Admitted to the École Normale Supérieure in 1933, and receiving a third in the "Agrégation des lettres" in 1935, he was member of the French School at Rome (1935-1937) then taught Latin at a Rennes lycée. Then he was active as a professor of Roman civilization at the faculties of Caen and Bordeaux, and finally at the Sorbonne for thirty years.
He published studies on the Roman civilization, of which many volumes to the "Que sais-je?" series, and translations of Latin classical authors (Cicero, Seneca the Younger, Tacitus, Plautus, Terence). On his retirement, he also published biographies and fictionalized histories (Mémoires d’Agrippine, le procès Néron), more intended for the general public.
At the end of his life, he campaigned for the safeguarding of literary teaching.
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