Augustin Nadal

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The abbé Augustin Nadal (1659 – 7 August 1741) was the author of plays, through the failure of which he became the butt of a withering public reply from Voltaire that has rendered the abbé immortal.

He was born in Poitiers. Having finished his studies there, he was appointed tutor to the young comte de Valançay, who was killed at the battle of Blenheim (1704). Nadal put himself under the patronage of the house of Aumont. He was received in 1706 into the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. With Jean-Aymar Piganiol de La Force, he took on the editing of the Nouveau Mercure until 1711, a premature force for literary modernism that was not successful.

In 1712 he was secretary of the embassy of the duc d'Aumont to London as liaison between King Louis XIV of France and Anne of Great Britain in the negotiations that led up to the Treaty of Utrecht. In 1716 he was appointed abbot in commendam of the Abbey of Doudeauville.

Aside from his academic dissertations and his Histoire des VestalesHistoire des Vestales, avec un traité du luxe des dames romaines. ("History of the Vestal Virgins") (1725), which caused a stir of interest in this aspect of ancient Rome, the Abbé Nadal composed five tragedies: Saül (1705), Hérode (1709), Antiochus, ou les Machabées (1722), Mariamne (1725) and Osarphis, all on classical or biblical subjects.

He was included in Le Parnasse françois project of Évrard Titon du Tillet, which provoked Voltaire's...
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