- Casaubon, Isaac
- (1559-1614)French classical scholar, regarded as the most skilled Hellenist of his time. A Protestant in religion, he taught Greek in Geneva and at the University of Montpellier and in 1600 was invited to the French court, where he became keeper of the royal library but disappointed the hopes of King Henry IV by refusing to convert to Catholicism. He began as primarily a student of classical antiquity but gradually shifted his interests to early Christian history. He spent the last period of his life at the court of James I of England, who had him write polemical works in defense of the Anglican religious settlement. Casaubon published several critical editions of Greek authors but was best known for his last publication, De rebus sacris et ecclesiasticis exercitationes / Exercises on Sacred and Ecclesiastical Matters (1614). This work attacked the strongly Catholic account of early church history in the Annales of Cardinal Cesare Baronio. Its most famous chapter demonstrated that the Hermetic texts which Renaissance Platonists attributed to a divine revelation made to the Egyptians long before the birth of Christ were a series of forgeries made in the late classical period.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.