BURNOUF, Émile-Louis

BURNOUF, Émile-Louis. Valognes 26.8.1821 — Paris 1.7. or 16.1.1907. French Indologist and Classical scholar. Nephew of —> E. Burnouf. From 1841 studied at École normale, then sent to École d’Athènes. Ph.D. 1850. From 185? professeur de la littérature orientale ancienne at Faculté de Nancy (or 1867–75?). In 1867 back to École d’Athènes as its director, conducted excavations. After the term in Athens was concluded in 1875 he was appointed a Professor at Faculté des lettres in Bordeaux, but refused because of the anti-liberal tendencies of this university. Spent the rest of his life in Paris as a private scholar (directeur honoraire de l’ École d’Athènes) concentrating on his studies on classical and Oriental languages and on chemistry.

ELB suffered badly in shadow of his great uncle, but was in fact an able scholar and pioneer in many fields. With —> Leupol he published the first French Sanskrit dictionary and the first useful manual of the language. His book on Rigvedic culture was the first independent study on this field, but unfortunately ELB was too much bound to the poor translation of Langlois, and was soon displaced by Ludwig and Zimmer in the 1870s. Still it was reviewed favourably by Windisch. In addition to Sanskrit and Greek, he was also interested in Chinese and Japanese.

Publications: diss. Des principes de l’art d’après la méthode et les doctrines de Platon. 1850.

with Leupol: Méthode pour étudier la lange sanskrite. 182 p. Nancy 1859, 2nd ed. P. 1861; Dictionnaire classique sanskrit-française. 781 p. Nancy 1863–65.

transl.: Le Bhagavad-gita ou le chant du bien-heureux. 22+235 p. Nancy & P. 1861.

Essai sur le Vêda ou études sur les religions, la littérature et la constitution sociale de l’Inde depuis les temps primitifs jusqu’aux temps brahmaniques. P. 1863.

– “Le Bouddhisme en Occident”, Revue des Deux Mondes 88, 1888, 340–372.

Histoire de la littérature grecque. 1869; La légende athénienne. 1871.

La science des religions. 1872, 3rd ed. 474 p. P. 1876; Le catholicisme contemporain. P. 1879; La vie et la pensée, éléments réels de philosophie. P. 1886.

translated: La Mythologie des Japonais d’après le Koku-si-ryaku. 1875; Le Chan-haï-king, Livre des Montagnes et des Mers. Livre II. 1875.

– “Éditions et traductions d’ouvrages latins, grecs et orientaux, des livres sur les chants de l’Église latine, sur le Cantique des cantiques etc.”

Sources: Windisch 147; M. Prévost, D.B.F. 7, 1956; briefly in RHR 55, 1907, 138 and in French Wikipédia.

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