Louis de Beaufort

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Louis de Beaufort (6 October 1703 – 11 August 1795) was a French historian of whose life little is known. His brother was Daniel Cornelius de Beaufort (1700-1788).

In 1738 he published at Utrecht a Dissertation sur l'incertitude des cinq prèmiers siècles de l'histoire romaine, in which he showed what untrustworthy guides even the historians of highest repute, such as Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, were for that period, and pointed out by what methods and by the aid of what documents truly scientific bases might be given to its history. This was an ingenious plea, bold for its time, against traditional history such as Rollin was writing at that very moment. A German, Christopher Saxius, endeavoured to refute it in a series of articles published in vols. i.-iii. of the Miscellanea Liviensia. Beaufort replied by some brief and ironic Remarques in the appendix to the second edition of his Dissertation (1750).

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in October, 1746.[1]

He also wrote an Histoire de Cesar Germanicus (Leyden, 1761), and La République romaine, ou plan general de l'ancien gouvernement de Rome (The Hague, 1766, 2 vols quarto).

Though not a scholar of the first rank, Beaufort has at least the merit of having been a pioneer in raising the question, afterwards elaborated by Niebuhr, as to the credibility of early Roman history.


  1. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 11 December 2010. [permanent dead link]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Beaufort, Louis de". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.