GERINI, Gerolamo Emilio

GERINI, Gerolamo Emilio. Cisano sul Neva (Albenga) 10.3.1860 — Turin 11.10.1913. Italian Officer and South-East Asian Scholar in Thailand. Colonel. Son of Carlo G., Professor of Oenology in Turin, and Veronica Rosso. After Military Academy of Modena he served in Italian army 1879-81. From 1881 twentyfive years in Thailand as military instructor, founded military academy, and advanced to general instructor of Thailand army, retired 1905. During this period he learned the main languages of South-East Asia and devoted his leisure to studies, which he continued also in Italy. Died of heart attack. He was among the founding members of the Siam Society. His heirs donated his large library to Istituto Orientale di Napoli. He was industrious scholar, but his magnum opus on Ptolemy met with hard and unfortunately well deserved criticism.

Publications: A Retrospective View and Account of the Origin of the “Thet Maha Ch’at” Ceremony (Maha-Jati Desana), or Exposition of the Tale of the Great Birth, as performed in Siam. 8+65 p. Bongkok 1892; “Chulakanta-mangala” or the Tonsure Ceremony, as performed in Siam. 9+187 p. 10 pl.. Bangkok 1895.

– “Notes on the Early Geography of Indo-China”, JRAS 1897, 551-577; completely rev. and much enl. ed. Researches on Ptolemy’s Geography of Eastern Asia (Further India and Indo-Malay Peninsula). 22+945 p. Asiatic Society Monographs 1. L. 1909.

In Asiatic Quart. Review: “Trial by Ordeal in Siam and the Siamese Law of Ordeals”, April-July 1895, 29 p.; “Shan and Siam”, 3:5, 1898, 145-163; “Siam’s Intercourse with China (7th to 19th Centuries)”, 3:10, 1900, 365-394, 3:11, 1901, 155-170, 379-385, Jan. 1902, 119-147, April 1902 361-368, July-Oct. 1902, 291-307, repr. 4+106 p. Woking 1906; “A Trip to the Ancient Ruins of Kamboja”, April 1904, 355-398, April 1905, 361-394, July 1905, 89-101

Catalogue d’un collection de Monnaies Anciennes et Modernes et de Medailles du Siam,… exposé par Mme da Costa, Hanoi 1902. 30 p. Bangkok 1902 (only 6 copies printed).

– “Siamese Archaeology: A Synoptical Sketch”, JRAS 1904, 233-247; “The Nagarakretagama List of Countries on the Indo-Chinese Mainland”, JRAS 1905, 485-511; “Historical Retrospect of Junkceylon Island”, JSiamSoc 1905, 121-268.

– “On Siamese Proverbs and Idiomatic Expressions”, JSiamSoc 1, 1904, 11-168.

– “Chinese Riddles on Ancient Indian Toponymy”, JRAS 1910, 1187-1201 & 1911, 437-445.

Catalogo descrittivo della mostra Siamese all’ esposizione internazionale di Torino. 1911, English tr. Siam and its Productions, Arts and Manufactures. 64+339 p. ill. Hertford 1912.

Wrote on tactics, military questions and archaeology in Thai, brief articles in English and Italian.

Sources: H. Cordier, TP 15, 1914, 280f.; *L. Finot, BEFEO 14:9, 1914, 97f.; G.V., RSO 6, 1914-15, 927-930 (with bibliography); Wikipedia with photo.

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