Bergier, Nicolas

, an eminent French antiquary, was born at Rheims, March 1, 1567, and not 1557, as asserted by Bayle, Moreri, and Niceron. After finishing his studies at the university of that city, he became preceptor to the children of count de St. Souplet, who always testified his respect for him on account of the pains he bestowed on their education. He then was admitted an advocate, and appointed law-professor and syndic of the city, a place which he filled during many of the elections. His talents and virtues were so highly estimated by his fellow-citizens, that as a mark of their confidence they employed him on their affairs at Paris. During his visits to that metropolis, he commenced a friendship with Dupuy and Peiresc, and formed an acquaintance with the president de Bellievre, who obtained for him the place of historiographer by brevet, with a pension of two hundred crowns. He was on a visit at the country-house of this celebrated magistrate, when he was attacked by a fever, which terminated fatally, August 18, 1623, in his fifty -seventh year. The president honoured him with an affectionate epitaph, which is printed in his two principal works. He is particularly known in the literary world by his “Histoire des grands chemins de l’empire Remain,” a work in which he was assisted by his friend Peiresc, who furnished him with many necessary documents. It was first printed in 4to, 1622, and in the course of a century became very scarce. In 1712 the first book of it was translated into English, and published at London, in 8vo, entitled “The general history of the Highways in all parts of the world, particularly in Great Britain.” In 1728, John Leonard, bookseller and printer at Brussels, published a new edition of the original, 2 vols. 4to, from a copy corrected by the author; and one yet more improved was printed at the same place, in 1736, 2 vols. 4to. They are both scarce, but the first is reckoned the best printed. It has also been translated into Latin by Henninius, professor in the university of Duisbourg, with learned notes, and the remarks of the abbé Du Bos, for Graevius’s antiquities, vol. X. but Bayle is mistaken in supposing that this | work was translated into Latin and Italian by Benedict Baccliini, who, however, made some progress himself in a work “De viis antiquorum Romanorum in Italia,” and doubtless would have availed himself of Bergier’s labours. Besides this history of the Roman roads, Bergier had begun a history of Rheims, the manuscript of which the president de Bellievre wished Andre Duschesne to complete, but some obstruction arising on the part of the chapter of Rheims, who refused Duschesne access to their archives, he declined proceeding with the undertaking. The son of the author, however, John Bergier, unwilling that the whole should be lost, published the two books left complete by his father, with a sketch of the other fourteen of which it^as to consist. This wasentitled “Dessein de I’Histoire de Reims,” ibid. 1635, 4fo. Bergier was also author of 1. “Le point du Jour, ou Traite du Commencement des Jours et de l’endroit ou il est etabli sur la terre,Rheims, 1629, 12 mo. The first, a Paris edition, 1617, wasentitled “Archemeron.” His object is to attain some general rule for avoiding the disputes respecting the celebration of the Catholic festivals. 2. “Le Bouquet royal,Paris, 1610, 8vo; Rheims, 16:57, 4to, enlarged, an account of the devises and inscriptions which graced the entrance of Louis XIII. into Rheims. 3. “Police generale de la France,1617. 4. Various Latin and French poems inserted in the collections, but we cannot pronounce him very successful as a poet. 1


Biog. Universelle. Gen. Dict. —Niceron, vol. VI. —Moreri. Memoirs of Literature, vols. IV. and VII,