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Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > C > Jean-Baptiste Cotelier

Jean-Baptiste Cotelier

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Patristic scholar and theologian, born December, 1629, at Nîmes; died 19 August, 1686, at Paris; The early education of this very gifted man was under the personal direction of his father, at one time a minister of the Reformed Church, but later a convert to Catholicity. So rapid was his progress in learning that he could fluently interpret the Bible in the original Hebrew and Greek before the General Assembly of the French clergy at Mantes (1641). On the same occasion he showed his proficiency in mathematics, and made such a favourable impression on the clergy that they increased his father's pension from 600 to 1000 livres. To this sum 300 livres were added for the purchase of books; During the period of his theological studies at Paris (1641-47), Cotelier's brilliant intellectual qualities procured for him an introduction to the king (1644); He graduated as bachelor in theology in 1647 at the Sorbonne, of which he became a member in 1648, though he never received priestly ordination; In 1654, he accompanied Archbishop d'Aubusson de la Feuillade of Embrun to his diocese and became his counsellor. He returned, in 1659, to Paris and again devoted himself to study. With the philologist Du Cange he was commissioned in 1667 by Minister Colbert to investigate and catalogue the Greek manuscripts of the Royal Library. In 1676 he was appointed professor of the Greek language in the Collège Royal at Paris.

The editions of ancient writings prepared by Cotelier were, in chronological order:

He had collected materials for a fourth volume which was edited (1688) by the Maurists, Pouget, Montfaucon, and Lopin, and is sometimes known as "Analecta Græca". Cotelier also left several volumes of manuscripts, which bear chiefly on Christian antiquity and are still preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris. He was an extremely accurate scholar, of a modest and retiring nature and kindly disposition.


BALUZE, Letter to Bigot, in COTELIER-LECLERC, Patres Apostolici (Amsterdam, 1724). I, after the preface; NICÉRON. Mèmoires, IV, 243-49; VON HEFELE in Kirchenlex., s.v.; HURTER, Nomenclator (Innsbruck, 1893), II, 471-74.

About this page

APA citation. Weber, N. (1908). Jean-Baptiste Cotelier. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Weber, Nicholas. "Jean-Baptiste Cotelier." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Douglas J. Potter. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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