The Reinachs were a family of French scholars and politicians. JOSEPH REINACH (1856–1921), political leader, journalist, and historian, was born in Paris. He graduated from the University of Paris and became a lawyer, also writing several works on European politics. Reinach's articles on foreign policy in the Revue Bleue were noticed by Leon Gambetta, who, when he became premier in 1881, made Reinach his chef du cabinet. After Gambetta's death, Reinach became political editor of the Republique Française. He was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1889 and reelected in 1893. One of the first to demand a new trial for Captain *Dreyfus, Reinach was subject to bitter attacks from the anti-Dreyfusards, lost his seat in the elections of 1898, and was dismissed from the army in which he was a reserve captain. Following Dreyfus' rehabilitation, Reinach was reinstated and reelected to parliament, where he served until his retirement in 1914. Reinach's historical
Solomon (1858–1932), archaeologist, philologist, and historian, was a brother of Joseph. As a member of the Ecole Française d'Athènes he took part in several excavations in Greece. He taught archaeology at the Ecole de Louvre and from 1886 served as curator of the Musee d'Antiquites Nationales at his native St. Germain-en-Laye. In 1893 he was appointed assistant keeper of the Musees Nationales, becoming keeper in 1902. He was a member of the Institut Français and of the Conseil Superieur des Beaux Arts. Reinach's scholarly work was devoted primarily to French archaeology and Gallic civilization. He also made numerous contributions to classical and French philology, the history of art, and the history of religion. His major work in the latter field, Orpheus; histoire generale des religions (1909, 19262; Eng. 1909, 19302; repr. 1942; Ger. 1910), is written in the Voltairean tradition of radical rationalism. It classifies Judaism and Christianity as "barbaric," and accepting the conclusions of contemporary Bible criticism, termed many biblical figures as mythical. Reinach has nothing but disdain for the Talmud and "for those backward Jews who follow its rules." Nevertheless, he took an active part in Jewish affairs. A confirmed Dreyfusard, like his brothers, he published a French translation of H.C. Lea's History of the Inquisition (3 vols., 1901–03) at the height of the Dreyfus Affair as a weapon in the fight against religious intolerance. He published various articles in the *Revue des Etudes Juives and served as president of the Societe des Etudes Juives. He was vice president of the Alliance Israélite Universelle and helped in the establishment of the *Jewish Colonization Association. Anti-Zionist in principle, Reinach nevertheless gave assistance to colonization in Palestine.
Theodore (1860–1928), younger brother of Joseph and Solomon, was a scholar and politician. His studies extended to law, archaeology, mathematics, numismatics, and history of music and of religion. Reinach was appointed professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes where he taught the history of religions. He was also editor of the Revue des Etudes Grecques. A member of the Institut de France, Reinach presented a musical interpretation of a Delphic paean and himself played this resurrection of ancient music. He served in the Chamber of Deputies of Savoy during 1906–14. Active in the rather ineffective movement of French Reform Judaism (Union Liberale Israelite) and a confirmed assimilationist, he strongly opposed Zionism, believing that since the French Revolution Jews no longer were a nation but only a religious community. He presented these views in his widely read Histoire des Israelites (1884, 19104). He also wrote a Histoire sommaire de l'affaire Dreyfus (1904, 1924). In the field of Jewish scholarship Reinach was important as a student of Jewish numismatics (Les monnaies juives, 1887) and as the editor of an important reference book, Textes d'auteurs grecs et romains relatifs au Judaisme (1895; repr. 1963). He was the general editor of a French translation of the works of Josephus (7 vols., 1900–32), completed after his death by his brother Solomon. Reinach also contributed to the Revue des Etudes Juives, and various French encyclopedias.
H. Rigault, M. Joseph Reinach (Fr., 1889); S. Reinach, Bibliographie de Salomon Reinach (1936), incl. biographical notes; S. de Ricci, Salomon Reinach (Fr., 1933), 2ff., incl. bibl.; E. Pottier, in: Revue Archéologique, 36 (1932), 386ff.; M.J. Lagrange, Quelques remarques sur l'Orpheus de M. Salomon Reinach (1910); R. Cagnat, in: Comptes Rendus des Séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres (1931), 372ff.; S. de Ricci, in: REJ, 86 (1928)., 113ff, incl. bibl. (on Theodore); H. Dutrait-Crozon, Joseph Reinach historien (1905); J. Bernard, La vie de Paris (1921), 157–69.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.