GARÇIN DE TASSY, Joseph-Héliodore-Sagesse-Vertu

GARCIN DE TASSY, Joseph-Héliodore-Sagesse-Vertu. Marseille 20.1.1794 — Paris 2.9.1878. French Indologist (Hindi-Urdu Scholar) and Orientalist. Professor in Paris. Son of Joseph Jacques Garcin, a stockbroker, and Claire Virginie Tassy. Educated in Marseille, where he also learned spoken Arabic. From 1817 studies of law in Paris, at the same time Persian and Arabic under under Langlès and Silvestre de Sacy, also Turkish. From 1822 worked as secretary of Collège de France. Encouraged by Silvestre de Sacy he learned Hindūstānī from English manuals (Shakespear). Thanks to Silvestre de Sacy a chair of Hindūstānī (Urdū) was founded for him at É.L.O.V. in 1828 (full chair 1830), and he taught there until 1877. Légion d’honneur 1837. From 1838 member of A.I.B.L. In 1876 president of Société Asiatique. He never visited Asia, but had wide correspondence with British and Indian scholars, who also sent him numerous publications. Married 1822 Marie-Félicité-Sophie Saisset, no children.

GT was a rare case of a specialist of Hindī/Urdū in the 19th century, when all his few colleagues were British, who had served in India. The major part of his work dealt with Urdū (“hindoustani”) and Braj Bhāshā (“hindoui”), but he also knew well Arabic, Persian and Turkish, and published on all of them. His manuals are antiquated, of course, but his literary history and annual reports are full of important information. Although Catholic himself, his Islamic studies were remarkably objective and did much to promote understanding of Islam in France. Sanskrit and Hindu India were outside his scope. Among his students were abbé Bertrand and Th. Pavie.

Publications: Les Oiseaux et les Fleurs, allégories morales d’Azz-eddin Elmocaddessi, publiées en arabe avec une traduction et des notes. 28+240+118 p. P. 1821 (al-Maqdīsī).

Translated from Turkish: Er. Rumi: Exposition de la foi Musulmane. 10+166 p. P. 1822; Relation de la prise de Constantinople par Mahomet II. 19 p. P. 1826.

Doctrines et devoirs de la Religion Musulmane. 1826, 2nd ed. 276 p. P. 1840, 3rd ed. as L’islamisme selon le Coran. 3rd ed. 11+412 p. P. 1874.

Translated from Urdū: Mir Taki: Conceils aux mauvaises Poètes. 18 p. P. 1826; Les aventures de Kâmrûp, par Tahcin-Uddin. 11+251 p. P. 1834 (also text ed. P. 1835); “Abregé du Hindustani Roman intitulé La Rose de Bakawali”, JA 2:16, 1835, 193-242, 2nd ed. as book P. 1858; Marsiya ou Bhathial de Mir Abdullah Miskin, sur la Mort de Muslim et de ses deux fils. P. 1845 (appended to Les séances de Haidari by Bertrand, 241-261, 284f.; “Description des Monuments de Delhi en 1852, d’après … Saiyid Ahmad Khan”, JA 5:15-16, 1860-61 and as a book; Un Chapitre de l’histoire de l’Inde musulmane, ou Chronique de Scher Schah, sultan de Delhi. 164 p. P. 1865; Amman: Bāgh o Bahār, le jardin et le printemps. 340 p. P. 1878.

Edited in Urdū: Les Œuvres de Walî. 1-2. 164+68 p. P. 1834-36.

Mémoire sur les particularités de la religion Musulmane dans l’Inde d’après les ouvrages hindoustanis. 114 p. P. 1831, 2nd ed. 108 p. P. 1869.

– “Mémoire sur le système métrique des Arabes, adapté à la langue hindoustani”, JA 2:10, 1832, 249-290.

Rudiments de la langue Hindoustanie. 100 p. P. 1829 and new editions; Rudiments de la langue Hindouie. 108 p. P. 1847.

Histoire de la littérature Hindoue et Hindustani. 1-2. 16+630, 22+608 p. P. 1839-47; 2nd rev. & enl. ed. 1-3. 624+608+603 p. P. 1870-71; “Les auteurs Hindoustanies et leurs ouvrages”, Revue contemporaine 22, 1855, 2nd ed. as book 111 p. P. 1868; “Les femmes poètes de l’Inde”, Revue de l’Orient 1854, 336-345.

Chrestomathie Hindouie et Hindoustanie. 4+134+144 p. P. 1849.

Rhétorique et prosodie des langues de l’Orient Musulmanes. Articles in JA 1844-48, 2nd rev. ed. 8+439 p. P. 1873; “Mémoires sur les noms propres et les titres musulmans”, JA 1854, 2nd ed. as a book 128 p. P. 1878.

Translated from Braj: Tableau de Kaliyug ou de l’Âge de fer, par Wischnu-Dâs. 1854.

Edited in Persian with transl.: Attar: Language des oiseaux. P. 1857-63.

La langue et la littérature hindoustanies de 1850 à 1869. 2nd ed. 488 p. P. 1874, continued as Revue annuelle. 48 p. P. 1871; 83 p. P. 1872; 109 p. P. 1873; 86 p. P. 1874; 116 p. P. 1875; 127 p. P. 1876; 178 p. P. 1877; 104 p. P. 1878.

Allegories, recits poetiques et chants populaires, trad. de l’Arabe, du Persan, de l’Hindoustani et du Turc. 639 p. P. 1876 (a collection of earlier publications).

A number of brief articles, reviews and obituary notices in JA.

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; M. Gaborieau, D.O.L.F. 419-421; S. S. Husain: G. de T. Biographie et étude critique de ses œuvres. 20+234 p. P.I.F.I. 22. Pondichéry 1962; F. Marouis, D.B.F. fasc. 86, 1980, 391f.; P. Meile in Cent-cinquantenaire de l’École des langues orientales. P. 1948, 113-116; *E. Renan, JA 7:14, 1879, 12-16; JRAS 11, 1879, Proc. xi-xiii; Wikipedia.

*F. Deloncle, Catalogue des livres orientaux et autres composant la bibliothèque de feu M. Garcin de Tassy, suivie du catalogue des manuscrits. 272 p. P. 1879 (also a photo).

For his birthday some sources give 25.1., but if Husain gives the birth certificate correctly, he was born on pluviôse first, an II, corresponding 20.1.1794.

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