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Gabriel Naudé

Gabriel Naudé (February 2, 1600 - July 10, 1653), French librarian and scholar, was born in Paris on the 2nd of February 1600.

He studied medicine at Paris and Padua, and became physician to Louis XIII. In 1629 he became librarian to Cardinal Bagni at Rome, and on Bagni's death in 1641 librarian to Cardinal Barberini.

At the desire of Richelieu he began a wearisome controversy with the Benedictines, denying Gerson's authorship of De Imitatione Christi. Richelieu intended to make Naudé his librarian, and on his death Naudé accepted a similar offer on the part of Mazarin, and for the next ten years devoted himsel to bringing together from all parts of Europe the noble assemblage of books known as the Bibliothéque Mazarine.

Mazarin's library was sold by the parlement of Paris during the trouble of the Fronde, and Queen Christina invited Naudé to Stockholm. He was not happy in Sweden, and on Mazarin's appeal that he should re-form his scattered library Naudé returned at once. But his health was broken, and he died on the journey at Abbeville on the 10th of July I653.

The friend of Gui Patin, of Pierre Gassendi and all the liberal thinkers of his time, Naudé was no mere bookworm; his books show traces of the critical spirit which made him a worthy colleague of the humorists and scholars who prepared the way for the better known writers of the "siècle de Louis XIV"

Including works edited by him, a list of ninety-two pieces is given in the Naudaeana. The chief are Le Marfore, ou discours contre les libelles (Paris, 1620), very rare, reprinted 1868; Instruction a la France sur la vérité de l'histoire des Frères de la Roze-Croix (1623, 1624), displaying their impostures; Apologie pour tous les grands personnages faussement soupconnez de magie (1625, 1652, 1669, 1712), Pythagoras, Socrates, Thomas Aquinas and Solomon are among those defended; Advis pour dresser une bibliothèque (1627, 1644, 1676; translated by J. Evelyn, 1661), full of sound and liberal views on librarianship; Addition a l'histoire de Louys XI (1630), this includes an account of the origin of printing; Bibliographia politica (Venice, 1633, etc.; in French, 1642); De studio hiberali syntagma (1632, 1654), a practical treatise found in most collections of directions for studies; De studio militari syntagma (1637), esteemed in its day; Considérations politiques sur les coups d'êtat.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.