Montfaucon, Bernard de
MONTFAUCON, BERNARD DE
Benedictine scholar, paleographer; b. Soulage, France, Jan. 16, 1655; d. Paris, Dec. 21, 1741. He came from a noble family and was an army officer under the Count of Turenne from 1672 until he joined the Benedictine maurists in Toulouse in 1675. He was ordained in 1676 and went to saint-germain-des-prÉs Paris (1687), to study Greek, Hebrew, and Syriac as preparation for editing the Greek Fathers. From 1698 to 1701 he did research in libraries in Italy with P. Briois in search of manuscripts and other historical material. He met L. A. muratori in Milan and was welcomed to Rome by Pope Innocent XII. He published a Diarium Italicum (1702) and used materials he had gathered, especially archeological, in L'Antiquité expliquée et representée en figures (10 v. 1719; 2d ed. 1722 and 5 v. suppl.), and Les Monuments de la monarchie française (5 v. 1729–33). He is known also for his monumental editions of St. Athanasius (3 v. 1698, in Patrologia Graeca 25–28), the Hexapla of Origen (2 v. 1713), and St. John Chrysostom (13 v. 1718–38, in Patrologia Graeca 47–64). He virtually created the science of Greek paleography with his Palaeographia graeca (1708). In 1699 he wrote a defense of the Maurist edition of St. Augustine. He maintained a voluminous correspondence with learned men of his time; and the younger generation of Benedictine scholars, the "Bernardins," were greatly influenced by him. He is buried next to J. mabillon in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
Bibliography: Correspondance inédite de Bernard de Mont-faucon, ed. m. valÉry, 3 v. (Paris 1846). e. de broglie, Bernard de Montfaucon et les Bernardins, 2 v. (Paris 1891). h. leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, 15 v. (Paris 1907–53) 11.2:2608–2672. j. baudot, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, 15 v. (Paris 1903–50) 10.2:2388–2390. st. hilpisch, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, 10 v. (Freiburg 1957–65) 7:589–590.
[f. x. murphy]