy of Dante against the assertions of Rosetti and Ugo Foscolo. In this Lamennais agreed with him; only the latter maintained that Dante's orthodoxy was but a concession made by him to the prevailing views of his age. Valuable as is Ozanam's work as a sort of commentary or key to Dante's Divina Commedia, it might have been much more so had he not entertained such ultramontane views. A more impartial appreciation of his author would have brought him nearer to the evangelical Church, which he condemned without knowing anything of its doctrines. Among his other remarkable works are Deux chanceliers d'AngleterreBacon de Verulam et St. Thomas de Canterbury (Paris, 1836, 8vo and 12mo): — Les Poetes Franciscains en Italie au treizieme siecle (ibid. 1852, 8vo), valuable to the theological student who desires an acquaintance with the period of which it treats, for it gives full portraits of St. Francis, Fra Pacifico, St. Bonaventura, Giacomino di Verona, Thomas de Celano, the author of Dies Ire (q.v.), Giacopone da Todi, the author of the famous hymn, Cur Mundus Militat, and the famous Stabat Mater Dolorosa. There is also a History of Civilization in the Fifth Century, which was translated into English by Glynn, and was published at London in 1859, in 2 vols. post 8vo. Besides, Ozanam contributed largely to the Correspondant, L' Universite Catholique, and L' Ere Nouvelle. His complete works were published after his death, under the title Ouvres completes de A. F. Ozanam (Paris, 1855, 8 vols. 8vo). Ozanam was one of the eight students who, in 1833, founded the Societe de St. Vincent de Paul, which has since become so powerful in France. See Ampere, Notice, in the Journal des Debats, Oct. 9 and 12, 1858; Legeay, Etude Biogr. sur Ozanam (Paris, 1854, 8vo); Le Correspondant, Sept. 26, 1853; Collombet; Biographie de F. Ozanam (1853); Lacordaire, Conferences, 5, 267; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 38, 1018; Revue Chretienne, Oct. 1869, p. 579.

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