Louis Ferdinand Alfred Maury
From Classic Encyclopedia 1911
LOUIS FERDINAND ALFRED MAURY (1817-1892), French scholar, was born at Meaux on the 23rd of March 1817. In 1836, having completed his education, he entered the Bibliotheque Nationale, and afterwards the Bibliotheque de 1'Institut (1844), where he devoted himself to the study of archaeology, ancient and modern languages, medicine and law. Gifted with a great capacity for work, a remarkable memory and an unbiassed and critical mind, he produced without great effort a number of learned pamphlets and books on the most varied subjects. He rendered great service to the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, of which he had been elected a member in 1857. Napoleon III. employed him in research work connected with the Histoire de Cesar, and he was rewarded, proportionately to his active, if modest, part in this work, with the positions of librarian of the Tuileries (1860), professor at the College of France (1862) and director-general of the Archives (1868). It was not, however, to the imperial favour that he owed these high positions. He used his influence for the advancement of science and higher education, and with Victor Duruy was one of the founders of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes. He died at Paris four years after his retirement from the last post, on the 11th of February 1892.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. - His works are numerous: Les Fees au moyen age and Histoire des legendes pieuses au moyen age; two books filled with ingenious ideas, which were published in 1843, and reprinted after the death of the author, with numerous additions under the title Cro y ances et legendes du moyen age (1896); Histoire des grandes folets de la Gaule et de l'ancienne France (1850, a 3rd ed. revised appeared in 1867 under the title Les Forets de la Gaule et de l'ancienne France); La Terre et l'homme, a general historical sketch of geology, geography and ethnology, being the introduction to the Histoire universelle, by Victor Duruy (1854); Histoire des religions de la Grece antique, (3 vols., 1857-1859); La Magie et l'astrologie dans l'antiquite et dans le moyen age (1863); Histoire del' ancienne academie des sciences (1864); Histoire de l'Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres (1865); a learned paper on the reports of French archaeology, written on the occasion of the universal exhibition (1867); a number of articles in the Encyclopedie moderne (1846-1851), in Michaud's Biographie universelle (1858 and seq.), in the Journal des savants in the Revue des deux mondes (1873, 1877, 1879-1880, &c.). A detailed bibliography of his works has been placed by Auguste Longnon at the beginning of the volume Les Croyances et legendes du moyen age.