DUCHESNE, LOUIS (1843-1922)

A . He was ordained to the in 1887 and completed his theological studies at Rome. His interest in the was intensified by his travels in and . He became a at the in Paris in 1885, though he was forced to resign from that position for some ten years on account of his outspoken lectures on the , which were contrary to the accepted views of the .

In 1895 he was nominated director of the French School at Rome, a position he held until his death. He was elected a member of the French Academy in 1910. His major works concentrate on early church history. L’Histoire ancienne de l’eglise chrétienne (3 vols., Paris, 1905-1910; translated as , New York, 1909-1924) is a classic, but was put on the Index for his critical views. He supplemented it with L’Eglise du VIe siècle, published posthumously under the editorship of (Paris, 1926). Other important works include (2 vols., Paris, 1886-1891), (Paris, 1920; translated by M. L. McClure, London, 1923), and Fastes épiscopaux de l’ancienne Gaule (3 vols., Paris, 1894-1915).


  • Cabrol, F. “Mgr. Louis Duchesne: Son oeuvre historique.” Journal of Theological Studies 24 (1922-1923):253-82.
  • Dupont, E. Mgr. Duchesne chez lui en Bretagne 1843-1922. Rennes, 1923.
  • Habloville, C. d’. Grandes Figures de l’eglise contemporaine. Paris, 1925.

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