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Philippe-André Grandidier

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Priest and historian, b. at Strasburg, Alsace, 9 Nov., 1752; d. at the Abbey of Luntzel (Lucelles), Sundgau, 11 Oct., 1787. This gifted scholar was appointed archivist of the Diocese of Strasburg at the early age of eighteen by the prince-archbishop, Cardinal de Rohan, and at twenty-five had been admitted to twenty-one scientific societies in France and Germany. His forte was critical investigation, but his intense application soon undermined his health, and he died at the early age of thirty-four. In recognition of his services he was made canon of Strasburg, and, shortly before his death, royal historiographer for Alsace. We owe to him two volumes of the "Histoire de l'église et des évêques-princes de Strasbourg depuis la fondation de l'évêché jusqu'à nos jours" (Strasburg, 1776-78), an account of the early ecclesiastical history of Alsace to 965. From the manuscripts of Grandidier Liblin continued this monumental work under the title: "Oeuvres historiques inédites de Ph.-A. Grandidier" (Colmar, 1865-67), in six volumes. Pius VI expressed his admiration of Grandidier's work and encouraged the young savant to further labours. The other canons of Strasburg therefore held themselves slighted and so opposed Grandidier's scientific methods -- even questioning the soundness of his faith -- that for a while he dropped all historical work. He soon yielded, however, to his love of science, and gave new evidence of his skill in historical research by the "Essais historiques et topographiques sur l'église cathedrale de Strasbourg" (Strasburg, 1782) and by the "Histoire ecclésiastique, militaire, civile et littéraire de la province d'Alsace" (Strasburg, 1787). Recently P. Ingold edited in five volumes the correspondence of this savant: "Nouvelles oeuvres inédites; Les Correspondants de Grandidier" (Paris, 1895-97).

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