|Death Date:||Wed, Oct 29, 1783|
|Main places of activity:||
As a seminary teacher, Houbigant recommended the usage of original Latin and Greek versions of classics and dogmatic texts rather than reading French translations, taking a clear position in the related querelle that raged in XVIIIth century France. He however accepted a compromise between strictly literal translations and elegant editions, more faithful to the taste of his times.
After losing his hearing, he learned Hebrew embracing the method and guidance of François Masclef, whose new grammar excluded vowel points and focused on the Masoric text of the Bible. This attempt to develop a simplified alternative in Hebrew philology did not succeed, although Houbigant's translations contain some suggestions that are still relevant today.
His correspondence with British authors led him to learn English and translate some religious and theological works.
secondary bibliography references
Charles L. Souvay, 'Houbigant, Charles-François', in Charles Hebermann, ed., The Catholic Encyclopedia, 15 vols., VII, RAC, New York, 1910, pp. 498-499.
Mireille Hadas-Lebel, 'Le Père Houbigant et la critique textuelle', in Y. Belaval and D. Bourel, eds., Le siècle des Lumières et la Bible, Paris, Éditions Beauchesne, 1986, pp. 103-112.
Filippo Sani, ed., Educazione e retorica nell'età delle "Querelles". Charles-François Houbigant e il "De la manière d'Etudier et d'Enseigner", Milan, Vita e Pensiero, 2003.
Bertram Eugene Swarzbach, 'Geddes in France', in William Johnstone, ed., The Bible and the Enlightenment: A Case Study: Alexander Geddes 1737-1802, New York, A&C Black, 2004, pp. 78-115.
John Rogerson, 'Charles-François Houbigant: His Background, Work and Importance for Lowth', in John Jarick, ed., Sacred Conjectures: The Context and Legacy of Robert Lowth and Jean Astruc, New York, T&T Clark, 2007, pp. 83-92.
- Giovanni Lista