1902 Encyclopedia > André Marie Ampère

Jean-Jacques-Antoine Ampère
French man of letters

JEAN-JACQUES-ANTOINE AMPERE, the only child of the preceding, was born at Lyons, August 12, 1800. He showed an early preference for literary pursuits, and this was strengthened by his intimate intercourse with the brilliant circle to which his introduction to Madame Récamier's celebrated réunions admitted him. He began his literary career as a contributor to the Globe and Revue
Française, which Guizot conducted in opposition to the government of Charles X. After spending some time in travel, he commenced a course of lectures at the Athenaeum of Marseilles in 1830, the first of which, De l'Histoire de la Poésie, he published. The revolution of July led to his return to Paris, where he lectured at the Sorbonne, till, in 1833, he succeeded Andrieux as professor of the history of French literature in the college of France. His lectures here, which were greatly admired, form the basis of several works, particularly of his Histoire littéraire de la France avant le Ï2me Siècle, 3 vols., Paris, 1839, 1840. Ampère was a constant contributor to various periodical publica-tions. He wrote for the Revue des Deux Mondes sprightly accounts of his long journeys in Egypt and North America, as well as in various parts of Europe, which were after-wards collected under the title, Littérature et Voyages (2 vols., 1834). His principal work is the Histoire Romaine ci Rome (4 vols., 1856-64), a series of papers, reprinted in part from the Revue des Deux Mondes, showing shrewd sense and great and varied learning, particularly on archaeological questions, and written in an attractive though often discursive style. Ampère was officer of the Legion of Honour from 1846, and in 1847 was admitted to the French Academy. He died March 27, 1864.

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