Bernard de Montfaucon
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Montfaucon, Bernard de
Born Jan. 13, 1655, in Soutlage; died Dec. 21, 1741, in Paris. French philologist and historian; member of the congregation of Maurists. Member of the Academy of Inscriptions (1719).
Montfaucon founded Greek paleography as a scholarly discipline. He traced the history of Greek writing from the earliest times to the fall of the Byzantine Empire (1453). Basing his work on a thorough analysis of numerous Greek manuscripts in French and Italian libraries, he defined the principles for researching medieval manuscripts. His work was the basis for the study of medieval Greek manuscript books and documents, and he cataloged the Greek codices in the collection of Chancellor P. Seguier. Montfaucon also compiled the first index of the then known manuscript collections. He published the works of Athanasius of Alexandria and John Chrysostom and wrote multivolume works on history and archaeology.
WORKSPalaeographia Graeca. Paris, 1708.
Bibliotheca Coisliniana, olim Segueriana. Paris, 1715.
L’Antiquité expliquée et représentée en figures, vols. 1–15. Paris, 1719–24.
Les Monuments de la monarchic française, vols. 1–5. Paris, 1729–33.
Bibliotheca bibliothecarum manuscriptorum nova, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1739.
B. L. FONKICH