Baluze, Stephen

, a learned French writer, was born in 1631, at Tulles, in the province of Guienne, where he began his education, and finished it at Toulouse, obtaining a scholarship in the college of St. Martial. In | 1656, Peter de Marca, archbishop of Toulouse, invited him to Paris, which he accepted, and in a little time gained the esteem and entire ron-adence of this prelate. But upon his death, in June 1662, Baluze, looking out for another patron, was agreeably prevented by M. le Tellier, afterwards chancellor of France, who having an intention to engage him in the service of abbe le Tellier his son, afterwards archbishop of Rheims, made him several considerable presents. Some obstacles, however, having happened to prevent his continuance in this family, and Mr. Colbert having offered to make Baluze his library-keeper, he accepted the office with the consent of M. le Tellier. He continued in, this employment till some time after the death of M. Colbert when, not being so well treated by the archbishop of Rouen, he declined being any longer librarian. The excellent collection, however, of manuscripts, and many other books, which are to be found in that library, was formed by his care and advice.

In 1670 he was appointed professor of canon-law in the royal college, with this mark of respect, that the professorship was instituted by the king on his account. In 1668 the abbé Faget had published several works of cle Marca and having, in his life prefixed, asserted, that the archbishop, at his death, had ordered Baluze to give up all his papers in his possession to the president de Marca his son, this raised the resentment of Baluze, who vindicated himself in several severe letters, which he wrote against the abbe“Faget. In 1693 he published his” Lives of the popes of Avignon" with which the king was so much pleased, that he gave him a pension, and appointed him director of the royal college. But he soon felt the uncertainty of courtly favours, for, having attached himself to the cardinal Bouillon, who had engaged him to write the history of his family, he became involved in his disgrace, and received a lettre de cachet, ordering him to retire to Lyons. The only favour he could obtain was, to be first sent to Roan, then to Tours, and afterwards to Orleans. Upon the peace he was recalled, but never employed again as a professor or director of the royal college, nor could he recover his pension. He lived now at a considerable distance from Paris, and was above eighty years of age, yet still continued his application to his studies, and was engaged in publishing St. Cyprian’s works, when he was carried off by death, on the 28th of July 1718. | Baluze is to be ranked among those benefactors to literature who have employed their time and knowledge in collecting from all parts ancient manuscripts, and illustrating them with notes. He was extremely versed in this species of learning, and was perfectly acquainted with profane as well as ecclesiastical history, and the canon Jaw, both ancient and modern. He kept a correspondence v.ith all the men of learning in France, and other countries. His conversation was easy and agreeable, and even in his old age he retained great vivacity. He shewed, however, somewhat of caprice in his last will, by appointing n woman, no way related to him, his sole legatee, and leaving nothing to his family and servants.

Niceron has given a list of twenty-nine articles, of which Baluze was either author or editor. The principal are, 1. “Petri de Marca de Concordia Sacerdotii et Imperil/‘ fol. Paris, 1663, 1669, and 1704. 2.” Salviani Massiliensis et Vincentii Lirinensis Opera, cum Notis,“Paris, 1669, and 1684, 8vo, the last the best edition. 3.” Servati Lupi opera/’ Paris, 1664, 8vo, with judicious notes. 4. “Agobardi opera et Leidradi et Amulonis, epistolse et opuscula,Paris, 2 vols. 8vo. 5. “Petri Castellani vita, auctore Petro Gallandio,” ib. 1674, 8vo. 6. “Marii Mercatoris Opera,” ib. 1684; these two collated with Mss. and enriched by notes illustrative of the history of the middle age. 7. “Miscellanea,” a collection of ancient pieces from manuscripts, 7 vols. 8vo, published in various years from 1678 1715, and reprinted by Mansius in 1761. 8. “Capitularia regum Francorum,” ib. 2 vols. folio. This collection contains several capitularies never published before. Mr. Baluze has corrected them with great accuracy, and has given an account in his preface of the original and authority of the several collections of the capitularies. The kings of France held anciently every year a large assembly, iw which all the public affairs were treated. Jt was composed of all the considerable persons among the clergy and laity, bishops, abbots, and counts. It was in the presence and by the advice of this assembly, that the kings made their constitutions, which were read aloud and after the assembly had given their consent, every person subscribed. These constitutions being abridged and reduced under proper heads were called capitula or chapters, and a collection of several articles was stiled a capitulary. They may be distinguished into three kinds, according to | the subjects of them. Those which treat of ecclesiastical affairs were generally taken from the canons, and had the sanction of the bishop’s authority, and therefore might be considered of the same force as the canons. Those which contained general regulations in civil affairs, had properly the real force of laws. And those which related only to certain persons and certain occasions, were only to be considered as particular regulations. The authority of these capitularies was always very great. They were constantly observed in the most exact manner in all the empire of the Francs, that is, in almost all Europe during the reigns of Charlemagne, Lewis the Debonnaire, and his sons. The bishops transcribed them in their councils, and even the popes were ambitious to follow them, as appears by a letter of Leo IV. to the emperor Lotharius, mentioned by Yvo of Chartres and Gratian. They were for a long time in force in Germany as well as in France, and the use of them was not interrupted till the beginning of the third race of the kings of France. Mr. Baluze has added to these capitularies the ancient formularies of Marculfus those of an anonymous author those published by father Sirmond and Mr. Bignon a new Collection of Formularies extracted from divers old Manuscripts; and those of the promotion of bishops published by father Sirmond in the second volume of the Councils of France. 9. “L. C. F. Lactantii Liber, de mortibus persecutorum,” ib. 1680, and Utrecht,

1692, 8vo. 10. “Epistoloe Innocentii III. Liber XL” ib. 1682, 2 vols. fol. not a complete collection, as Baluze was refused the use of those preserved in the Vatican. 11.“Nova Collectio Conciliorum,” ib. 1683, fol. containing such pieces as are wanting or imperfect in Labbe’s collection. 12. “Vitae Paparum Avenionsium,” mentioned before, ib.

1693, 2 vols. 4to. In this he gave such a preference to Avignon over Rome, as the seat of the popes, on account of the contamination of their morals in the latter place, that his book was honoured with a place in the Index expurgatorius. 13. “Histoire Genealogique de la maison d'Auvergne,” ib. 2 vols. fol. a work which ranks him among the ablest French antiquaries. 14. “Historian Tutelensis, libri tres.” This history of Tulles likewise acquired him much reputation as a man of research. Lastly, his edition of St. Cyprian’s works, which was edited after his death by Maran, Paris, 1726, fol. 1


Gen. Dict. —Niceron.Dupin,- —Moreri