Amédée Thierry

This portrait of Amédée Thierry in ceremonial dress, painted by Jean-Léon Gérôme in 1863, shows the author of the Histoire des Gaulois, published between 1828 and 1845.

© Musée des Beaux-Arts, Blois

Amédée Thierry, the first writer to popularise the Gauls and the figure of Vercingetorix, was appointed a member of the Commission de Topographie des Gaules in 1858.

A career serving the state...

Having begun his career as a journalist, following the revolution of 1830, Amédée Thierry became prefect of the Haute-Saône region. In 1838, he became maître des requêtes, or counsel, at the Conseil d'État, a role in which he remained, in spite of changes in regimes, until 1860, when he was elected a senator.

...and history

He is above all known as the author of the Histoire des Gaulois in three volumes (1828, 1834 and 1845), whose resounding success led him for a short time into a university career. He obtained the chair of history at Besançon, which he lost soon after due to his liberalism. In 1841, he became a member of the Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres and was an active member of French scientific life, regularly publishing articles and works regarding Roman Gaul. When he was appointed a member of the Commission de Topographie des Gaules in 1858, he was already a well-established historian on the scientific landscape.