Poirier, Germain, Dom

Poirier, Germain, Dom a learned French Benedictine, was born Jan. 8, 1724, at Paris. He was not quite fifteen years of age when he entered the Congregation of Saint-Maur. After teaching philosophy and theology in the houses of his order, he was appointed secretary to the visitor-general of France, and resigned this place for another which was more congenial to his tastes, that of guardian of the archives of Saint-Denis. In 1762 he published in the Nouvelle Collection des Historiens de la France, vol. 11, which contains the reign of Henry I, an excellent Preface, which forms the fourth part of it, and is, according to Dacier, the most substantial and best work ever written on the first Capetian kings. Tired of the troubles by which his congregation was agitated, he left it in 1765, but re-entered it two years later, and was intrusted with the archives of Saint-Germain-des-Pres. In 1785 he was admitted as free associate into the Academie des Inscriptions. During the Revolution he was a member of the commission of monuments, and exerted himself actively ill preserving from destruction a number of valuable manuscripts. In 1796 he was appointed librarian of the Arsenal, and in 1800 he succeeded Legrand d'Aussy in the National Institute: He united to a rare erudition a no less rare modesty; he worked for the pleasure he found in the work; hence his easy willingness to communicate the fruit of his researches to any one who recurred to him. His death revealed the secret of his virtues and of his benevolence; the blessings of the poor, their testimonies of gratitude-written testimonies, found, with a few pieces of money, in his bureau-were his whole treasure. He wore cheap clothes, and condemned himself' to privations, to be able to give food and clothing to the poor. He died at Paris Feb. 2, 1803. Besides what has been mentioned, he wrote several historical Memoires, which were read in the academy of which he was a member, etc. See Dacier, Eloge de Dom Poirier (Paris, 1804, 8vo). — Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé, s.v.

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