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'L'Archeologie Navale' Volume 2

Date: 1840
Overall: 242 x 165 x 42 mm, 1236 g
Medium: Paper, ink, board, leather
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Book
Object No: 00049362
Place Manufactured:Paris

User Terms

    Auguste (or Augustin) Jal published 'L'Archeologie Navale' in two volumes in 1840. It is arguably the first publication on nautical or maritime archaeology and is one of the earliest known publications on the history of shipbuilding based on original documentation and archaeological remains. Jal is considered by many to be the pioneer of naval or marine archaeology.
    SignificanceJal's'L'Archeologie Navale' is a highly significant European work on naval architecture and is considered to be one of the main authorities on the language of the sea and seamanship in the 19th century.
    HistoryThe noted French naval archaeologist, historian, political commentator, art critic and journalist Auguste or Augustin Jal was born in Lyon, France on 12 April 1795. He entered the French navy at the port of Brest as an officer cadet on board the TOURVILLE training vessel in 1811 and participated in the defence of Paris in 1815. He was later turned out of the French Navy (for subversive remarks) along with 600 other young French naval officers as part of a purge of suspected Bonapartists at the end of The Hundred Days of Napoleon and the restoration of the French monarchy under King Louis XVIII in 1815.

    A gifted writer he turned to journalism and art criticism and published extensively in La Revue des Deux Mondes (a monthly literary and academic review that included amongst its contributors Alexandre Dumas, Alfred de Vigny and Balzac) and Le Constitutionnel (a French political and literary newspaper) before taking up a position as an official historian at the French Ministry of the Marine in July 1831. In 1852 he was appointed the Conservateur des Archives de la Marine (Curator of the Archives of the Navy) a position he held until retirement in November 1862.

    Between October 1834 and February 1835 Jal travelled extensively throughout France and Italy visiting archaeological sites and museums and in 1840 published L'Archeologie Navale. Jal did not attempt to make an overall treatise of naval architecture but instead wrote a series of long essays on diverse subjects including the ships of ancient Egypt, France and the Normans; the oared ships of the Middle Ages; the construction and rigging of the galleys and lateen rigged ships of the 14th century; Venetian galleys of the 13th century; the round ships or Naos of the Middle Ages; Scottish, English, French and Italian nautical poems and songs of the 12th, 13th and 14th century; and the voyages of the Pantagruel. His book ended with a full and careful glossary or index in Anglo-Saxon, Arabic, Old French, Greek, Italian and non-Latin nautical terms which he later expanded into his Glossaire Nautique.

    Although L'Archeologie Navale has subsequently been criticised for its dependence upon written rather than archaeological and material sources it was a pioneering work in its field and Jal is now considered by many as being one of the earliest pioneers of the discipline of naval or marine archaeology and his work is still consulted today. (Kemp, 1988)

    During his travels to Italy in 1835 and to the Black Sea in 1841 he noted the richness and diversity of nautical terms and began to research this subject area with great enthusiasm. Jal wanted his second major maritime based work, the Glossaire Nautique, Repertoire Polyglotte de Termes de Marine Anciens Et Modernes (Glossary boating directory multilingual terms of modern and ancient marine) to include the vocabulary of all sailors, from all countries, from antiquity to his time. He devoted six years to this major project and when the Glossaire Nautique was published in 1848 it contained over 1,600 pages of nautical terms. Jal was later awarded the French Grand Prix d'Histoire (Gobert prize) from the L'Académie Française (The French Academy) in 1850.

    Jal's L'Archeologie Navale and Glossaire Nautique are still considered to be two of the main authorities on the language and seamanship of the period and have been reprinted on several occasions. The Glossaire Nautique is currently being totally revised by the Commission Internationale d'Histoire Maritime (CNRS).

    A prolific writer Jal wrote a considerable number of books. These included The Dictionary Theatrical or Twelve hundred and thirty-three truths about the managers, directors, actors, actresses and employees of various theatres, Paris, 1824; Napoléon et la censure (Napoleon and Censorship), Paris, 1831; De Paris à Naples : études de mœurs, de marine et d'art, (From Paris to Naples: study habits, and marine art), Paris, 1836; Marie-la-Cordelière, (Mary the Cordeliers), Paris, 1844; Dictionnaire critique de biographie et d'histoire, (Critical Dictionary of biography and history), Paris, 1872; Abraham Duquesne et la Marine de son temps, (Abraham Duquesne and Navy of his time), Paris, 1873 and Souvenirs d'un homme de lettres, (Memories of a man of letters), Paris, 1877, along with more than 100 articles on subjects as diverse as French naval history, French theatre, European museums, and salon painting of the 1830s and 40s.

    Jal died in Vernon, France on 1 April, 1873.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Archeologie Navale

    Assigned title: Volume 2 of Archeologie Navale by A Jal

    Web title: 'L'Archeologie Navale' Volume 2

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