COLINET, Philémon

COLINET, Philémon. Alost (Aalst) 2.3.1853 — Sleydingen 3.12.1917. Belgian Indologist, Linguist and Scholar of Religion. Professor in Louvain. Son of Felix Joannes C., a smith, and Maria Theresia Jolie. In 1877-82 student at Seminary of Ghent, in 1882 ordained as priest. In 1881-84 studied Oriental languages at Louvain under de Harlez, 1884 Ph.D. there. Further studies of IE linguistics at Berlin (J. Schmidt) and Paris (Bréal & Bergaigne). From 1887 eo. Professor at Louvain, 1889 ordinary, 1892 with chair. Taught Sanskrit and Gothic, occasionally Pāli, Greek, Old High German, Old Dutch, Old Church Slavonic, comparative IE, Flemish dialectology, and general phonetics.

The chief work of PhC was his extensive study on the Rigveda. According to Carnoy “he criticized both romanticing (Grassmann, Ludwig) and over-ritualistic (Pischel, Geldner) interpretation, rejected arbitrary translation based on a ‘central idea’ of each hymn (Roth), and attempted himself to define the meanings of words from the clear passages and then apply them to the difficult. Further he rejected etymological interpretations and mythological fantasy.” He further characterized him as “independent and original spirit, temperamental, combative and passionated, nick-named ‘le membre opposant’.”

Publications: diss. Les doctrines philosophiques et religieuses de la Bhagavadgita. P. 1884.

– “La divinité personnelle dans l’Inde ancienne”, Le Muséon 3, 1884, 126-143, 294-319 & 5, 1886, 212-232; “Les principes de l’exegèse vedique d’après MM. Pischel et K. Geldner”, Le Muséon 9, 1890, 250-267 & 372-388.

– “La nature du monde supérieur dans le Rig-Veda”, Le Muséon 8, 1889, 578-595 & 9, 1890, 71-86; “Étude sur le mot Aditi”, Le Muséon 1893; “La nature primitive d’Aditi”, Transactions of the 9th OC, London 1892, 1, 1893, 396-410.

together with La Vallée Poussin editor of Le Muséon 1901-16 and contributed himself many articles, often on the Rigveda.

– “À propos des voyelles finales à quantité variable dans le Rig-Veda”, JA 10:14, 1909, 395-399; “Étude sur le sens du mot Svadhā dans le Rig-Veda”, Mélanges d’indianisme Sylvain Lévi, Paris 1911, 159-172.

– “Essai sur la formation de quelques groupes de racines indoeuropéennes”, Le Muséon 11, 1892, 151-190; Het dialect van Aalst. Antwerpen 1896; La magie moderne et les théories religionistes. 1912; Qu’est-ce que l’histoire des religions? 100 p. Rome & Louvain 1913.

Sources: ??Dict. Biogr. Belg. Suppl. 1, 1935?; *A. Carnoy, Ann. de l’Univ. cath. de Louvain 1915-19, 453-483; J. L. Pauwels, Nat. Biogr. Woordenboek 2, 1966, 132-134; P. Servais, D.O.L.F. 232f.; on his dialectal studies A.M. Hagen in J. Noordegraf et al., The History of Linguistics in the Low Countries. 1992, 334.

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