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Panat Times

Volume 1, redone Dec. 2014


Volume 1


Orest's Pages

Patricia's Musings



Musical Rhetoric

Transcribed Sources


De Thou Studies

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An Afterthought on the Historian

Was de Thou a Humanist historian? He was deeply interested in and supportive of the editing and publishing of the works of Antique authors. His closest friends, Casaubon and Pithou, advanced Humanist scholarship, but de Thou did not do so himself. His work on falconry is not an edition.

Living fully in his terrible present, he occasionally escaped by paraphrasing Job; but it was truly his History that constituted his great work and that held his undivided attention and potential for glory. He sought to deepen the understanding of the human social and political conditions of man.

Heretics and tyrants do not usually die in their beds. De Thou leaves it to his readers to decide if violent death is part of the equation. Limitless ambition and winning popular political support, equals death. De Thou's Providence sustains the virtues and the good accomplished by Henry IV. For de Thou, Humanity remained so fragile that it seemed destined to extinction, like the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. By reading about violence, the human heart could be moved to diminish it. De Thou was a humane historian.


Car la cause et premier motif de l'origine de l'histoire, ne peut estre raporté qu'au désir d'honeur, soing du public et des successeurs, qui pousse naturellement tous hommes et belles ames, notamment: de conserver la mémoire du bien, le nom des vertueux et louanges de toutes actions honestes. Pour davantage mêmes illustrer lesquelles, on ajouta la mémoire du mal, du vice et des meschancetez des plus vicieux ....

-- Lancelot Voisin de La Popelinière, L'Histoire des Histoires (Paris, 1599), page 26.