Marie-Nicolas Bouillet

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Marie-Nicolas Bouillet (born May 5, 1798 in Paris , † December 28, 1864 in Paris, 6th arrondissement ) was a French teacher, translator and lexicographer whose name is closely linked to the Dictionnaire universel d'histoire et de geographie , which he published in 1842. This work gained extraordinary popularity "to the point that the name of the author entered the language and that today [1865] the name Bouillet is given to any dictionary of history and geography".

Life and academic career

Nicolas Bouillet, who came from a family of gunsmiths from Saint-Étienne , was orphaned at the age of two and then raised by his mother. He studied at a private school, in 1816 he switched to the normal pension (the predecessor of the École normal supérieure (Paris) ), where he was taught by Théodore Simon Jouffroy and Victor Cousin , among others . He became an assistant professor of philosophy at the Collège de Rouen and returned to Paris in 1821 to complete the Concours d ' Agrégation . He taught philosophy at a college, then in 1829 as a substitute at the Lycée Saint-Louis , from 1830 as a full-time teacher at the Lycée Charlemagne and the Lycée Henri IV . He became head of the Collège Bourbon (now Lycée Condorcet ) in 1840 and dismissed during the February Revolution in 1848 . In 1850 he was made an honorary member of the university and in 1851 an academy inspector.

Marie-Nicolas Bouillet died at the age of 66 and was buried in the Cimetière de Montmartre .


After the Dictionnaire classique de l'antiquité sacrée et profane , which mimicked the Bibliotheca classica by John Lemprière , the Dictionnaire universel d'histoire et de gégraphie was the second dictionary published by Nicolas Bouillet. Between 1842 and 1914 it saw 34 issues. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Roman Catholic Church put the work on the index of forbidden books in 1852 . Two more supplements followed this work, the Dictionnaire universel de sciences, des lettres et des arts (1854) and the Atlas universel d'histoire et de geographie (1865).

Nicolas Bouillet also edited Seneca , Cicero and Francis Bacon , translated Plotinus and Porphyrios , and worked on various magazines and other encyclopedic works.

  • Dictionnaire classique de l'antiquité sacrée et profane (2 volumes, 1826)
  • Abrégé du dictionnaire classique de l'antiquité sacrée et profane (1826)
  • L. Annaei Senecae pars prima, sive Opera philosophica (5 volumes, 1827–1830)
  • MT Ciceronis pars tertia, sive Opera philosophica (1828–1831)
  • Œuvres philosophiques de Bacon, publiées d'après les textes originaux, avec notice, sommaires et éclaircissements (3 volumes, 1834)
  • Dictionnaire universel d'histoire et de geographie (1842)
  • Dictionnaire universel des sciences, des lettres et des arts (1854)
  • Les Ennéades de Plotin, traduites pour la première fois en français, accompagnées de sommaires, de notes et d'éclaircissements et précédées de la vie de Plotin et des principes de la théorie des intelligibles de Porphyre (3 volumes, 1857–1861)
  • Porphyre, son rôle dans l'école neo-Platonicienne, sa lettre à Marcella, traduite pour la première fois en français (1864)
  • Atlas universel d'histoire et de geographie contenant (1) la chronologie (2) la généalogie (3) la geographie (1865)

Private life

Marie-Nicolaus Bouillet was the son of Nicolas Bouillet (* 1744 in Saint-Étienne) and Antoinette Lebeau. He married Clémentine-Adrienne Joséphine Magin-Marrens in 1827. Her son Philippe Bouillet († 1912) was sub-prefect in Semur-en-Auxois . His sister Marie-Antoinette married Alexis-Étienne Chassang, their son the Alexis Chassang .


  1. death certificate
  2. "au point que le nom de l'auteur a passé dans la langue, et que l'on donne aujourd'hui [en 1865] le nom de Bouillet à tout dictionnaire d'histoire et de geographie", Pierre Larousse , Grand Dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle , preface to the edition of 1865
  3. ^ Biographical data according to Gustave Vapereau , Dictionnaire universel des contemporains, Volume 1, 1858
  4. Complete: Bibliotheca Classica, or Classical Dictionary containing a full Account of all the Proper Names mentioned in Ancient Authors , 1788
  5. Bouillet, Marie-Nicolas. In: Jesús Martínez de Bujanda , Marcella Richter: Index des livres interdits: Index librorum prohibitorum 1600–1966. Médiaspaul, Montréal 2002, ISBN 2-89420-522-8 , p. 156 (French, digitized ).