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Jacques Paul Migne

Jacques Paul Migne (1800-1875), French priest and publisher, was born at St Flour, Cantal, on October 25 1800. He studied theology at Orléans, was ordained priest in 1824 and placed in charge of the parish of Puiseaux, in the diocese of Orléans.

In 1833 he went to Paris, and started L'anivers religieux, which afterwards became Louis Veuillot's ultramontane organ. On severing his connexion with the paper three years later, he opened at Petit Montrouge, near Paris, the great publishing house which brought out in rapid succession numerous religious works at popular prices. The best known of these are: Scripturae sacrae cursus cormpletus, and Theologiae cursus (each in 28 vols, 1840-5); Collection des auteurs sacrés; (100 vols., 1846-8); Encyclopédie théologique (171 vols., 1844-6); Patrologiae cursus completus, Latin series in 221 vols. (1844-5; and edition, 1878 seq.); Greek series, first published in Latin (85 vols., 1856-7); with Greek text and Latin translation (165 vols., 1857-8).

Unfortunately these editions, brought out in great haste and often edited by superficial scholars, do not come up to the requirements of modern criticism. By far the most noteworthy is the Patrology, which was superintended by the learned Benedictine JB Pitra. Its vast scope leaves it still unique and valuable, where other editions of special works do not exist. The indices, in three volumes, are arranged so that one may easily find any reference in the patristic writings.

In February 1868 a great fire destroyed the whole of Migne's printing premises, but he established a new house in Paris, which was purchased in 1876 by the publishers Gamier Frères, who still own all the works brought out by Migne. He died in Paris on October 25 1875.

For a more complete account of Migne's life, see the article in the Catholic Encyclopedia (New York, 1906 seq.).

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

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