While he was famous for his position on the Alesia question, there remains little trace of Claude Rossignol’s time at the head of the musée de Saint-Germain.
An archivist with an interest in archaeology
Born in Volnay (Burgundy), where he was a private tutor for some of the region’s great families, Claude Rossignol was appointed curator of the Côte-d’Or regional archives following the death of the archaeologist Charles Maillard de Chambure in 1841. That same year he became a member of the Académie de Dijon. In 1842, he was appointed a member of the archaeological commission. He sat at the Congrès archéologique de France in 1852 and at the Congrès scientifique de France in 1854.
A passionate defender of Alise-Sainte-Reine at the head of the musée gallo-romain
Between 1857 and 1861, Claude Rossignol published eight papers on the Question d’Alise, in which he argued that Alesia was not located at Alaise, and which brought him to the attention of Napoleon III. He took part in the excavations at Alise-Sainte-Reine ordered by the emperor and was depicted there (the figure with a bird), in a contemporary caricature by Mérimée. On 8 March 1862, he became deputy curator of the musée gallo-romain at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, before being dismissed in 1866. He was succeeded by Alexandre Bertrand, secretary of the Commission de Topographie des Gaules.