- Fichet, Guillaume
- (1433-after 1490)Paris theologian. He was born in Savoy and from an early age was attracted to the Latin works of Petrarch and to the ancient Roman poets. He studied at Avignon and then at Paris, where he received a doctorate in theology in 1468. At Paris he taught the traditional scholastic courses in logic and theology, but he also gave well-attended evening lectures on classical authors. A diplomatic mission to Milan in 1469-1470 gave him first-hand experience of the new humanistic culture of Italy. Largely because of his desire to spread interest in ancient literature, he joined with another theologian, the German Johann Heynlin von Stein, to bring German printers to Paris and establish the first press in France within the building of the Sorbonne. Fichet probably met Cardinal Johannes Bessarion while he was in Italy and certainly corresponded with him and introduced him to the university faculty when Bessarion came to Paris to preach a crusade to recapture Constantinople. Neither Fichet nor his collaborator Heynlin stayed in Paris.Heynlin moved to the University of Basel, and in 1472 Fichet followed Bessarion back to Italy, where he was given a position in the papal curia at Rome. His introduction of the art of printing to France greatly helped him promote the study of classical Latin language and literature at Paris. The year of his death is unknown, but he was still living at Rome in 1490.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.