FLEURY, CLAUDE: French historian and ecclesiastic; b. at Paris Dec. 6, 1640; d. there July 14, 1723. He was educated at the college of Clermont, studied law, and for nine years practised as an advocate at Paris, where in 1674 he published his Histoire du droit français. Following the bent of his contemplative nature, however, and influenced by such men as Boeauet, he took orders, and was appointed tutor to the princes of Conti (1672), the count of Vermandoia (1680), and the dukes of Burgoyne, Anjou, and Berry (1689). In 1683 he received the Cistercian abbey of Locdien in Rhodes, and was elected to the Academy in 1696 as the successor of La Bruy&e. He declined the proffered see of Montpellier, but in 1706 accepted from Louis XIV. the priory of NBtre Dame d'Argenteuil, where he remained until 1716, when he was recalled to court as the confessor of Louis XV. This position


he resigned in 1722, the year before his death. Fleury's reputation rests chiefly upon his Histoire ecclesiastique (20 vols., Paris, 1691-1720), a history of the Church to 1414, written with much detail and moderation of tone from a standpoint of pronounced Gallicanism, but marred by a lack of critical acumen. It was continued to 1778 by Jean Claude Faber and Alexandre la Croix, though with less happy results. In the middle of the nineteenth century the manuscript of Fleury's own continuation to 1517 was discovered at Paris and published in the latest edition of the entire work (Histoire ecclesiastique par l'Abbé Fleury, augmentée de quatre livres, 6 vols., Paris, 1640), but is far inferior in value to the preceding part of the work.

For his pupils, Fleury wrote Les Maeurs des Israelites (Paris, 1681; Eng. transl., The Manners of the Christians, . . . with Biographical Notes, Oxford, 1872); Las Maeurs des Chrétiens (1682); and Grand catéchisme historique (1679). His Institution au droit ecclésiatique (Paris, 1692), like his Discours sur les libertés de l'église gallicane (1690), is permeated by a spirit of firm Gallicanism. His pedagogical system was developed in his Traité du choix et de la méthode des études (1675). The minor works of Fleury were collected in his Opuscules (5 vols., Nimes, 1780-81).

Eugène Choisy.

Bibliography: Nicéron, Mémoires, vol. viii.; L. E. Dupin, Nouvelle bibliothèque des auteurs ecclesiastiques, vol. xviii., 35 vols., Paris, 1689-1711; F. R. Guettée, Histoire de l'église de France, vols. x., xi., 12 vols., Paris, 1847-56; L. Genay, Un Pédagogue oublié du xviie siècle, Paris, 1879.


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