Oudin, Casimir

, a learned French monk, originally of a family of Rheims, was born at Mezieres, Feb. 11, 1638. His father was a weaver, and designed to breed him to his own business; but the son’s inclination leading him to literature, he retired in 1656, against the will of his parents, among the Premontres, passed his noviciate in the abbey of Verdun, and made his profession in November, 1658. He was afterwards sent into France, where he spent four years in the studies of philosophy and theology, with, however, very little assistance from his masters, who were very ignorant; he then applied himself particularly to ecclesiastical history, which was his favourite study. Thus employed, he remained in obscurity for twenty years, among those of his order, when his talents became known by one of those apparently accidental circumstances which give a turn to the lives of men. His superiors happened to place him in 1678, in the abbey of Bucilly, in Champagne, and Lewis XIV. on a journey in 1680, coming to this abbey, stopped to dine. It was usual for such a guest to receive the compliments of the society; and when Oudin found that all the monks were afraid to appear, in order to address his majesty, he undertook the task, and acquitted himself so well, that the king and court were surprized to find, in so savage and solitary a place, a person of so much address and good sense; and his majesty, greatly pleased with his reception, ordered the abbey a purse of fifty louis d’ors. Oudin’s abilities being thus discovered, he was sent in 1614, by Michael Colbert, the principal and reformergeneral of this order, to visit the abbeys and churches belonging to them, and to take from their archives whatsoever might be of use in his history. On this occasion he went | to all the convents in the Netherlands, returned to France with a large collection of historical documents, and in 1685 wade the same researches in Lorrain, Burgundy, and Alsace. In 1688 he published “A Supplement of the Ecclesiastical Writers, omitted by Bellarmine,” a work which did him much honour, under the title “Supplementum de scriptoribus vel scriptis ecclesiasticis a Bellarmino omissis, ad annum 1460, vel ad artem typographical!! inventam.” He published afterwards a complete body of those works, with the title of “Commentarius de scriptoribus ecclesias antiquis, illorumque scriptis, adhunc extantibus in celebrioribus Europae bibliothecis, a Bellarmino, Possevino, Phil. Labbeo, Gul, Caveo, Ellio, Du Pin,” &c. 3 vols. folio. This is his principal work; but if we may believe Le Clerc, our author did not understand either Greek or; Latin sufficient for it and it certainly abounds in errors, a great many of which, however, belong to the press.

In 1690 he quitted France and went to Leyden, where he embraced the Protestant religion, and was made underlibrarian of the university; and continued at Leyden till his death, which happened in Sept. 1717. He was the author, or rather collector of some other things, among which are, “Veterum aliquot Galliae & Belgiae scriptorum opuscula sacra,Leyden, 1692; “Trias dissertationum Criticarum,” ibid. 1718. 1


Niceron, vols. I. and X. —Moreri,