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André Dacier

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A French philologist, born at Castres, 6 April, 1651; died 18 September, 1722. He was a Huguenot and studied under Tanneguy Lefèvre at Saumur. While visiting Paris, he was presented to the Duc de Montausier who engaged him to edit Pomponius Festus in the collection of Latin author Ad usum Delphini (Paris, 1681; Amsterdam, 1699). In 1683 he married Anne Lefèvre, the daughter of his former preceptor, and two years later he and his wife abjured Protestantism. At this time Dacier published a translation of the works of Horace and a commentary on them (Paris, 1681-89), the text being that of Tanneguy Lefèvre published at Saumur in 1671. The translation is quite accurate for the period, but the commentary is far too diffuse and is distinctly illustrative of the taste for allegory that persisted far into the seventeenth century. According to Dacier, Horace knew everything, and the commentator even discovered that the poet had read the books of Moses and followed the method of Solomon in the Book of Proverbs to inspire a horror of adultery. In Dacier, however, are also found good explanations and judicious observations. He was mainly a translator, and his work in this line included "Marcus Antoninus" (Paris, 1690); Aristotle's "Poetics" (Paris, 1692); the "Oedipus" and "Electra" of Sophocles (Paris, 1692); Plutarch's "Lives" (five lives, Paris, 1694; complete, Paris, 1721; Amsterdam, 1723); Hippocrates (4 works, Paris, 1697); Plato (selections; Paris, 1699); Pythagoras and Hierocles (Paris, 1706) and Epictetus and Simplicius (Paris, 1715). He was appointed keeper of books in the king's study and, in 1695 entered the Academy of Inscriptions and the French Academy of which he became the secretary.

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