QUATREMÈRE, Étienne-Marc. Paris 12.7.1782 — Paris 18.9.1857. French Oriental (Arabic and Persian) Scholar and Historian. Professor in Paris. Born in a Jansenist family, son of Maec-Étienne Q. and Suzanne Sophie Lesueur-Florent. Lost in revolution his father who was cloth merchant and member of minor nobility and was executed in 1793, while he was hiding with his mother in country. Studies in Paris under Silvestre de Sacy. For a while taught Greek in Rouen, from 1815 member of A.I.B.-L. In 1819-57 Professor of Hebrew at Collège de France, in 1827-57 also Professor of Persian at E.L.O.V.
A further interest of Quatremère was Pehlevi, where he first explained the uzvāreš system. He was a good philologist, but never believed in comparative linguistics and in Champollion’s Hieroglyphic decipherment, although as early as 1808 rightly saw that Coptic was the key to Ancient Egyptian. The archaeologist Antoine-Chrysostome Quatremère de Quincy (1755–1849) was a cousin of his father.
Publications: Editions and translations in Arabic and Persian.
– “Mémoire sur le pays d’Ophir”, MAIBL 15:2, 1845, 349-402.
– Review of Langlès & Reinaud, Relations des voyages faits par les arabes et les persans dans l’Inde et à la Chine. P. 1845, JS 1846, 513-531, 677-690, 733-750 & 1847, 235-249.
– “Mémoire sur Darius le Mède et Balthasar, rois de Babylone”, MAIBL 19:1, 1851, 373-418.
– Mélanges d’histoire et de philologie orientale. 32+415 p. P. 1861.
Sources: Barthélemy Saint-Hilaire, biographical note in Mélanges. 1861, i-xxviii; Fück 152; O.D.B.; Guigniault, MAIBL 27:1, 1877, 195-218; A. Messaoudi, D.O.L.F. 794f.; E. Renan, N.B.G. 41, 18??, 279-283; T. Sadjeai, “Bicentenaire de la naissance d’Ét. Q.”, JS 1983, 20-32; Wikipedia with portrait.
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