Historian, born at Albens, Savoy, 1767; died at Passy, 30 September, 1839. He belonged to an ancient family of Savoy. Educated at the College of Bourg at Gresse, in 1786 he entered a publishing house at Lyons, but left it after a few years to take up journalistic work at Paris, where, during the Revolution, he defended warmly and not without risk the royal cause. Arrested on 13 Vendemiaire, 1795, he succeeded in escaping and resumed the journalistic war. Under the Consulate he wrote several pamphlets in which appeared criticisms of Napoleon that led to his imprisonment in the Temple for a time. After his release from prison he decided to abandon politics for literature. In 1808 he published the first volume of the "History of the Crusades". In the same year he founded with his brother the "Biographie Universelle". Elected to the French Academy in 1814, he was, under the Restoration, deputy editor of "La Quotidienne", and then lecturer to Charles X. In May, 1830, he undertook a voyage to the East and the Holy Land in order to study phases of Eastern life and thus impart more realistic colour to the accounts of his "History of the Crusades". He was unable to complete the final edition.
Michaud's most important work is his "History of the Crusades" (1st ed., 3 vols., Paris, 1812-17; 6th ed., Poujoulat, 6 vols., Paris, 1841). In his choice of the subject and the manner in which he treated it Michaud was an innovator; his work was one of the first productions of the historical school which, inspired by the works of Chateaubriand, restored the Middle Ages to a place of honour. Today the value of this work seems open to question; the information appears insufficient and the romantic colour is often false. It was none the less the starting point of studies relating to the Crusades, and it was under the influence of this publication that the Academy of Inscriptions in 1841 decided to publish the collection of historians of the Crusades. Michaud had accompanied his work with a "Bibliothèque des Croisades" (Paris, 1829, 4 vols., 12°), which contained French translations of the European and Arabic chronicles relating to the Crusades. Besides, he directed the publication of the "Biographie Universelle" (2nd ed., 45 vols., Paris, 1843), and in collaboration with Poujoulat that of the "Collection des Mémoires pour servir a l'histoire de France depuis le 13e siècle jusqu'au 18e" (32 vols., Paris, 1836-44).
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