Jean Mabillon

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mabillon, Jean


Born Dec. 26, 1632, in St.-Pierremont; died Dec. 27, 1707, in Paris. French historian, member of the congregation of Maurists. Member of the Academy of Inscriptions (1701).

Beginning in 1664, Mabillon worked in the library of the monastery of St. Germain-des-Pres (Paris). He was responsible for the publication of many volumes of sources on the history of the Benedictine Order, including commentary and notes (13 volumes in all; the last two volumes were completed by other Maurists). In preparing the sources for publication, Mabillon scrupulously verified their authenticity and reconstructed the original text. He founded the historical disciplines of diplomatics and paleography. Mabillon worked out a method for determining the authenticity of a document, established signs by which to date and localize a manuscript, and created the theory of “national types” of Latin writing.


Dobiash-Rozhdestvenskaia, O. A. Istoriia pis’ma v srednie veka. Moscow, 1936. Pages 90-105.
Kasminskii, E. A. Istoriografiia srednikh vekov. Moscow, 1963. Pages 121-22, 125.
Leclercq, H. Mabillon, vols. 1-2. Paris, 1953-57.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Quando o jesuita bolandista Daniel von Paperbroeck (1628-1714) afirmou serem falsos todos os diplomas merovingos preservados nos mosteiros, o monge beneditino de Saint-Maur Jean Mabillon (1632-1707) respondeulhe que, se havia diplomas falsos, havia tambem os autenticos.
En las actas del segundo coloquio, que ahora comentamos, se recogen once ponencias, la gran mayoria dedicadas a teologos destacados del periodo: Erasmo de Rotterdam, Martin Lutero (con dos), Juan de Maldonado, Jean-Baptiste Saint-Jure, Gabriel Biel y Jean Mabillon; pero tambien hay cuatro estudios sobre corrientes doctrinales (los controversistas de Lutero, la espiritualidad del <<Siglo de Oro>> espanol, la teologia americana de los siglos XVI y XVII, y el debate metodologico generado por el probabilismo).
It has elicited sharply divergent interpretations since Jean Mabillon discovered it at Bobbio in 1686.
Only with manuals written by Robert Bellarmine and Antonio Possevino do historical concerns clearly win out over sectarian ones, pointing the way to a truly authentic historical method as later defined by Jean Mabillon and practiced by other Maurists.
In the forty-six pages of chapter seven, for example, he takes us from Pico della Mirandola to Goethe to Voltaire to Max Weber, back to Pico, to Luther to North and Thomas's Rise of the Western World (1973), back to Max Weber, to Hume (the essay on "Superstition and Enthusiasm") to the Jansenists to Armand de Ranch, the seventeenth-century founder of the Trappist order and his quarrel about monasticism with Jean Mabillon, to Edward Whiting Fox's History in Geographic Perspective: The Other France (1971) to Eric Jones's The European Miracle: Environments, Economies, and Geopolitics in the History of Europe and Asia (1981) to Montesquieu, to Voltaire again, forward to Michelet, backward to Rousseau, back again to Montesquieu, forward to Madison, and ending with Burke.
(12) Palaeographical study did not begin in earnest until the work of Jean Mabillon in the late seventeenth century: for a summary account, see L.