Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Joseph-Alexandre Martigny
Canon of Belley, archaeologist; b at Sauverny, Ain, in 1808; d at Belley, 19 August, 1880. He studied at the petit séof Belley and became a professor there in 1832. He was curate later at Cressy and afterwards a parish priest of Arbignieu. Encouraged by his bishop and the learned Abbé Greppo, who was distinguished for his labours in promoting a revival of religious archaeology in France, he devoted his leisure hours to the pursuit of that science. He was appointed curé of Bagéâ and made an honorary canon in 1849. From that time dates his acquaintance with J.B. de Rossi, to whom he became closely attached by reason of his work in the domain of Christian archaeology. Though living in a retired locality he collected the matter for his "Dictionaire des antiquité chré", which appeared in 1865; the first work of its kind, giving evidence of the vast erudition, too vast perhaps, for the articles so varied in matter and character, are all from the pen of this learned country priest. This work was soon taken up again by Smith in England and Kraus in Germany. Martigny published a corrected edition of his dictionary in 1877. The publisher, Hachette, had intended the work to be part of the "Dictionnaire des antiquitié grecques and romaines" of Daremberg and Saglio, but its importance made it an independent work. Mgr. Martigny published also a French edition of the "Bulletino de archaeologia" of De Rossi. His writings include beside his "Dictionaire des antiquité chretiennes" (Paris, 1865; 2nd edition, 1877), various articles in "Annales de l'Academie de Macon", 1851, ssq., etc.
Polybiblion, XXIX, 1880, p. 375-76.