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MAURITIUS


II.—Biblical Works
St Jerome’s Latin Bible Martianay 1693 1
Origen’s Hexapla Montfaucon 1713 2
Old Latin versions Sabbathier 1743-1749 3
III.—Great Collections of Documents
Spicilegium d’Achery 1655-1677  13  in 4to
Veterae analecta Mabillon 1675-1685 4  in 8vo
Musaeum italicum Mabillon 1687-1689 2  in 4to
Collectio nova patrum
graecorum
Montfaucon 1706 2
Thesaurus novus
anecdotorum
Martène and Durand 1717 5
Veterum scriptorum
collectio
Martène and Durand 1724-1733 9
De antiquis Martène 1690-1706  
ecclesiaeritibus (Final form) 1736-1738 4
IV.—Monastic History
Acta of the Benedictine
Saints
d’Achery, Mabillon
and Ruinart
1668-1701 9
Benedictine Annals
(to 1157)
Mabillon (1-4),
Massuet (5),
Martène (6)
1703-1739 6
V.—Ecclesiastical History and Antiquities of France
A.—General.
Gallia Christiana[1] Sainte-Marthe
(1, 2, 3)
1715-1785 13
Monuments de la
monarchie française
Montfaucon 1729-1733 5
Histoire littéraire
de la France[2]
Rivet, Clémencet,
Clément
1733-1763 12  in 4to
Recueil des historiens
de la France[3]
Bouquet (1-8), Brial (12-19)  1738-1833 19
Concilia Galliae[4] Labbat 1789 1
B.—Histories of the Provinces.
Bretagne Lobineau 1707 2
Paris Félibien and Lobineau 1725 5
Languedoc Vaissette and de Vic 1730-1745 5
Bourgogne Plancher (1-3),
Merle (4)
1739-1748,
1781
4
Bretagne Morice 1742-1756 5
VI.—Miscellaneous Works of Technical Erudition
De re diplomatica Mabillon 1681 1
Ditto Supplement Mabillon 1704 1
Nouveau traité de
diplomatique
Toustain and Tassin 1750-1765 6  in 4to
Paleographia graeca Montfaucon 1708 1
Bibliotheca coisliniana Montfaucon 1715 1
Bibliotheca bibliothecarum
manuscriptorum nova
Montfaucon 1739 2
L’Antiquité expliqué Montfaucon 1719-1724 15
New ed. of Du Cange’s
glossarium
Dantine and Carpentier 1733-1736 6
Ditto Supplement Carpentier 1766 4
Apparatus ad bibliothecam 
maximam patrum
le Nourry 1703 2
L’Art de verifier
les dates
Dantine, Durand,
Clémencet
1750 1  in 4to
Ed. 2 Clément 1770 1
Ed. 3 Clément 1783-1787 3

The 58 works in the above list comprise 199 great folio volumes and 39 in 4to or 8vo. The full Maurist bibliography contains the names of some 220 writers and more than 700 works. The lesser works in large measure cover the same fields as those in the list, but the number of works of purely religious character, of piety, devotion and edification, is very striking. Perhaps the most wonderful phenomenon of Maurist work is that what was produced was only a portion of what was contemplated and prepared for. The French Revolution cut short many gigantic undertakings, the collected materials for which fill hundreds of manuscript volumes in the Bibliothèque nationale of Paris and other libraries of France. There are at Paris 31 volumes of Berthereau’s materials for the Historians of the Crusades, not only in Latin and Greek, but in the oriental tongues; from them have been taken in great measure the Recueil des historiens des croisades, whereof 15 folio volumes have been published by the Académie des Inscriptions. There exist also the preparations for an edition of Rufinus and one of Eusebius, and for the continuation of the Papal Letters and of the Concilia Galliae. Dom Caffiaux and Dom Villevielle left 236 volumes of materials for a Trésor généalogique. There are Benedictine Antiquities (37 vols.), a Monasticon Gallicanum and a Monasticon Benedictinum (54 vols.). Of the Histories of the Provinces of France barely half a dozen were printed, but all were in hand, and the collections for the others fill 800 volumes of MSS. The materials for a geography of Gaul and France in 50 volumes perished in a fire during the Revolution.

When these figures were considered, and when one contemplates the vastness of the works in progress during any decade of the century 1680-1780; and still more, when not only the quantity but the quality of the work, and the abiding value of most of it is realized, it will be recognized that the output was prodigious and unique in the history of letters, as coming from a single society. The qualities that have made Maurist work proverbial for sound learning are its fine critical tact and its thoroughness.

The chief source of information on the Maurists and their work is Dom Tassin’s Histoire littéraire de la congregation de Saint-Maur (1770); it has been reduced to a bare bibliography and completed by de Lama, Bibliothèque des écrivains de la congr. de S.-M. (1882). The two works of de Broglie, Mabillon (2 vols., 1888) and Montfaucon (2 vols., 1891), give a charming picture of the inner life of the great Maurists of the earlier generation in the midst of their work and their friends. Sketches of the lives of a few of the chief Maurists will be found in McCarthy’s Principal Writers of the Congr. of S. M. (1868). Useful information about their literary undertakings will be found in De Lisle’s Cabinet des MSS. de la Bibl. Nat. Fonds St Germain-des-Prés. General information will be found in the standard authorities: Helyot, Hist. des ordres religieux (1718), vi. c. 37; Heimbucher, Orden und Kongregationen (1907) i. § 36; Wetzer und Welte, Kirchenlexicon (ed. 2) and Herzog-Hauck’s Realencyklopädie (ed. 3), the latter an interesting appreciation by the Protestant historian Otto Zöckler of the spirit and the merits of the work of the Maurists.

 (E. C. B.) 

MAURITIUS, an island and British colony in the Indian Ocean (known whilst a French possession as the Île de France). It lies between 57° 18′ and 57° 49′ E., and 19° 58′ and 20° 32′ S., 550 m. E. of Madagascar, 2300 m. from the Cape of Good Hope, and 9500 m. from England via Suez. The island is irregularly elliptical—somewhat triangular—in shape, and is 36 m. long from N.N.E. to S.S.W., and about 23 m. broad. It is 130 m. in circumference, and its total area is about 710 sq. m. (For map see Madagascar.) The island is surrounded by coral reefs, so that the ports are difficult of access.

From its mountainous character Mauritius is a most picturesque island, and its scenery is very varied and beautiful. It has been admirably described by Bernardin de St Pierre, who lived in the island towards the close of the 18th century, in Paul et Virginie. The most level portions of the coast districts are the north and north-east, all the rest being broken by hills, which vary from 500 to 2700 ft. in height. The principal mountain masses are the north-western or Pouce range, in the district of Port Louis; the south-western, in the districts of Rivière Noire and Savanne; and the south-eastern range, in the Grand Port district. In the first of these, which consists of one principal ridge with several lateral spurs, overlooking Port Louis, are the singular peak of the Pouce (2650 ft.), so called from its supposed resemblance to the human thumb; and the still loftier Pieter Botte (2685 ft.), a tall obelisk of bare rock, crowned with a globular mass of stone. The highest summit in the island is in the south-western mass of hills, the Piton de la Rivière Noire, which is 2711 ft. above the sea. The south-eastern group of hills consists of the Montagne du Bambou, with several spurs running down to the sea. In the interior are extensive fertile plains, some 1200 ft. in height, forming the districts of Moka, Vacois, and Plaines Wilhelms; and from nearly the centre of the island an abrupt peak, the Piton du Milieu de l’Île rises to a height of 1932 ft. Other prominent summits are the Trois Mamelles, the Montagne du Corps de Garde, the Signal Mountain, near Port Louis, and the Morne Brabant, at the south-west corner of the island.

The rivers are small, and none is navigable beyond a few hundred yards from the sea. In the dry season little more than brooks, they become raging torrents in the wet season. The principal stream is the Grande Rivière, with a course of about 10 m. There is a remarkable and very deep lake, called

  1. Three other vols. were published 1856-1865.
  2. Sixteen other vols. were published 1814-1881.
  3. Four other vols. were published 1840-1876.
  4. The printing of vol. ii. was interrupted by the Revolution; there were to have been 8 vols.