LE ROUX DESHAUTESRAYES, Michel-Ange-André

LE ROUX DESHAUTESRAYES, Michel-Ange-André (des Hautesrayes). Conflans-Sainte-Honorine near Pontoise 10.9.1724 — Rueil Malmaison near Paris 9.2.1795. French Orientalist and Sinologist, a Pioneer of Buddhist Studies. Professor in Paris. Son of Antoine LRH and Catherine Geneviève Fourmont. Through his mother nephew of the Orientalist brothers Etienne and Michel Fourmont, under the former started early (1732) the study of Hebrew, Syriac, Arabic and Chinese. From 1842 jeune de langue, still living at his uncle until his death in 1745. Then Royal Interpreter at Royal Library and from 1852 Professor of Arabic at Collège royal (now C. de France) in Paris. Retired in 1784 and settled down in Ruel near Paris. Married Adrienne Marguerite Saillard, no children recorded.

Although teaching Arabic, he was mainly interested in China and Central Asia and, unlike other Sinologists of the 18th century, also in Buddhism. Rightly he criticized de Guignes’ theory of Chinese civilization originating from Egyptian colonisation. He was learned, but published very little of his studies.

Publications: “Abrégé de la Vie d’Etienne Fourmont et Notice de ses ouvrages”, 20 p. in the new ed. of the Réflexions critiques sur l’histoire des anciens peuples. P. 1747.

– “Lettre à M. Desflottes sur l’histoire véritable de l’orphelin chinois de la maison Tchao”, appended to Voltaire’s L’orphelin de la Chine. 1755; and a few further articles on Chinese history and literature

Doutes sur la dissertation de M. Deguignes, qui a pour titre: Mémoire dans lequel on prouve que les Chinois sont une colonie égyptienne. 89 p. P. 1759 (cf. JS 1759, 718–724).

Prospectus d’un ouvrage intitulé Triomphe de l’Église dans la destruction de Jérusalem et du Temple, ou l’Apocalypse expliquée dans son premier sens littéral, par l’Histoire sainte et la connaissance des mœurs, des usages et du style des Orientaux, avec le texte de l’Apocalypse, revu sur le syriaque. 1775 (the work itself never appeared).

Posthumous article on Buddhism published in the JA in the 1820s.

Sources: *L. G. Michaud, N.B.G. 10, 1855, 502f.; S. de S_y [Silvestre de Sacy], B.U. 11, 1814, 180-182; French Wikipédia; parents and marriage in gw.geneanet.org.

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