1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Monod, Gabriel

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MONOD, GABRIEL (1844-       ), French historian, was born at Havre on the 7th of March, 1844. Adolphe Monod (q.v.) was his uncle. Having studied at Havre, he went to Paris to complete his education, and whilst there lived with the family of De Pressensé. The influence of Edmond de Pressensé, a pastor and large-minded theologian, and of Madame de Pressensé, a woman of superior intellect and refined feeling, who devoted her life to educational works and charity, made a great impression on him. In 1865 he left the école normale supérieure, and went to Germany, where he studied at Göttingen and Berlin. The teaching of George Waitz definitely directed his studies towards the history of the middle ages. Returning to France in 1868 he was nominated by V. Duruy to give lectures on history, following the method used in German seminaries, at the école des hautes études. When the Franco-Prussian War broke out, Gabriel Monod, with his cousins, Alfred and Sarah Monod, organized an ambulance with which he followed the whole campaign, from Sedan to Mans. He wrote a small book of memoirs of this campaign, Allemands et français (1871), in which he spoke of the conquerors without bitterness; this attitude was all the more praiseworthy as his mother was an Alsatian, and he was unable to resign himself to the loss of Alsace and Lorraine. The war being over he returned to teaching. At this period of his life he wrote Grégoire de Tours et Marius d'Avenche (1872); Frédégaire, whose history, taken from original MSS., he published in 1885; a translation of a book of W. Junghans, Histoire critique des règnes de Childerich et de Chlodovech, with introduction and notes (1879); Études critiques sur les sources de l'histoire carolingienne (1898, 1st part only published); and Bibliographie de l'histoire de France (1888). He himself said that his pupils were his best books; he intended to teach them not so much new facts as the way to study, endeavouring to develop in them an idea of criticism and truth. They showed their gratitude by dedicating a book to him in 1896, Études d'histoire du moyen âge, and after his retirement in 1905 by having his features engraved on a slab (see À Gabriel Monod, en souvenir de son enseignement: école pratique des hautes études, 1868-1905, école normale supérieure, 1880-1904. May 26, 1907). In 1875 he founded the Revue Historique, which rapidly became a great authority on scientific education. Some of his articles in this and other periodicals have been put together in book form, Les Maîtres de l'histoire: Renan, Taine, Michelet (1894); Portraits et souvenirs (1897: on Hugo, Fustel de Coulanges, V. Duruy, &c.).