GEORGIAN, Constantin D

GEORGIAN, Constantin D. Bucharest 2.1.1850 — 26.11.1904. Romanian Indologist, the First Schooled Oriental Scholar of his Country. Son of a shopkeeper, matriculated in Bucharest in 1869. Graduated in Bucharest University in 1872 with a dissertation on Sallustius and obtained a scholarship. In 1872-75 studied in Paris classical and Romance philology and especially Sanskrit at Sorbonne and É.P.H.É. under Bergaigne and Bréal. With a further one-year scholarship went to Leipzig and studied Greek (Curtius), Balto-Slavic (Leskien), Iranian (Hübschmann) and Sanskrit (Brockhaus). He made study on Vedic ritual, especially the human sacrifice and planned for a chair at Bucharest, but felt unhappy in Germany. Ph.D. 1875 Leipzig, on Romanian vocalism. Now returned to Bucharest, but obtained only a place as Latin teacher. Proposed vainly a chair, but was at least allowed in November 1876 to teach Sanskrit at Bucharest University. Thus he became the first teacher of Sanskrit in Romania (Burla’s proposition at Iaşi had been rejected) and prepared various scholarly works (a study of Sanskrit verbs, Mṛcchakaṭika, a Sanskrit grammar in Romanian). But soon he had to interrupt his teaching as he was nominated Secretary to Romanian Legation in Berlin. Here he met —> Eminescu, and was able to attend Weber’s lectures. In Berlin he prepared an edition of the Rasamañjarī of Bhānudatta (14th century). The edition was finished, but left unpublished, because Georgian had no occasion to collate it with a Bodleian manuscript. In Berlin he was also employed as teacher of Romanian at Academie für moderne Philologie, but was soon called back to Romania, where he had again to earn his living as a teacher of Latin. New propositions for a chair were not accepted, but from October 1877 to 1879 he could again teach Sanskrit, perhaps later, too.

Georgian’s literary output remained meagre. In a lecture on the principles of Christianity (1878) he presented comparisons to ancient IE religions and cited Sanskrit works. He was also interested in Iranian, and corresponded with several foreign scholars (Weber, Jolly, Fleischer, Schott, et al.). He could travel abroad, in Scotland, Norway, Georgia and Palaestina, and collected a good library. He suffered of a diabetes and died of pulmonary anthrax. L. Şăineanu was his student.

Publications: Diss. Essai sur le vocalisme roumain, précédé d’une étude historique et critique du roumain. Manuscript 1875 in Leipzig, second part publ. Bucharest 1876.

– Manuscript Rasamañjarī. Ad fidem quattuor Berolinensis bibliothecae codicum edidit, descriptione et variis lectionibus instruxit. Completed 1876 (?); among other extant (much has disappeared) manuscripts are Romanian translations of Nala and Sāvitrī.

Universalitatea principiilor religiunii creştine. Bucharest 1878.

– “Sénèque et Marc Aurèle”, Ortodoxul 1880, 239-252; ten literary and dramatic chronicles published with the signature dg in the daily Nauţiunea in 1887; anonymous Catalogul bibliotecii Seminarului Central din Bucureşti. 1890.

Sources: *E. Ciurtin, Arhiva orientală a lui Constantin Georgian (1850-1904)”, Archævs. Studii de istorie a religiilor 1, 1997, 147-164; *T. Iordănescu, “Un orientalist român. Amintiri despre C. Georgian”, Convorbiri literare 1907, 825-829; A. Roşu, ZDMG 116, 1966, 97-117(and IAC 15, 1966, 52-62); *Romanian Wikipedia.

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