Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/François Vatable

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 15
François Vatable

by Charles Léon Souvay


(Or better WATEBLED, the name is also written GASTEBLED or OUATEBLE).

French Hellenist and Hebraist of the eighteenth century, b. at Gamaches (85 miles north-west of Paris), Picardy, probably in the latter years of the fifteenth century; d. in Paris, 16 March, 1547. He was for a time rector of Bramet in Valois, in 1530 or 1531. King Francis I appointed him to the chair of Hebrew in the newly-founded (1530) "College of the Three Languages", afterwards better known as "College de France". At a later date a royal grant conferred upon Vatable the title of Abbot of Bellozane, with the benefices attached thereto. Vatable is justly regarded as the restorer of Hebrew scholarship in France, and his lectures in Paris were largely attended, even by Jews. Yet he published nothing during his lifetime. He had, however, completed a Latin translation of Aristotle "Meteorologica", which appeared at Lyons in 1548, and another of the same author's "Parva naturalia", which was published in Paris (1619). From the lecture notes taken by Vatable's pupils Robert Stephens drew the material for the scholia which he added to his edition of the new Latin translation of the Bible by Leo of Juda (4 vols., Paris, 1539-45); but it has been proven beyond doubt that these notes had been shamefully garbled by the Protestants of Zurich. The Sorbonne doctors sharply inveighed against the Lutheran tendencies of the notes of Stephen's Bible, and Vatable himself disowned them; yet, as they are a model of clear, concise. literary, and critical exegesis, the Salamanca theologians, with the authorization of the Spanish Inquisition, issued a new thoroughly-revised edition of them in their Latin Bible of 1584. From the edition of 1729 Migne republished, in his "Scripturae sacrae cursus completus" (XII, Paris, 1841), the scholia on the Books of Esdras and Nehemias. The (garbled) notes on the Psalms, re-edited in R. Stephens's "Liber Psalmorum Davidis" (1557), were printed again, together with remarks of H. Grotius, by Vogel under the misleading title: "Francisci Vatabli annotationes in Psalmos" (Halle, 1767).

SAINTE-MARTHE: Gallorum doctrina illustrium elogia (Paris, 1598); HURTER, Nomenclator literarius; CALMET, Bibliotheque sacree, IV (Paris, 1730); DUPIN, Table universele des auteurs ecclesiastiques, I (Paris, 1704); FELLER, Dictionnaire historique, VIII (Paris, 1822), 311; LICHTENBERGER, Encyclopedie des sciences religieuses, XII (Paris, 1877-82), 307; SIMON, Hist. crit. du Vieux Testament, III (Paris, 1680), 15; HANEBERG, Gesch. der bibl. Offenb. (4th ed., Ratisbon, 1876), 849.

CHARLES L. SOUVAY