DARMESTETER, James

DARMESTETER, James. Château-Salins (Meurth, Lorraine) 28.3.1849 — Maisons-Lafitte near Paris 19.10.1894. French Iranian Scholar. Professor in Paris. Son of a Jewish bookbinder, younger brother of the philologist Arsène D. (1846–1888). Educated in Paris, matriculated from Lycée Concordet in 1866. Then studied philology (lic. 1868) and law (lic. 1870) in Paris. Ph.D. 1877 Paris. A student of Bréal and Bergaigne. From 1877 taught Avesta at É.P.H.É. In 1885 succeeded Barbier de Meynard as Professor of Persian Language and Literature at Collège de France. From February 1886 till February 1887 travelled in India (Bombay, Peshawar, Hazara) collecting material i.al. on Pashto. 1892 director of É.P.H.É. Married with an English poetess, Mary Robinson. Also knew Sanskrit well. He was characterized as a poor speaker, but good writer. Always suffered of poor health and died after a short illness. Some sources give 29.11. as the date of his death, but the tombstone (picture in Wikipedia) seems to settle the matter. He admitted late date and Median origin to Zoroastrianism.

Publications: diss. Ormazd et Ahriman. B.É.H.É. 29. P. 1877.

– “Le dieu suprème dans la mythologie indo-européenne”, RHR 1, 1880, 305-326; “Le Hvaêtvadatha ou le mariage entre consanguines chez les Parsis”, RHR 24, 1891, 366-375.

Hauwatât et Ameretât. B.É.H.É. 23. P. 1875; Essais orientaux. 1883; Études iraniennes. 1-2:1-2. 1887, English transl. Bombay 1888.

Le Mahdi depuis les origines de l’Islam jusqu’à nos jours. Bibl. elzev. 43. 1885; Coup d’oeil sur l’histoire de la Perse. Bibl. elzev. 44. 1885; Les origines de la Poésie persane. Bibl. elzev. 53. 1887.

Parsism, its Place in History. Bombay 1887.

– “Points de contact entre le Mahâbhârata et le Shâh-nâmah”, JA 8:10, 1887, 38-75.

Lettres sur l’Inde.1888; Chants populaires des Afghans. 1890 (text and transl.).

translated into English: Avesta. 1-2. S.B.E. 4 & 23. 1880-83 (Vendidâd; Sîrôzahs, Yasts, and Nyâyis).

translated into French: Avesta. 1-3. A.M.G. 1892-93 (complete).

articles in MSL, JA, RHR, Revue critique, Journal des Débats, Nouvelle Revue, etc.

Sources: *Barbier de Meynard, JA 9:4, 1894, 519-534; *Bréal, BSL 9, 1896, 56-72 & bibliogr. by Blochet, 72-80; Buckland, Dictionary; *Chavannes, JA 9:6, 1895, 40-67; Cordier, JRAS 1895, 216-222; F. Hitzel, D.O.L.F. 255f.; *J. Reville, RHR 30, 1894, 205-212.

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