Jesuit church historian, numismatist, controversialist, philologist, and librarian; b. Quimper, Brittany, Dec. 22 (23?), 1646; d. Paris, Sept. 3, 1729. Hardouin, the son of a book dealer, was admitted to the Jesuit novitiate, Sept. 25, 1660. At the Collège Louis-le-Grand in Paris he served as librarian and taught rhetoric and then theology (1683–1718). During these years he performed extensive research. In his writings on numismatics, which include Nummi antiqui populorum et urbium illustrati (Paris 1684), Numismata aliquot rariora Augustorum … (Luxembourg 1700), and Chronologia ex nummis antiquis restituta (2 v. Paris 1697), Hardouin displayed an industrious scholarship, though his works were not free from errors, and his methods of establishing chronology from the dates on coins were criticized. His skill in linguistic science appears in Themistii orationes XXXIII (Paris 1684) and Plini Secundi historiae naturalis libri XXXVII (Paris 1685).
Hardouin was associated with the publication of the Journal de Trévoux, contributing innumerable articles on Scripture, numismatics, history, and patrology, from its first appearance in 1701 until his death. He also engaged in written polemics, notably with the Oratorian Bernard lamy, over the date of Christ's last paschal supper, De supremo Domini paschate (Paris 1685), and with Pierre François Le Courayer on the validity of Anglican orders, Le Défense des ordinations anglicanes refuteé par le P.J. Hardouin (2 v. Paris 1727). His fame rests principally on his history of the councils of the Church, Conciliorum collectio regia maxima: Acta conciliorum et epistolae decretales, ac constitutiones summorum pontificum (12 v. Paris 1714–15). It was based on the 18-volume collection by Philippe labbe and Gabriel Cossart (Paris 1671–72), which it surpassed; it is also conceded to be richer and more reliable than the later 31-volume collection of Giovanni Domenico mansi (Venice 1757–98). For this work Hardouin was granted a pension by the Assembly of the French Clergy (1687); Louis XIV assumed the expense of its publication. Though it was printed in 1714–15, its distribution was delayed for ten years by order of the French Parlement after a commission of the Sorbonne found that it contained maxims contrary to Gallican Liberties.
Hardouin was a scholar of great erudition, but he held several convictions that caused amazement. He believed that the Cephas rebuked by Paul was not Peter the Apostle; that Christ and the Apostles preached in Latin; that the Alexandrine and Hebrew versions of the OT and many writings of early Christianity (e.g., facundus of hermiane, Marius Mercator, parts of justin martyr, cassiodorus, and isidore) were not authentic; that the odes of Horace, Vergil's Aeneid, the orations of Cicero, and a great number of other classics were fabrications of the 13th century; and that Louis thomassin, Cornelius jansen, Antoine arnauld, Pasquier quesnel, Nicolas malebranche, Blaise pascal, and René descartes were atheists. The appearance of such theses led to the posthumous condemnation of three of his works by the Inquisition: J. Hardouini … opera selecta (Amsterdam 1709; condemned April 13, 1739), published without consent of Hardouin; J. Hardouin … opera varia (Amsterdam 1733; condemned April 13, 1739); Commentarius in Novum Testamentum … (Amsterdam 1741; condemned July 28, 1742).
Bibliography: g. dumas, Histoire du Journal de Trévoux, depuis 1701 jusqu'en 1762 (Paris 1936). p. c. sommervogel, Table méthodique des Mémoires de Trévoux, 1701–1775, 3 v. (Paris 1864–65). h. quentin, Jean-Dominique Mansi et les grandes collections conciliaires (Paris 1900) 38–54. p. mech, Catholicisme 5:510–511. p. bernard, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 1903–50; Tables Générales 1951–) 6.2:2042–46. f. x. bantle, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 5:5.
[e. d. mcshane]
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