Stephens, More Correctly Stephen

Stephens, More Correctly Stephen (Etienne), the family name of an illustrious succession of learned printers, of whom, however, we have here to notice specially only ROBERT. He was the son of Henri Etienne (Henricus Stephanus), the printer of the Quincuplex Psalterium of Le Fevre d'Etaples (Paris, 1509-13), who died in 1520. Robert was born at Paris in 1503. Having received a learned education and become skilled in the classical languages and Hebrew, he devoted himself to the editing and issuing of carefully printed editions of learned works. In 1545 he issued, under the simple title of Biblia, an edition of the Vulgate, with a new Latin translation of the Bible, printed in parallel columns, and in a type of exquisite beauty. Explanatory notes were added in the margin; and as some of these gave offense to the doctors of the Sorbonne as savoring of the Reformed doctrines, Stephens thought it prudent, on the death, of his father, to remove to Geneva. Before leaving Paris, however, he had issued his edition of the Greek New Test., first in a small form, known as the Omirificam edition, from the first words of the preface (Paris, 1546-49), and afterwards in fol. with various readings from MSS. collated by his son Henry. At Geneva he printed an edition of the Greek text with the Vulg. rendering, and that of Erasmus, 1551. This edition presented the text for the first time divided into verses. Two editions of the Hebrew Bible were also printed by him one with the Commentary of Kimchi on the minor prophets, in 13 vols. 4to (Paris, 1539-43), another in 10 vols. 16mo (ibid. 1544-46). It is to him we owe the Thesaurus Linguoe Latinoe (4 vols. fol.), as to his son Henry the Thesaurus Ling. Graecoe is due — two monuments of vast learning and unwearied diligence. Robert Stephens died at Geneva Sept. 6, 1559.

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