Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/147

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131
SIMON, THOMAS—SIMON OF ST QUENTIN

an annotated edition of the Prolegomena, and actually added to the Critical History a translation of the last four chapters of that work, which had formed no part of his original plan. Simon's announcement prevented the appearance of the projected translation, but his enemies were all the more irritated. They had now obtained the opportunity which they had long been seeking. The freedom with which Simon expressed himself on various topics, and especially those chapters in which he declared that Moses could not be the author of much in the writings attributed to him, especially aroused their opposition. The powerful influence of Bossuet, at that time tutor to the dauphin, was invoked; the chancellor Michael le Tellier lent his assistance; a decree of the council of state was obtained, and after a series of paltry intrigues the whole impression, consisting of 1300 copies, was seized by the police and destroyed, and the animosity of his colleagues in the Oratory rose to so great a height against Simon that he was declared to be no longer a member of their body. Full of bitterness and disgust, Simon retired in 1679 to the curacy of Bolleville, to which he had been lately appointed by the vicar-general of the abbey of Fécamp.

The work thus 'confiscated in France it was proposed to republish in Holland. Simon, however, at first opposed this, in hopes of overcoming the opposition of Bossuet by making certain changes in the parts objected to. The negotiations with Bossuet lasted a considerable time, but finally failed, and the Critical History appeared, with Simon's name on the title page, in the year 168 5, from the press of Reenier Leers in Rotterdam. An imperfect edition had previously been published at Amsterdam by Daniel Elzevir, based upon a MS. transcription of one of the copies of the original work which had escaped, destruction and had been sent to England, and from which a Latin and an English translation were afterwards made. The edition of Leers was a reproduction of the work as first printed, with a new preface, notes, and those other writings which had appeared for and against the work up to that date.

The work consists of three books. The first deals with questions of Biblical criticism, properly so called, such as the text of the Hebrew Bible and the changes which it has undergone down to the present day, the authorship of the Mosaic writings and of other books of the Bible, with an exposition of Simon's peculiar theory of the existence during the whole extent of Jewish history of recorders or annalists of the events of each period, whose writings were preserved in the public archives, and the institution of which he assigns to Moses. The second book gives an account of the principal translations, ancient and modern, of the Old Testament, and the third contains an examination of the principal commentators. He had, with the exception of the theory above mentioned, contributed nothing really new on the subject of Old Testament criticism, for previous critics as L. Cappel, Johannes Morinus (1591-1659) and others had established many points of importance, and the value of Simon's work consisted chiefly in bringing together and presenting at one view the results of Old Testament criticism. The work encountered strong opposition, and that not only from the Church of Rome. The Protestants felt their stronghold-an infallible Bible -assailed by the doubts which Simon raised against the integrity of the Hebrew text. ]. le Clerc (“ Clericus ”) in his work Sentimens de quelques lhéologiens de Hollande, controverted the views of Simon, and was answered by the latter in a tone of considerable asperity in his Réponse aux Sentimens de qiwlques tliéologiens de Hollande, over the signature “ Pierre Ambrun, " it being a marked peculiarity of Simon rarely to give his own name.

The remaining works of Simon may be briefiy noticed. In 1689 appeared his Histoire critique du texte du Nouveau Testament, consisting of thirty, =three chapters, in which he discusses the origin and character of the various books, with a consideration of the objections brought against them by the Jews and others, the quotations from the Old Testament in the New, the inspiration of the New Testament (with a refutation of the opinions of Spinoza), the Greek dialect in which they are written (against C. Salmasius), the Greek MSS. known at the time, especially Codex D (Cantabrigiensis), &c. This was followed in 1690 by his Histoire critique des versions du Nouveau Testament, where he gives an account of the various translations, both ancient and modern, and discusses the manner in which many difficult passages of the New Testament have been rendered in the various versions. In 1693 was published what in some respects is the most valuable of all his writings, viz. Histoire critique des principaux commentateurs du Nouveau Testament deifuis le commencement du Christianisme jusques ci notre temps. This work exhibits immense reading, and the information it contains is still valuable to the student. The last work of Simon that we need mention is his Nouvelles Observations sur le texte ct les versions du Nouveau Testament (Paris, 1695), which contains supplementary observations upon the subjects of the text and translations of the New Testament.

As a controversialist Simon displayed a bitterness which tended only to aggravate the unpleasantness of controversy. He was entirely a man of intellect, free from all tendency to sentimentality, and with a strong vein of sarcasm and satire in his disposition. He died at Dieppe on the 11th of April 1712 at the age of seventy-four.

The principal authorities for the life of Simon are the life or “éloge " by his grand-nephew De la Martiniere in vol. i. of the Lettres choisies (4 vols., Amsterdam, 1730); K. H. Graf's article in the first vol. of the Beitr. zu d. theol. Wissensch., &c. (Jena, 1851); E. W. E. Reuss's article, revised lily E. Nestle, in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopddie (ed. 1906); Richar Simon et son Vieux Testament, by A. Bernus (Lausanne, 1869); H. Margival, Essai sur Richard Simon et la critique biblique au X VII' siécle (1900). For the bibliography, see, in addition to the various editions of Simon's works, the very complete and accurate account of A. Bernus, Notice bibliographigue sur Richard Simon (Basel, 1882).


SIMON, THOMAS (c. 1623–1665), English medallist, was born, according to Vertue, in Yorkshire about 1623. He studied engraving under Nicholas Briot, and about 1635 received a post in connexion with the Mint. In 1645 he was appointed by the parliament joint chief engraver along with Edward Wade, and, having executed the great seal of the Commonwealth and dies for the coinage, he was promoted to be chief engraver to the mint and seals. He produced several ine portrait medals of Cromwell, one of which is copied from a miniature by Cooper. After the Restoration he was appointed engraver of the king's seals. On the occasion of his contest with the brothers Roettiers, who were employed by the mint in 1662, Simon produced his celebrated crown of Charles II., on the margin of which he engraved a petition to the king. This is usually considered his masterpiece. He is believed to have died of the plague in London in 1665.

A volume of The Medals, Coins, Great Seals and other Works of Thomas Simon, engraved and described by George Vertue, was published in 1753.


Simon Ben Yoḥai (2nd century A.D.), a Galilean Rabbi, one of the most eminent disciples of Aqiba (q.v.). His master was executed by Hadrian, and Simon's anti-Roman sentiments led to his own condemnation by Varus c. 161 A.D. (according to Graetz). He escaped this doom and dwelt for some years in a cavern. Emerging from concealment, Simon settled in Tiberias and in other Galilean cities. He acquired a reputation as a worker of miracles, and on this ground was sent to Rome as an envoy, where (legend tells) he exercised from the e1nperor's daughter a demon who had obligingly entered the lady to enable Simon to effect his miracle. This Rabbi bore a large part in the fixation of law, and his decisions are frequently quoted. To him were attributed the important legal homilies called Sifre and Mekhilta (see MIDRASH), and above all the Zohar, the Bible of the Kabbalah (q.v.). This latter ascription is altogether unfounded, the real author of this mystical commentary on the Pentateuch being Moses of Leon (q.v.).

The fullest account of Simon's teachings is to be found in W. Bacher's Agada der Tannaiten, ii. pp. 70-149.  (I. A.) 


SIMON OF ST QUENTIN (fl. 1247), Dominican mission-traveller and diplomatist. He accompanied, and wrote the history of, the Dominican embassy lunder Friar Ascelin or Anselm, which Pope Innocent IV. sent in 1247 to the Mongols of Armenia and Persia. Simon's history, in its original form, is lost; but large sections of it have been preserved in Vincent of Beauvais's Speculum historiale, where nineteen chapters are expressly said to be ox libello fratris Simon-is, or entitled frater Simon. The embassy of Ascelin and Simon, who were accompanied by Andrew of Longjumeau, proceeded to the camp of Baiju or Bachu Noyan (i.e. “General” Baiju, Noyan signifying a commander of 10,000) at Sitiens in Armenia, lying between the Aras river and Lake Gokcha, fifty-nine days’ journey from Acre. The papal letters were translated into Persian, and thence into Mongol, and so presented to Baiju; but the Tatars were greatly irritated by the haughtiness of the Dominicans,