GARÇIN DE TASSY, Joseph-Héliodore-Sagesse-Vertu

GARÇIN DE TASSY, Joseph-Héliodore-Sagesse-Vertu. Marseille 20/25.1. 1794 — Paris 2/3.9.1878. French Indologist (Hindi-Urdu Scholar) and Orientalist. Professor in Paris. Son of a stockbroker. Educated in Marseille, where he also learnt spoken Arabic. From 1817 studies of law in Paris, also of Persian, Arabic and Urdu under Silvestre de Sacy, and of Turkish. From 1822 worked as secretary at Collège de France. Learnt Urdu from English manuals. Thanks to Silvestre de Sacy a chair of Hindustani (Urdu) 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. Married, no children.

GT was a rare case of a specialist of Hindi/Urdu in the 19th century, when all his few colleagues were British, who had served in India. The major part of his work dealt with Urdu (“hindoustani”) and Braj Bhasha (“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. 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. 1821.

Doctrines et devoirs de la Religion Musulmane. 1826, 2nd ed. 1840, 3rd ed. as L’islamisme selon le Coran. 1874; Mémoire sur les particularités de la religion Musulmane. 1831.

translated from Turkish: Er. Rumi: Exposition de la foi Musulmane. 1831; Relation de la prise de Constantinople. 1826.

translated from Urdū and Braj: Mir Taki: Conceils aux mauvaises Poétes. 1826 (U); Les aventures de Kamrup, par Tahcin-Uddin. P. 1834 (U, also text ed. P. 1835); Abregé du Hindustani Roman intitulé Bakawali. 1835; 2nd ed. 1858; Marsiya ou Bhathial de Mir Abdullah Miskin, sur la Mort de Muslim et de ses deux fils. P. 1845; Tableau de Kaliyug ou de l’Âge de fer, par Wischnu-Dâs. 1854 (Br); “Description des Monuments de Delhi en 1852, d’après … Saiyid Ahmad Khan”, JA 5:15-16, 1860-61 and as a book (U); Un Chapitre de l’histoire de l’Inde musulmane, ou Chronique de Scher Schah, sultan de Delhi. 164 p. P. 1865 (U); Amman: Bāgh o Bahār. P. 1878 (U).

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

– “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 edd.; Rudiments de la langue Hindouie. 108 p. P. 1847.

Histoire de la littérature Hindoue et Hindustani. 1-2. ???+22+608 p. P. 1839-47; 2nd rev. & enl. ed. 1-3. P. 1870-71; Les auteurs Hindoustanies et leurs ouvrages. Revue contemporaine 22. P. 1855, 2nd ed. 1868; Les femmes poètes de l’Inde. P. 1854.

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

Rhetorique et prosodie des langues de l’Orient Musulmanes. 1844-48; 2nd ed. 1873; “Mémoires sur les noms propres et les titres musulmans”, JA 1854, 2nd ed. as a book 1878.

edited in Persian and transl.: Attar: Language des oiseaux. 1857-63.

La langue et la littérature hindoustanies de 1850 à 1869. 2nd ed. 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. 1876.

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.; *E. Renan, JA 7:14, 1879, 12-16; JRAS 11, 1879, Proc. xi-xiii; Wikipedia.

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