Benedictine historian, b. at Painblanc, in the department of Côte-d'Or, France, 1703; d. at Paris, 5 August, 1778. Clémencet entered the Congregation of Saint-Maur at an early age; for a short time he was lector of rhetoric at Pont-le-Voy, but, on account of his great abilities, was soon called to Paris. Here he took part in almost all of the important literary labours of his congregation, showing a marked preference for historical research. At first his superiors commissioned him to edit the "bibliotheca" (Myriobiblion) of Photius. Clémencet soon retired from this task and devoted all his powers to a chronological work for which Dantine, another member of the congregation, had made the preparatory studies. This chronology, Clémencet's principal work, had the very prolix title: "l'art de vérifier les dates où faits historiques des chartes, des chroniques, et anciens monuments depuis la naissance de Jésus-Christ, par le moyen d'une table chronologique, ou l'on trouve les années de Jésus-Christ et de l'Ere d'Espagne, les Indictions, le Cycle pascal, les Pâques de chaque année, les Cycles solaires et lunaires. Avec un Calendrier perpétuel, l'Histoire abrégée des conciles, des papes, des empereurs romains, grecs, français, allemands et tures; des rois de France, d'Espagne et d'Angleterre, d'Ecosse, de Lombardie, de Sicile, de Jérusalem, etc., des duccs de Bourgogne, de Normandie, de Bretagne; des Comtes de Toulouse, de Champagne et de Blois par des religieux bénédictins de la congrégation de Saint Maur" (Paris, 1750). The work was compiled with extraordinary industry, and contains, as the title shows, a large amount of historical material. In its judgment of persons and facts, however, it betrayed a strong bias to Jansenism and Gallicanism, and was, consequently, frequently attacked, one opponent in particular being the Jesuit Patouillet. The assertion was made, and not without reason, that the title out to read: "L'art de vérifier les dates et falsifier les faits".
Clémencet also wrote volumes X and XI, issued at Paris, 1756 and 1759, of the monumental work "Histoire littéraire de la France ". The volumes prepared by Clémencet are a rich collection of authorities and are of importance not only for the literary history of France but also for the history of the development of all the nations of the Middle Ages. It was intended that he should edit volume XII of the "Histoire littéraire", preparing for it the life of St. Bernard of Clairvaux , but he gave up the undertaking and wrote instead an independent work entitled: "Histoire des vies et écrits de Saint-Bernard et de Pierre le Vénérable" (Paris, 1773). His strong predilection for Jansenism is shown in two of his writings, namely: "Histoire générale de Port-Royal depuis la reforme de cette abbaye jusqu'à son entiere destruction (10 vols., Amsterdam, 1755-1757), and "Conferences de la Mère Angélique de Saint-Jean, Abbesse de Port-Royal" (3 vols., Utrecht, 1760). Of the former of these two works only the first half could be published, as the second part contained too strong a defence of Jansenism. On account of his leaning to Jansenism, Clémencet was a bitter opponent of the Jesuits. He attacked them in several exceedingly sharp pamphlets and worked for the suppression of the Society. Among his literary labours should also be mentioned his share in an excellent edition of the works of St. Gregory of Nazianzus . Prudentius Maranus, another member of the Congregation of Saint-Maur, had begun the task. Clémencet issued the first volume under the title: "Gregorii Theologi opera quae extant omnia" (Paris, 1778). This edition is still valuable and far surpasses all the earlier editions.
St Matthew Holy Card
Risen Christ Holy Card
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 in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
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