Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

French historian, b. at Paris, 28 December, 1659; d. there 12 October, 1737. He was the son of Mathurin Catrou, secretary to Louis XIV. During his college days a marked facility and grace in composition gave promise of his future literary success. At eighteen he entered the Society of Jesus. During his regular period of Jesuit probation and study his talents for preaching were discovered, and at the completion of his course in 1690 he began his active career as a preacher, in which office he continued for ten years with remarkable success. In 1701 he founded the "Journal de Trevoux", and was an active member of its staff for twelve years. While thus engaged in journalistic duties he found time for historical research, and to his productions in this line his fame is chiefly due. His principal works are: (1) histoire generale de l'empire du Mogul", published in five duodecimo volumes, 1715, the matter being drawn, in the main, from the memoirs of the Venetian traveller Manuzio (translated into Italian as "Istoria generale del Imperio del Mogul" by Domenico Occhi, Venice, 1751, and into English as "History of the Mogul Dynasty", London, 1826). - (2) "Histoire du fantisme dans la religion protestante", a controversial work dealing principally with the Anabaptists and the Quakers ; the best edition, 1740, in two duodecimo volumes, Paris - (3) "Histoire romaine", with geographical and critical notes in twenty-one quarto volumes (1725-37), edited a second time in 1737. - The notes are from the pen of P. Rouillé, S.J. This gigantic work was translated into Italian by Fra Zannino Marsecco, Venice, 1730-37, and into English by R. Bundy, as "The Roman History with Notes, done into English from the Original French of the Rev. Fathers Catrou and Rouillé", London, 1728-37, in six folio volumes. The French work was highly praised at the time for its deep research and solid reasoning, but its somewhat pompous style soon brought severe censure from the critics. Its appearance in an English dress gave occasion to some very bitter attacks; but, though censured, this work was the source of Nathaniel Hooke's inspiration. In his "Roman History" he drew freely from the text of Catrou and more freely from the critical notes of Rouillé. - (4) "Traduction de Virgile", with critical and historical notes. The translation is at all times free and not infrequently inaccurate. The notes and the accompanying life of Virgil manifest a thorough acquaintance with both poem and poet. Catrou's Virgil was a constant companion of the historian Gibbon during his early studies. "I always consulted the most learned and ingenious commentators" he writes in his autobiography; "Torrentius and Dacier on Horace, and Catrou and Servius on Virgil".

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18
12 for the Lord is a judge who is utterly impartial.13 He ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 34:2-3, 17-18, 19, 23
2 I will praise Yahweh from my heart; let the humble hear and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 18:9-14
9 He spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on ... Read More

Reading 2, Second Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
6 As for me, my life is already being poured away as a libation, and the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 23rd, 2016 Image

St. John of Capistrano
October 23: St. John was born at Capistrano, Italy in 1385, ... Read More