STEPHENS, ESTIENNE, STEPHANUS: The name of a distinguished Parisian family of printers, which did most brilliant service in the interest of literature, and by their publications promoted the cause of the Reformation.
1. Henry, the first printer of this name, had an establishment of his own in Paris from 1503 to 1520. He was on friendly terms with some of the most learned men of the day, Bude, Briconnet, and Faber Stapulensis (q.v.), and had among his proof-readers Beatus Rhenanus. Among his publications were Faber's editions of Aristotle, the Psalterium quincuplex, and his commentary on the Pauline Epistles. Henry left three sons, Francois, Robert, and Charles. Francois published a number of works (1537-47) which had no bearing upon theology. His few impressions, chiefly issues of the classics, were all in Latin except Psalterium and a Horae Virginis in Greek. Charles studied medicine, wrote some works on natural history, and gained an honorable position both as scholar and as author. In 1551 he assumed control of the Paris printing establishment, on Robert's departure to Geneva, and printed a number of works till 1561, using the title "royal typographer" (typographus regius). One of his works that long remained an authority was a Dictionarium Latino-Gallicum, 1552. He published a number of smaller editions of Hebrew texts and targums, which were edited by J. Mercier.
2. Robert, the second son of Henry, and the founder of the splendid reputation which the name of Stephens still enjoys, was born in Paris, 1503, and died in Geneva Sept. 7, 1559. He early became acquainted with the ancient languages, and entered the printing-establishment of Simon de Colines, who married his mother upon his father's death. He corrected the edition of the Latin New Testament of 1523. This work was the first occasion of the endless charges and criminations of the clerical party, especially the theological faculty of the Sorbonne, against him. In 1524 he became proprietor of the press of his father. In 1539 he adopted as his devices an olive branch around which a serpent was twined, and a man standing under an olive-tree, with grafts from which wild branches were falling to the ground, with the words of Rom. xi. 20, Noli altum sapere, sed tinge, "Be not high-minded, but fear." The latter was called the olive of the Stephens family. In 1539 he received the distinguishing title of "Printer in Greek to the king." But the official recognition and the crown's approval to his under- taking could not save him from the censure and ceaseless opposition of the divines, and in 1550, to escape the violence of his persecutors, he emigrated to Geneva. With his title of "royal typographer" Robert made the Paris establishment famous by his numerous editions of grammatical works and other school-books (among them many of Melanchthon's), and of old authors, as Dio Cassius, Eusebius, Cicero, Sallust, Caesar, Justin. Many of these, especially the Greek editions, were famous for their typographical elegance. In 1532 he published the remarkable Thesaurus linguae latinae, and twice he published the Hebrew Bible entire-- in 1539-44, thirteen parts, in four volumes, and 1544-46 in seventeen parts. Both of these editions are rare. Of more importance are his four editions of the Greek New Testament, 1546, 1549, 1550, and 1551, the last in Geneva. The first two are among the neatest Greek texts known, and are called O mirificam; the third is a splendid masterpiece of typographical skill, and is known as the Editio regia; the edition of 1551 contains the Latin translation of Erasmus and the Vulgate, is not nearly as fine as the other three, and is exceedingly rare. It was in this edition that the versicular division of the ITew'1'estament was for the first time introduced (see BIBLE TEXT, II., 2, § 2, III., § 3). A number of editions of the Vulgate also appeared from his presses, of which the principal are those of 1528, 1532, 1540 (one of the ornaments of his press), and 1546. The text of the Vulgate was in a wretched condition, and Stephens's editions, especially that of 1545, containing a new translation at the side of the Vulgate, was the subject of sharp and acrimonious criticism from the clergy. On his arrival at Geneva, he published a defense against the attacks of the Sorbonne. He issued the French Bible in 1553, and many of Calvin's writings; the finest edition of the Institutio being that of 1553. His fine edition of the Latin Bible with glosses (1556) contained the translation of the Old Testament by Santes Pagninus, and the first edition of Beza's translation of the New Testament.
Three of Robert's sons, Henry, Robert, and Francois, became celebrated as printers. Francois, the second (b. in 1540), printed on his own account in Geneva from 1562-82, issuing a number of editions of the Bible in Latin and French, and some of Calvin's works. French writers identify him with a printer by the name of Estienne in Normandy, whither he is supposed to have emigrated in 1582. Robert, the second (b. in 1530; d. in 1570), began to print in Paris on his own account in 1556, and in 1563 received the title of Typographus regius; his presses were busily employed in issuing civil documents. He held to the Roman Catholic faith and thus won the support of Charles IX., and by 1563 appears to have fully reconstituted his father's establishment in Paris. His edition of the New Testament of 1568-69 a reprint of his father's first edition, and equal to it in elegance of execution, is now exceedingly rare.
3. Henry, the second, the eldest son of the great Robert, and without doubt the most distinguished member of the family, was born in Paris, 1528, and died at Lyons March, 1598. He displayed in his youth a genuine enthusiasm for Greek and Latin;
Henry was married three times, and had fourteen children, of whom three survived him. His son Paul (b. 1567), of whose life little is known, assumed control of the presses. Two of Paul's sons were printers-- Joseph at La Rochelle, and Antoine (d. 1674), who became "Printer to the king" in Paris in 1613. Fronton Le Due's Chrysostom, and Jean Morin's Greek Bible (3 vols., 1628) were issued from Antoine's presses. His son Henry succeeded to the title of "Printer to the king" in 1649, and his work closed about 1659. He left no children, and was the last of the family who took active interest in editing and printing. The high standard that had been established by the early Stephens was maintained to the last, and the publications of the later publishers were mainly in the division of Greek and Roman classics.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Maittaire, Stephanorum historic., vitas ipaorum ac Zibros eomplectena, London, 1709; idem, Hist. typographorum aliquot Parisensium, 2 vols., ib. 1717; A. A. Renouard, Annalea de L'impr%merie des Estienne, ou hist. de la Jamitle des Eatientae et de aes bdiEiona, 2 parts, Paris, 1837-38; G. A. Grapelet, Robert Eatienne . . . et le roi Frangois 1., Paris, 1839; L. J. Feugbre, Easa% sur la vie
ex lea ouvragea de H. Eatienne, Paris, 1853; E. Frommann, Aufsatze zur Geachichte des Buchhandela im 16. Jahrhundert, Jena, 1878; P. Schaff, Companion to the Greek Testament and the English Version, pp. 236-237, 538-539, New York, 1883; F. H. Reuach, Index der verbotenen Biicher, i. 152, 337, 418, ii. 188, et passim, Bonn, 1885; Nouveaux documents sur les Eatienne, imprimeurs pariaiens, 1617-1686, in Memoirea of the Paris Society of History, vol. xau., Paris, 1895; G. H. Putnam, Books and their Makers during the Middle Ages, ii. 15-100, New York, 1897; idem, Censorship of the Church of Rome, i. 102, 228 sqq., 298, 238, 411, ib. 1907; P..Renouard, Imprimeura parisiens depuia 1¢70 juaqu'k la fin du XVI. sibcle, Paris, 1898; A. Claudin, Hilt. de l'impr%merae en France au xv. d xvt. aiMe, Paris, 1900· L. Radigeur; MaRtrea %mpr%meura et ouvriera typographea, 1/,70-190,°., Paris, 1903.
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