Charles le Beau

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Charles le Beau (October 18, 1701 – March 13, 1778) was a French historical writer.

He was born in Paris, and was educated at the Collège de Sainte-Barbe and the Collège du Plessis; at the latter he remained as a teacher until he obtained the chair of rhetoric in the Collège des Grassins. In 1748 he was admitted as a member of the Academy of Inscriptions, and in 1752 he was nominated professor of eloquence in the Collège de France. From 1755 he held the office of perpetual secretary to the Academy of Inscriptions, in which capacity he edited fifteen volumes (from the 25th to the 39th inclusive) of the Histoire of that institution.

The only work with which the name of Le Beau continues to be associated is his Histoire du Bas-Empire, en commençant à Constantin le Grand, in 22 vols (Paris, 1756–1779). This is a continuation of Charles Rollin's Histoire Romaine and JBL Crevier's Histoire des empereurs. Its usefulness arises entirely from the fact of its being a faithful resume of the Byzantine historians. Five volumes were added by H.-P. Ameilhon (1781–1811), which brought the work down to the fall of Constantinople. A later edition was produced by de Saint-Martin and afterwards of Brosset.

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