François Just Marie Raynouard

François Just Marie Raynouard

monument by the sculptor Victor Nicolas
Born (1761-09-18)18 September 1761
Brignoles, France
Died 27 October 1836(1836-10-27) (aged 75)
Passy, France
Occupation Dramatist and playwright, philologist, linguist

François Just Marie Raynouard[1] (18 September 1761 27 October 1836)[2] was a French dramatist and linguist.

Raynouard was born at Brignoles in Provence, trained for the bar, and practiced at Draguignan. In 1791 he represented the department of Var in the Legislative Assembly,[3] but after the fall of his party, the Girondists, he went into hiding. Discovered and imprisoned in Paris, he wrote his play Caton d'Utique (1794) during his imprisonment.

In 1803 he won the Institut de France's poetry prize. Éléonore de Bavière and Les Templiers were accepted by the Comédie-Française. Les Templiers was produced in 1805, and, over the opposition of Geoffroy, was a great success. Elected to the Académie française in 1807, elected to the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres in 1816, Raynouard was admitted secrétaire perpétuel of the Académie française in 1817.[4] From 1806 to 1814 he represented the department of Var in the Corps législatif.[5][6]

Raynouard wrote other plays, one of which, Les États de Blois (acted 1810), offended Napoleon by its freedom of speech. Realizing that the public taste had changed and that Romanticism would triumph, Raynouard abandoned the stage and devoted himself to linguistic studies. His researches into the Provençal language were somewhat inaccurate, but his enthusiasm and perseverance promoted the study of the subject.

Raynouard is sometimes called the founder of Romance linguistics, although his work was marked by a fundamental misconception: he believed that the Romance languages had derived from a common post-Latin language, which he called le roman, and not directly from Latin, as is in fact the case.[7] Raynouard's chief works are Choix de poésies originales des troubadours (6 vols., 1816–1821), of which the sixth volume, Grammaire comparée des langues de l'Europe latine, dans leurs rapports avec la langue des troubadours (1821), was separately published; Lexique roman ou dictionnaire de la langue des troubadours comparée avec les autres langues de l'Europe latine (6 vols., 1838–1844).[8] He spent the last years of his life at Passy.

Raynouard was Officer of the Legion of Honour. In the 16th arrondissement of Paris, a street and a square have been named after him.[9] In Brignoles, a monument pays tribute to him near the house he was born in, and the secondary school (lycée) and a boulevard have been named after him.[10]







  1. For "Just", as opposed to "Juste", see: François Just Marie Raynouard birth certificate in 1761 and Fiche biographique de l'Assemblée nationale (biography from the National Assembly of France).
  2. François Just Marie Raynouard birth certificate in 1761.
  3. Joseph Savarelli, Les administrateurs du département du Var, 1790-1897 : notices biographiques, Éditions Olivier-Joulian, 1897.
  4. Tyrtée Taster, Histoire des quarante fauteuils de l'Académie française, Éditions Lacroix, 1855.
  5. Urban, Sylvanus (December 1837). "The Towneley Mysteries". The Gentleman's Magazine. Vol. VI no. 161. p. 566. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  6. "François Juste Marie Raynouard". The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913 ed.). Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  7. Iordan-Orr, An Introduction to Romance Linguistics: Its Schools and Scholars, revised by R. Posner (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1970), pp. 6-8.
  8. "François Just Marie Raynouard". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  9. Auguste Doniol, Histoire du XVIe arrondissement de Paris, Éditions Hachette, 1902.
  10. "Historique - Lycée Raynouard" (in French). Lycée Raynouard. 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

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