Photograph of Alfred Maury

Photograph of Alfred Maury.

BNF © Gallica.

Alfred Maury played an important role in the writing of Napoleon III’s Histoire de Jules César, and therefore became one of the founding members of the Commission de Topographie des Gaules.

A jack of all trades who helped to write the Histoire de Jules César

As a young man, Alfred Maury was passionate about many subjects, including medicine, law, history, classical languages and archaeology. In 1844, he became assistant librarian of the Institut. In 1857, he became a member of the Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres. Appointed secretary of the commission on its creation, he was responsible for the preparatory work and reporting for meetings, alongside Alexandre Bertrand. He remained in this post until 1861. He was recommended to Napoleon III to assist him in the writing of the Histoire de Jules César , which he proofread. He then became the emperor’s assistant, as librarian at the Tuileries.

A scholar committed to the scientific debate of his time

In 1862, Alfred Maury joined the Collège de France. Between 1868 and 1888, he was director of the Archives impériales, then the Archives nationales. He sat on a number of commissions, in particular participating in the foundation of the École pratique des hautes études, and throughout his life he continued to play a major role in the scientific world. When the Commission de Topographie des Gaules was dissolved he was appointed to the Commission de Géographie historique de l'Ancienne France.