DU PIN, dü pan’ (DUPIN), LOUIS ELLIES: French Roman Catholic priest and historian; b. at Paris June 17, 1657; d. there June 6, 1719. He was a scion of a noble Norman family, and received a thorough education, becoming a doctor of the Sorbonne in 1684. Two years later appeared the first volume of his chief work, the Bibliothèque universelle des auteurs ecclésiastiques, which brought its author into conflict with the clergy and especially with Bossuet on account of its rationalistic tone. Under the threat of a rigid censorship he retracted his views, but could not save his book from suppression by the Parliament of 1683. It was continued, however, under the new title Nouvelle bibliothèque universelle des auteurs ecclésiastiques, and in this form reached, with the supplements, sixty-one octavo volumes (original ed., 58 vols., Paris, 1686-1704; Eng. transl. by W. Wotton, 17 vols., London, 1693-1707). Involved in the controversy over the bull Unigenitus and accused of being a Jansenist and a signer of the “Case of Conscience,” he was banished to Chatellerault, and although he was permitted to return after a second retraction, he was not allowed to resume his activity as a teacher at the College de France. During the regency he corresponded with William Wake, the archbishop of Canterbury, on the union of the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches, and all his papers were accordingly confiscated in Feb., 1719, at the order of Dubois. He likewise took part in the attempt to unite the Greek and Roman Catholic Churches made when Peter the Great visited Paris in 1717.


As a Gallican canonist Du Pin wrote his De antiqua ecclesiæ disciplina dissertationes historicæ (Paris, 1686) and his Traité de la puissance ecclésiastique et temporelle (1707), the latter a detailed commentary on the four theses of the Gallican clergy. Among his numerous other works special mention may be made of the following: Dissertation préliminaire, ou prolégoménes sur la Bible (2 vols., 1699; Eng. transl., 2 vols., London, 1699-1700); Bibliothèque universelle des historiens (Amsterdam, 1708; Eng. transl., 2 vols., London, 1709); Histoire de l’église en abrégé (Paris, 1712; Eng. transl., 4 vols., London, 1715-16); Méthods pour étudier la théologie (1716; Eng. transl., London, 1720); and his editions of Optatus (Paris, 1700) and of the writings of Johann Gerson (1703). He wrote with extraordinary ease, skill, and taste, but was lacking in depth.



BIBLIGRAPHY: Du Pin’s notes upon his life and writings are in the Nouvelle bibliothèque, xix. 176-253. Consult: Nicéron, Mémoires, ii. 25-28; L. G. Michaud, Biographie universelle, vol. xii., 45 vols., Paris, 1843-65.