GARREZ, Pierre-Gustave

GARREZ, Pierre-Gustave. Rome 20.4.1834 — Paris 3.12.1888. French Indologist. Born in Rome, where his architect father lived as a pensionnaire of French Academy, educated in Paris at Collège Henri IV and Collège Louis-le-Grand. Left soon juridical studies and joined the army as a voluntary in 1854. After serving as a curassier in Krim he left the army in 1857 and started private study, taking languages in turns: German and Italian, Latin and comparative Romance, then IE and for it Sanskrit, which he learned by himself from Benfey’s Handbuch, soon also Avestan, then Pehlevi and Persian, now Semitic like Hebrew and Arabic. He even knew some Urdu, Tamil and Armenian. Economically independent and living together with his widowed mother he was capable of concentrating entirely on his studies.

GG’s goal was to explain history through the methods of philology. Aiming at a perfection, he published extremely little, but his contemporaries lauded his critical and cautious approach, which never surpassed what was implied by the evidence (Darmesteter). The majority of his few publications consists of reviews, but these were often exceptionally long and thorough. In Indology he saw the importance of Middle and New Indo-Aryan and Iranian for the study of OIA. He pondered, how the IA culture had crossed the Hindukush, and was an early supporter of the “Sanskrit renaissance” theory. In the 1870s an eye disease restricted his ability to work, and even when recovered, he was no longer interested in publishing his ideas. He was never a teacher, although he privately gave advise and guidance to some young friends like Hauvette-Besnault, Guyard and Senart.

Publications: “Etymologisches”, ZDMG 19, 1865, 302f. (Pāli jhârjanti, ujjhâna).

reviews: Foucaux: Guirlande précieuse, JA 6:10, 1867, 502-510; Justi: Bundehesh, JA 6:13, 1869, 161-198; Weber: Hāla, JA 6:20, 1872, 197-220; Beames: Comparative Grammar, Revue crit. 1873; Fausbøll: Jātaka, Revue crit. 1873; Harlez: Avesta traduction, JA 7:7, 1876, 411f.; and two further, in addition some anonymous reviews in Revue crit.

Sources: A. Barth, Revue crit. 1889 = Œuvres 4. P. 1918, 52-60 (with a complete bibliography); Darmesteter, JA 8:16, 1890, 31-36; *G. A. Grierson, IA 18, 1889, 378f.; *Senart, JA 1888, 491-498; D.B.F. fasc. 87, 1980; JGLS 1, 1889; briefly in RHR 19, 1889, 106f.


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