The Members of the “Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres” meet every Friday from the end of September until the beginning of July in the majestic main meeting hall of the Mazarin palace between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m.
During these sessions, open to non-academicians, established scholars (from the C.N.R.S., the EPHE, and from the University), as well as Members or Corresponding Members of the Academy, give presentations on subjects relating to the three great domains of scientific knowledge that correspond to the Academy’s major fields of study (archaeology, philology and history). These presentations, complete with visual aids, are either brief informative notes (giving the opportunity to the participants to be informed first of a new discovery or to fix a date for a study), or longer presentations of significant developments in a particular field of research. Presentations are usually followed by discussions, creating the opportunity to enlarge the perspectives on the subjects covered. These meetings are also an opportunity for the Members of the Academy or the Corresponding Members to present detailed reviews of a large number of books distinguished by their erudition, as well as by their scientific interest. Furthermore, on a regular basis, certain academicians offer homage by presenting overviews of the achievements and lives of deceased Members. The President of the Academy also makes a brief speech as soon as the intimation of a Member passing on is annonced. All texts of are bound on a regular basis in the Academy’s publication, the Comptes Rendus.
In general, part of the meetings is dedicated to internal matters. In this case, the Academy meets as a Privy Committee. This kind of meetings are held to allow the Members of the Academy to discuss the appointment to avalaible Seats, to give a lecture of the annual reports (its publications, prize commissions, State and activities of famous French establishments outside of France, and on the annual session of the “Union Académique Internationale”), and to debate on institutional and administrative questions that lie within the committee’s jurisdiction. Sometimes it even convenes on matters relating to its rules and bylaws.
Every year, at the end of November, the Academy’s annual public formal ceremony takes place under the venerable cupola on the “quai de Conti”. During this beautiful ceremony, in which the academicians are invited to wear their green gowns, the President presents a report on the past year in the presence of several invited guests. Then, the President presents the list of prizes awarded as well as the list of new paleographer archivists. Finally, several speeches are delivered on a chosen theme.
The following pages contain information on the programs as well as some abstracts and texts made available before the publication of the next Comptes Rendus because of their timeliness or particular interest.