Émile RIPERT
1882-1948

In 1907 Emile Ripert started his career as a professor at the Toulon lycée and then moved on to Albi where he taught for two months only before being granted a scholarship that saw him leaving for Italy.

There he visited Rome, Le poème d'AssiseAssisi, Florence, Naples, Genoa, Bologna and Venice. Experiencing a sense of lyrical impression, he re-read the Divine Comedy and realised while staying on the shores of the Arno river what will become the major frame for his poetry works : the terra-rima of Dante.

En 1907 Emile RIPERT débute sa carrière comme professeur au Lycée de Toulon puis au lycée d’Albi où il ne resta que 2 mois car il obtint une bourse de voyage pour l’Italie.

In 1909 he was appointed at the Thiers lycée in Marseilles.

In 1914 he had to leave his position and was called on military duties as a Colonial Infantry Sergeant.

Eventually released, he came back to the Marseilles lycée as Rhetoric’s teacher.


Emile RIPERT as a teacher in the Thiers lycée of
Marseilles along with his pupils

In 1910 he created a magazine called « Notre Revue » (Our Review), designed to set a network between all the schools where French language was taught (Belgium, France and Switzerland).

Notre Revue

This magazine was an opportunity for the pupils to have their poems or prose published. Click here for interesting examples of them. Notre RevueExtraits Notre Revue


He was much appreciated and liked amongst his pupils; On Saint Emile day, his 5th-year- class wrote him this card.
Témoignage des élèves
Saint-Emile 1912

Emile RIPERT was awarded the title of Doctor of Literature in 1918 at Sorbonne, his thesis was entitled The Provencal Renaissance with a additional work on The Versification of Mistral. This particular piece is the most accomplished analysis ever made on Southern-France literary movements since the troubadours until the beginning of the “Felibre” movement, a celebration of The Provence Region of France, its speech and its culture. His thesis received a prize from the French Academy. La renaissance provençaleExtracts  La renaissance provençale

The publication of The Provencal Renaissance as well as the lectures he gave along with the publishing of many pieces about the Provence, including some poetry recited in verses gave Emile Ripert a notoriety that spread well beyond his native region. He was therefore chosen to hold the Chair of Provencal Language and Literary Studies at the Aix-en-Provence University in 1920.

He would go to Corsica each year presiding over the jury in charge of marking the Baccalaureate exams. Again he was much appreciated by his students; they used to say of him :

 « Emile RIPERT is spontaneous, very humble and is of infinite goodness »
« …Monsieur RIPERT knows how to sort the marrow from the dry, arid and sometimes indigestible materials found in documents…   »

He played a major role in discussing issues about regionalism and he vigorously defended the idea to include Provencal language as an official discipline for the Baccalaureate. In 1925 he published a brochure entitled: « Should Provencal language be included in the official curriculum of the Baccalaureate ? ». His struggle for the official recognition of the Provencal will pay off as it will eventually be officially recognised as such. Emile Ripert dedicated his whole life to the studying and promoting of the Provence and the Provencal speech along with its place in history, its protagonists and its culture which for him always stood as a source of spiritual teachings. Articles de presse (Article in English).

Emile Ripert had always been in strong favour of a Great Union between countries of Latin origin and in 1933 he collaborated to the creation of the “Nice Mediterranean University Centre” that Maurice Mignon, one of Ripert’s close friends managed.

«People of Provence, Provencal or French speaking, let us dream the same goal that we’ll reach along parallel paths. Isn’t it in this wonderful garden arranged in such a way by nature forMan to see his potentials flourish, isn’t it on this land deeply rooted in the Latin « Oc » that we should make this dream come true? The dream of a civilisation from the origins, where Spain and Africa would dilute their dry heat in the sweet rains of the Gaul and where a strong France would marry a soft Italy  » Emile Ripert

In 1938 he visited England in order to contemplate the creation of a Chair of English at the Nice Mediterranean University Centre. Articles de presse

He will Retraiteretire from teaching in 1945 and settled in the Sécadou family country house in La Ciotat where he will continue to write.


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