, perhaps better known by his classical appellation of Dionysius Petavius, was born at Orleans Aug. 21, 1583. His father, Jerome Petau, although
, perhaps better known by his classical appellation of Dionysius Petavius, was born at Orleans Aug. 21, 1583. His father, Jerome Petau, although a merchant, was a man of considerable literature, and rather more attentive to matters of taste than of commerce: the consequence of which was, that he left very little property to his children, six sons and two daughters. He gave them all, however, a learned education; the daughters as well as the sons being taught Latin and Greek, and able to write verses in both languages. But we find, that with all his learning, Jerome was a superstitious bigot to his religion; which his biographer, father Oudin, as warm a zealot as himself, says was at one time in danger of being shaken by some of his Protestant friends, who were very numerous in Orleans. Nay, he was, according to Oudin, about to renounce Popery altogether, and retire with his family, when an extraordinary accident prevented his design. A part of his house tell down, and so frightened him, that, while he lay buried under the ruins, he made a vow, that if ever he escaped, he would break off all acquaintance with the Protestants; and being dug out alive and unhurt, he kt-pt his vow, and endeavoured to give his children the *ame dislike to the Protestant faith as he had formerly determined to give them to the Roman Catholic.