Méric Casaubon

Florence Estienne Méric Casaubon (August 14, 1599 - July 14, 1671), son of Isaac Casaubon, was an English classical scholar.

He was born in Geneva. At an early age he joined his father in England, and completed his education at Eton College and Oxford (B.A. 1618). His defence of his father against the attacks of certain Catholics (Pietas contra maledicos patrii Nominis et Religionis Hostes, 1621), secured him the notice and favour of James I, who conferred upon him a prebendal stall in Canterbury cathedral. He also vindicated his father’s literary reputation against certain impostors who had published, under his name, a work on The Origin of Idolatry (Vindicatio Patris adversus Impostores, 1624). During the English Civil War he lived a retired life, and after its conclusion refused to acknowledge the authority of Oliver Cromwell, who, notwithstanding, requested him to write an “impartial” history of the events of the period. In spite of the tempting inducements held out, he declined, and also refused the post of inspector of the Swedish universities offered him by Queen Christina. After the Restoration, he was reinstated in his benefice, and devoted the rest of his life to literary work. He died at Canterbury.

Méric Casaubon’s reputation was overshadowed by that of his father; but his editions of numerous classical authors, especially of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, were especially valued, and reprinted several times (but by modern standards, his translation is difficult reading).

Works

  • Pietas contra maledicos patrii Nominis et Religionis Hostes (1621)
  • Vindicatio Patris adversus Impostores (1624)
  • (transl.) Marcus Aurelies Antoninus the Roman Emperor, his Meditations Concerning Himself (1634)
  • A treatise of use and custome (1638)
  • De Quatuor Linguis Corninenlalio (1650)
  • A Treatise Concerning Enthusiasme (1659)
  • A true and faithful relation of what passed for many years between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits (1659)
  • Of the Necessity of Reformation (1664)
  • On Credulity and Incredulity in Things natural, civil and divine (1668)
  • Generall Learning: A Seventeenth-Century Treatise on the Formation of the General Scholar (ed. Richard Serjeantson, 1999)
  • A Letter of Meric Casaubon to Peter Du Moulin Concerning Natural Experimental Philosophie (ed. Peter Du Moulin, 1999)

This text is derived from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica.

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