Anne Dacier
Celebrated Scholar and Linguist
1654 – 1720 A.D.

Anne Lefevre Dacier, a French woman distinguished in letters and as a scholar, was born in Saumur, France, in March, 1654, and died in Paris, August 17, 1720.

She was the daughter of the celebrated scholar, Tanneguy-Lefevre, and acquired her first instruction from overhearing his lessons to her brother. Lefevre, amazed at the extent of the information thus obtained, devoted himself to her education; and at his death, in 1672, she was one of the most accomplished scholars in Europe.

Immediately subsequent to the death of her father, she went to reside in Paris, where in 1674 she published an edition of Callimachus. The reputation acquired by this work procured her an invitation to assist in preparing the Delphine editions of the classics. In the discharge of this duty she prepared editions of Florus, Eutropius, Aurelius Victor, Dictys, Cretensis, and Dares Phrygius.

In 1683 she was married to Andre Dacier, a favorite of her father, under whom they had for many years been fellow pupils. This marriage was called “the marriage of the Greek and Latin.” Two years afterward, they both abjured Protestantism, and received from the king a pension of two thousand livres. Madame Dacier thenceforth continue to devote herself no less assiduously to literary pursuits, and produced translations of several plays of Plautus, the whole of Terence, the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer, the Plutus and Clouds of Aristophanes, and the whole of Anacreon and Sappho. The translations from Homer involved her in a controversy with M. de la Motte, and others, concerning the merits of ancient and modern literature, Madame Dacier vigorously sustaining the former. She also assisted her husband in the translation of Marcus Aurelius and Plutarch’s Lives.

She was distinguished for her modesty and,amiability, and, amid her engrossing literary avocations, did not neglect her domestic and maternal duties.


Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World. Designed and Arranged by William C. King. Published in 1900 by The King-Richardson Co. Copyright 1903 The King-Richardson Co.