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Miraeus, Aubert (le Mire)


Church historian; b. Brussels, Dec. 2, 1573; d. Antwerp, Oct. 19, 1640. Of a wealthy merchant family, Miraeus attended the college at Douai, and then the University of Louvain, where he was taught by Justus Lipsius. He became a canon of the cathedral (1601) and later secretary to his uncle, Jean Miraeus, the bishop of Antwerp. Vice Regent of the Netherlands Albert of Austria (reign 1596162l) sent him on diplomatic missions to La Haye (1609) and Paris (160910), and appointed him court chaplain at Brussels (1615). He was also appointed dean of the cathedral at Antwerp (1624) and vicar general (1635).

During these years of diocesan administration and diplomatic service, Miraeus wrote prodigiously, if not always accurately, on Church history (39 works are listed). A great number of his books served as valuable guides to the history of monastic orders and religious congregations, including the Benedictines (1606, 1614), Carmelites (1608, 1610), Carthusians (1609), military orders (1609), Augustinians (1612, 1614, 1622), Premonstratensians (1613), and Cistercians (1614); and he prepared a brief history of the orders that came into being during the Counter Reformation, De congregationibus clericorum in communi viventium, ut theatinorum, societatis Jesu, barnabitarum, somaschae, oratorii, doctrinae christianae (Cologne 1622). His greatest fame is derived from his writings on the history of Belgium: Elenchus historicorum Belgii (Brussels 1622); Rerum belgicarum chronicon (Antwerp 1636); Stemmata principum Belgii (Brussels 1626); Diplomatum bellicorum libri duo (Brussels 1627); Donationum belgicarum libri duo (Antwerp 1629); and Notitia ecclesiarum Belgii (Antwerp 1630). Miraeus wrote also on hagiographical questions, the state of religion in Europe, Emperor Ferdinand II, and the Bohemian wars; compiled lists of the episcopates throughout the world; and composed a general chronicle of Christian history.

Bibliography: É. amann, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, 15 v. (Paris 190350) 10.2:186264, and works. É. brouette, Lexicon für Theologie und Kirche, 10 v. (Freiburg 193038) 7:436437, bibliog.

[e. d. mcshane]

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