Charles Francois Dupuis, a French scholar and philosopher, born at Trie-le-Chateau, Normandy, in October, 1742, died near Dijon, Sept. 29, 1809. He was the son of a country schoolmaster, and through La Rochefoucauld was enabled to complete a course of collegiate studies at Paris. In 1766 he was made professor of rhetoric at the Lisieux college, and in 1787 of Latin eloquence in the college de France. He had a thorough knowledge of astronomy and ancient mythology, and spent the best part of his life in elaborating a theory tracing to the former the origin of all religions. His theory, first presented in several papers in the Journal des Savants, was more fully expounded in a 4to volume printed in 1781, under the title of Memoires sur l'origine des constellations et sur l'explication de la fable par l'astronomie, and 14 years later was developed in L'origine de tous les cultes, ou la religion universelle (3 vols. 4to, Paris, 1795). In 1796 he published an abridgment, which has been frequently reprinted. While a deputy to the convention, Dupuis acted with the moderate party; he was a member of the council of 500, and a candidate for the directorship.
On the establishment of the empire he returned to private life, and in 1806 published his Dissertation sur le zodiaque de Tentyra ou Denderah, the complement of his great work.