RIEU, Charles Pierre Henri

RIEU, Charles Pierre Henri. Geneva 8.6.1820 — London 19.3.1902. Swiss Indologist and Oriental Scholar in the U.K. Professor of Arabic in Cambridge. Son of an officer, Jean Louis Rieu, and Françoise Lasserre. After Geneva Academy studies of Arabic (Freytag, Gildemeister), Sanskrit (Lassen), etc. at Bonn in 1840-43. Ph.D. 1843. He went to London and Oxford for manuscript study and in 1846 to St.Petersburg, where he worked with his friend Böhtlingk. But soon he formed intimate relation with Böhtlingk’s wife and had to leave. In 1847 came to London and was employed in British Museum, from 1867 as Curator of Oriental Manuscripts (Fück deems his catalogues excellent). From 1895 Adams Professor of Arabic at Cambridge (a modest position with small salary), but continued his manuscript work. Married 1850 Anne-Marie-Agnes Hisgen (née Hisgen, 1815–1871), Böhtlingk’s divorced wife (not a Dutchwoman!), and 1871 her niece Agnes Hisgen (1848–1920), with the latter had one daughter and four sons (Sir Jean-Louis R., of I.C.S., other three fell in the WW I).

Publications: Diss. De Abul-Alae poetae arabici vita et carminibus. Bonn 1843.

– Edited with Böhtlingk: Hemak’andra’s Abhidhânacintâmaṇi, ein systematisch angeordnetes synonymisches Lexicon. 444 p. St.P. 1847.

Edited with D. Forbes, Ikhwānu-ṣ-Ṣafā. Translated from the Arabic into Hindūstānī, by Maulawī Ikrām Alī. L. 1862.

Catalogue of the Arabic Manuscripts in British Museum. 3. L. 1871; Supplement to the Cat. of the Ar. MSS. L. 1894; Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in British Museum. 1-4. 1879-95; Catalogue of Turkish Manuscripts in British Museum. 1888.

Sources: *J. Browne, JRAS 1902, 718-721; Buckland, Dictionary; Fück 1955, 192f.; Stache-Weiske 2017, 63f., 553; Windisch 379f.; Hist.-biogr. Lex. der Schweiz 5; Schweizerisches Geschlechtbuch 6, 1936; Wikipedia briefly.

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