Fulcran Grégoire Vigouroux (1837-1915)

Paul Smith

15 July 2015
Revised 19 July 2015

Fulcran Vigouroux became an integral character in the mythical history of Rennes-le-Château when in 2004 German scholar Wieland Willker discovered that passage Luke 6:1-9 in Codex Bezae (named after Théodore de Bèze, 1519-1605) was copied onto the small parchment (as allegedly discovered by Bérenger Saunière in 1892).

A facsimile of passage Luke 6:1-9 from Codex Bezae was published in Fulcran Vigouroux, editor, Dictionnaire De La Bible, accompanying the article by Pierre Batiffol (Letouzey et Ané, Éditeurs, Tome Deuxieme; between pages 1768-1769, 1912 edition). Abbé Vigouroux taught scripture at the seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Paris between 1860-1895 (Batiffol entered Saint-Sulpice in 1878).

The creator of the small parchment did not understand basic Latin because he made mistakes in copying some of the Latin uncials, mistaking them for other uncials, and consequently did not get the Latin spelling right on several occasions. Furthermore, it was also pointed out that the French text in the small parchment A DAGOBERT II ROI ET A SION EST CE TRESOR ET IL EST LA MORT is modern 1960s French. So the parchment dates some 70 years after the publication of the book by Fulcran Vigouroux, and some 73 years after the alleged discovery by Bérenger Saunière. A mixture of Latin spelling mistakes combined with modern 1960s French text indicated it was all bogus.

Of course, the whole story of the parchments originates with none other than Pierre Plantard and his compatriot, Philippe de Chèrisey. The parchments' appearance were first described in Les Descendants Mérovingiens, 1965; and were first published in the book L'Or de Rennes by Gérard de Sède and Pierre Plantard (René Julliard, 1967).

Pierre Plantard and Philippe de Chérisey turned Saint-Sulpice into an integral part of the Priory of Sion mythology and Fulcran Vigouroux taught scripture there; and Abbé Vigouroux published a facsimile of Luke 6:1-9 found in the Codex Bezae. This was the reason why the passage from the Codex Bezae was copied onto the small parchment during the mid-1960s.

It's not known if Philippe de Chérisey knew he was related to Théodore de Bèze; that could have been a coincidence.

Fulcran Grégoire Vigouroux

The Codex Bezae was published in 1864 by Frederick H. Scrivener (1839-1891)

Bérenger Saunière and Fulcran Vigouroux