Renaudot, Eusèbe

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Orientalist, historian of liturgy; b. Paris, July 20, 1648; d. Paris, Sept. 1, 1720. The oldest of 14 children, and son and grandson of prominent physicians, Renaudot entered the oratorians but withdrew and remained in minor orders, deeply religious and somewhat austere. With his knowledge of Syriac, Coptic, and Arabic, he combined an interest in theology and Church history. Part of his time was taken up with consultations on diplomatic affairs at the French court, and from 1680 he was editor of the Gazette de France, a family property by royal privilege.

Elected to the French Academy in 1689, he was 62 when he began to publish his materials on Oriental Church teaching and practice in liturgy and ritual. His Liturgiarum orientalium collectio (2 v. Paris 171516) provided the West with a large repertory of liturgical texts of the various Eastern rites in Latin translation. There is in it some mixing of Maronite and West Syrian (Jacobite) materials, and most of the liturgies have been critically studied since his day; but this work and his volumes on the Perpetuité de la foi catholique de l'Eglise (between 1708 and 1713) were important reference works in the fields of liturgy and sacramental theology. He also published a history, drawn from Arabic sources, of the Coptic Church of Alexandria, and the text and translation of early Arab seafarers' accounts of India and China. He left his library to the Benedictines of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Some of his unpublished translations were later employed in H. Denzinger's Ritus orientalium (2 v. Würzburg 186364).

Bibliography: a. raes, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiberg 195765) 8:1236. h. leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, ed. f. cabrol, h. leclercq and h. i. marrou (Paris 190753) 14.2:236972. j. carreyre, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al. (Paris 190350) 13.2:238183. a. villien, L'Abbé Eusèbe Renaudot (Paris 1904).

[p. w. skehan]