Sirmond, Jacques

Sirmond, Jacques, a learned French Jesuit, was born at Riom, Oct. 12, 1559, being the son of the provost of that place. At the age of ten he was sent to the College of Billon, entered the Society of Jesuits in 1576, and took the vows two years after. He was sent to Paris, where he taught classical literature two years and rhetoric three, having Francis de Sales as one of his pupils. During this time he acquired his knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages. In 1586 he began his course of divinity, which lasted four years. In 1590 he was sent to Rome by the general of the order, Aquaviva, to become his secretary, which office he filled for sixteen years. The study of antiquities was at that time his principal object, and he became noted as an antiquarian. He returned to Paris in 1608. Pope Urban VIII had a desire to draw him again to Rome, and caused a letter for that purpose to be sent to him by father Vittelleschi, general of their order; but Louis XIII retained him, and in 1637 appointed him his confessor. In 1643, after the death of Louis XIII, he left the court and resumed his ordinary occupations. In 1645 he went to Rome, for the sake of assisting at the election of a general, upon the death of Vittelleschi; and then returned to France and resumed his studies. But, having engaged in a warm dispute in the College of the Jesuits, the exertion brought on a disorder which carried him off in a few days. He died Oct. 7, 1651. Much of Sirmond's life and the better part of his reputation relate to his labors as an editor. His works, as author and editor, amount to fifteen volumes, folio, five of which contain his original productions. They were printed at the royal printing house, Paris, 1696, under the title Jacobi Sirmondi Opera Varia, nunc primum Collecta, ex

ipsius Schedis Emendatiora, Notis Posthumis, Epistolis, et Opusculis aliquibus Auctiora. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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