Billy, Jacques de
BILLY, JACQUES DE
Benedictine monk and patrologist; b. Guise (Aisne), 1535; d. Paris, Dec. 25, 1581. Educated in the humanities at Paris, Billy studied law at Orléans and Poitiers, and after the death of his parents, devoted himself to Greek and Hebrew letters at Lyon and Avignon. He succeeded his brother as abbot of St-Michel-en-l'Herm (Vendée) and of Notre Dame des Châtelliers (île de Ré). Driven from his abbey by religious wars, he lived at Nantes, Laon, and Paris, and studied, edited, commented on, and translated (into Latin or French) the Greek Church Fathers. His interest centered on Gregory of Nazianzus, John Damascene, Isidore of Pelusium, Epiphanius, and John Chrysostom; but he contributed also studies on Augustine, Gregory I, Irenaeus, Basil, Nicetas, Serronius, Psellos, Nonnus, and Elias of Crete. His Greek dictionary, Locutiones graecae, achieved a quick success. He published also books of sermons and spiritual verses; his letters are still in MSS at Sens and Troyes.
Bibliography: r. metz, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2 2:478. p. schmitz, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 8: 1488–90. r. gazeau, Catholicisme 2:63–64. Gallia Christiana 2:1296, 1421–22. b. heurtebize, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique 2.1:888–889.