PRZYLUSKI, Jean (Jan Przyłuski). Le Mans 17.8.1885 — Mareil-sur-Loir 27.10.1944. French Indologist, South East Asian scholar and Linguist. Professor in Paris. Born in an originally Polish family, educated in Rennes and Paris. In 1907-13 at E.F.E.O. in Indochina, 1912 visited China. Dr.-ès-lettres 1923. He was in 1923-33 Professor of Annamite (Vietnamese) at E.L.O.V. (Prof. suppléant from 1913) and directeur d’études, philologie bouddhique, at E.P.H.E. from 1926, then 1931-44 Professor of Indochinese History and Philology at Collège de France (succeeding Finot). Although French citizen from birth, he kept close ties to Poland all his life and was honoured with doctorate by Warsaw University in 1938. Died after long illness. Married Appoline Pollinet, one daughter and one son.

As a linguist Przyluski was among the first to study Munda and other non-IE languages of India and to hunt for eastern linguistic connections. He was a pioneer, but also known of very bold hypotheses in etymology (including supposed Iranian and Babylonian influences in South-East Asia). To support his linguistic ideas he also studied ancient ethnography of India. Also well-known as Buddhist scholar. Together with M. Lalou he started the Bibliographie bouddhique in 1928.

Publications: “Le nord-ouest de l’Inde dans le Vinaya des Mūla-Sarvāstivādin et les textes apparentés”, JA 11:4, 1914, 493-568.

– “Le Parinirvāṇa et les funerailles du Buddha”, JA 11:11, 1918, 485-526; 11:12, 1918, 401-456; 11:13, 1919, 365-430 & 11:14, 1920, 5-24.

Diss. La légende de l’empereur Asoka. 16+458 p. A.M.G. 32. P. 1923, English tr. Calcutta 1967.

– “Emprunts Anaryens en Indo-Aryen”, series of etymological notes in BSL 24-26, 1924-26 and MO 28, 1934.

– “Le prologue-cadre des Mille et une nuits et le thème de svayaṁvara. Contribution à l’histoire des contes indiens”, JA 205, 1924, 101-137.

– “Un ancien peuple du Penjab: les Udumbara”, JA 208, 1926, 1-59; “Noms de villes indiennes dans la Géographie de Ptolémée”, BSL 27, 1927, 218-229; “La ville de Cakravartin. Influences babyloniennes sur la civilisation de l’Inde”, RO 5, 1927, 165-185; “Un ancien peuple du Penjab: les Salva”, JA 214, 1929, 311-354.

Le concile de Rājagṛha. 6+434 p. P. 1928; Le bouddhisme. 79 p. 60 pl. P. 1932.

– “Un cosmogonie commune à l’Iran et à l’Inde”, JA 229, 1937, 481-493.

La participation. 12+171 p. P. 1940; L’Évolution humaine. 264 p. P. 1942; Créer. 284 p. P. 1943; La grande déesse. Introduction à l’étude comparative des religions. 219 p. P. 1950.

Further articles in JA, BSL, RO, etc.

Sources: *M. Lalou, AA 9:1-3, 1946, 144-147 ; *M. Lalou, IHQ 21, 1945, 158-162; *A.W. Macdonald & M. Lalou, L’Œuvre de J.P. 12+139 p. Collection Jean Prz. 1. P. 1970; Ch. Picard, Revue archéol. 6:35, 1950, 101f.; L. Renou, Annuaire de l’É.P.H.É. 77, 1946, 5-7; P. Singaravélou & A.-M. Blondeau, D.O.L.F. 787f.; F. W. Thomas, JRAS 1950, 98f.; very briefly in Wikipedia, more in French version; photo in Sardesai.

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