CORDIER, Henri

CORDIER, Henri. New Orleans 8.8.1849 — Cairo, Egypt 16.3.1925. French Scholar of Asian History. Son of Erneste-Eugène C., a Savoyan working in the U.S.A. as businessman and banker, and Amélie-Henriette Oudin. In 1852 he came to France with his mother and was educated in Paris, also while his parents were in Shanghai (1859-64). In 1867-69 in England, then went to Shanghai, where he worked in business, but was also interested in studies. In 1871 librarian of North China Branch of R.A.S. In 1876 returned to France and never again visited Asia. From 1881 charge du cours d’histoire, géographie et de législation d’Extrême-Orient and from 1888 Professor of “Géographie, histoire et institutions des états de l’Extréme-Orient” at É.L.O.V. in Paris. Member of A.I.B.L. 1908. Married 1886 Marguerite Elisabeth Baudry.

Though he did not know well any Asian language, Cordier did an extremely important work with his studies on early Western sources on Asia, and although his emphasis was on China, he cannot be left unmentioned even in connection of India. Also very important bibliographical works. A further interest of him was Pre-Columbian America.

Publications: A great number of articles and reviews in CRAI, JRAS-NCB, JA, JS, Revue critique, RHR, TP, etc. and a few books on the history of Western relations of China and the history of China missions and of Sinology.

Edited Revue d’Extrême-Orient 1-3. 1882-87; with G. Schlegel founder-editor of TP (from 1890).

Bibliographies: Bibliotheca Sinica. 1-2. 14+1408 col. P. 1878-95, 2nd ed. 1-3. P. 1904-24; Bibl. Japonica. 762 col. PEFEO 5:8. P. 1912; Bibl. Indosinica. 1-4 = PEFEO 15-18. 3037 col. P., 1912-15 & 5. Index par M.-A. Roland-Cabaton. 359 p. P. 1932; also “Bibliotheca Indo-Sinica; Essai d’une Bibliographie des Ouvrages relatifs à la presqu’île indo-chinoise. Première Partie: Birmanie et Assam”, TP N.S. 7, 1906, 163-209 & 9, 1908, 137-175 (all earlier parts on Burma, these two cover Assam).

– “Les Français en Birmanie au XVIIIe Siècle. Notes et Documents Publiés”, TP 1, 1890, 15-28, 189-217 & 2, 1891, 1-48, 390f.

Edited: Les voyages en Asie au XIVe siècle du bienheureux frère Odoric de Pordenone, réligieux de Saint-François. 14+158+602 p. P. 1891.

– “Les Lolos 玀玀: État actuel de la question”, TP N.S. 8, 1907, 597-686

Much revised new edition of H. Yule’s Marco Polo. L. 1903-20, with copious notes, also of Yule’s Cathay and the Way Thither. 1-4. L., Hakluyt Soc. 1913-16.

Mélanges d’histoire et de géographie orientales. 1-4. 319+323+369+273 p. P. 1914-23.

Histoire générale de la Chine et de ses relations avec les pays étrangers depuis les temps les plus anciens jusqu’à la chute de la dynastie mandchoue. 1-4. Paris 1920.

Edited & transl. Les Merveilles de l’Asie par le Père Jourdain Catalani de Séverac. 125 p. 19 pl. P. 1925

Sources: L. Aurousseau, BEFEO 25, 1925, 279-286; P. Beillevaire, D.O.L.F. 240f.; *R. Cagnat, CRAI 1929, 292-306; *H. Dehérain, JS 1925, 80-83; P. Pelliot, TP 24, 1925-26, 1-15 with photo; M. Prévost, D.B.F. 9, 1961, 629f.; *E. Denison Ross, JRAS 1925, 571f.; *W.P. Yetts, BSOS 3:4, 1925, 855f.; *Bibliographie des œuvres de H.C. 8+151 p. P. 1924; Wikipedia with photo; another photo in Brill’s Catalogue 1937.

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