1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Molinier, Auguste

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MOLINIER, AUGUSTE (1851-1904), French historian, was born at Toulouse on the 30th of September 1851. He was a pupil at the Ecole des Chartes, which he left in 1873, and also at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes; and he obtained appointments in the public libraries at the Mazarine (1878), at Fontainebleau (1884), and at St Genevieve, of which he was nominated librarian in 1885. He was a good paleographer and had a thorough knowledge of archives and manuscripts; and he soon won a first place among scholars of the history of medieval France. His thesis on leaving the Ecole des Chartes was his Catalogue des actes de Simon et d'Amauri de M onU'ort (inserted in vol. xxxiv. of the Bibliothéque de l'école, an important contribution to the history of the Albigenses. This marked him out as a capable editor for the new edition of L'histoire générale de Languedoc by Dom Vaisséte: he superintended the reprinting of the text, adding notes on the feudal administration of this province from 900 to 1250, on the government of Alphonso of Poitiers, brother of St Louis from 1226 to 1271, and on the historical geography of the province of Languedoc in the middle ages. He also wrote a Bibliographic du Languedoc, which was awarded a prize by the Académie des inscriptions et bellesf lettres, but remained in manuscript. He also published several documents for the Société de l'Orient Latin (Itinera hierosolymitana, in collaboration with Ch. Kohler, 1885); for the Société de l'Histoire de France (Chronique normande du xiv° siécle, assisted by his brother Emile, 1885); for the Collection de textes relatifs a Fenseignement de l'histoire (Vie de Louis le Gros, by Suger, 1887); for the Collection des documents inedits (Correspondence administrative d'AU'onse de Poitiers, 1894-1900); for the Recueil des historians de la France (Obituaires de la province de Sens 1904, 1906), &c., and several volumes in the Recueil des catalogues des bibliothéques publiques de France. Applying to the French classics the rigorous method used with regard to the texts of the middle ages, he published the Pensées of Pascal, revised with the original manuscript (1887-1889), and the Prooinciales (1891), edited with notes. In 1893 he was nominated professor at the Ecole des Chartes, and gave a successful series of lectures which he published (Manuel des sources de l'histoire de France au moyen age, 1902-1906). He also taught at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes. He died on the 19th of May 1904, after a short illness, leaving in manuscript a criticism on the sources of the Speculum historiale of Vincent de Beauvais.

His elder brother, Charles (b. 1843), is also of some importance as an historian, particularly on the history of art and on the heresies of the middle ages. He was appointed professor of history at the university of Toulouse in 1886.

A younger brother, Emile (1857-1906), became an assistant in the print-room at the Bibliothèque Nationale, and afterwards joined the staff at the Musée du Louvre, of which he eventually became keeper, retiring in 1902. He was a well-known connoisseur of art. He organized the famous Exposition Rétrospective held at the Petit Palais in 1900, and published a number of expert volumes on enamels, ceramics and furniture.