Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Jacques Sirmond

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One of the greatest scholars of the seventeenth century, born at Riom in the Department of Puy-de-Dome, France, October, 1559; died in Paris, 7 October 1651. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1576 and was appointed in 1581 professor of classical languages in Paris, where he numbered St. Francis de Sales among his pupils. Called to Rome in 1590, he was for sixteen years private secretary to the Jesuit superior general, Aquaviva, devoting his leisure moments during the same period to the study of the literary and historical treasures of antiquity. He entertained intimate relations with several learned men then present at Rome, among them Bellarmine and particularly Baronius, whom he was helpful in the composition of the "Annales". In 1608 he returned to Paris, and in 1637 became confessor to King Louis XIII. His first literary production appeared in 1610, and from that date until the end of this life almost every year witnessed the publication of some new work. The results of his literary labours are chiefly represented by editions of Greek and Latin Christian writings. Theodoret of Cyrus, Ennodius, Idatius of Gallicia, Sidonius Apollinaris, Theodulph of Orleans, Paschasius Radbertus, Flodoard, and Hincmar of Rheims are among the writers whose works he edited either completely or in part. Of great importance were his editions of the capitularies of Charles the Bald and successors and the ancient councils of France: "Karoli Calvi et successorum aliquot Franciae regum Capitula" (Paris, 1623); "Concilia antiqua Galliae" (Paris, 1629). His collected works, a complete list of which will be found in de Backer- Sommervogel (VII, 1237-60), were published in Paris in 1696 and again at Venice in 1728.

DE BACKER-SOMMERVOGEL, Bibl. De la comp. de Jésus, VII (Brussels, 1896), 1237-61; COLOMIÈS, Vie du Père Sirmond (La Rochelle, 1671); CHALMERS, Biog. Dict. (London, 1816), s. v.

N.A. WEBER