SENART, Émile Charles Marie

SENART, Émile Charles Marie. Reims 26.3.1847 — Paris 21.2.1928. French Indologist. Private Scholar in Paris. Born in a rich merchant family he was educated at lycée in Reims, studied at Munich (under Haug) and Göttingen (Benfey). From 1882 conseilleur général, Departément Sarthe, in 1891 its candidate for elections. From 1882 member of A.I.B.L. In 1888 travelled in India. As wealthy man he was able to give his time to research without any official position, but his influence was widely felt in academic circles. In 1908-28 President of Société asiatique. Hon. Dr. 1923 Oxford. Married, no children.

ES was mainly noted as a skilled epigraphist and historian. Less felicitous were his attempts at religion. He created his famous solar mythological interpretation of the Buddha legend, which, although rightly criticized, at least suggested not to take the sources too literally. He was perhaps the first to make clear distinction between varṇa and jāti. His edition of the Mahāvastu was very important for the srudy of Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit.

Publications: ed. & tr.: Kaccāyana et la littérature grammaticale du Pāli. 1. in JA 6:17, 1871, 193-549, and sep.

Essai sur la légende du Bouddha. in JA 1873-75 and sep. 35+496 p. P. 1875, 2nd ed. 1882.

Inscriptions de Piyadassi. in JA 1880-81 and sep. 1-2. P. 1881-86; translated by G.A.Grierson from JA: “Inscriptions of Piyadasi”, IA 9, 1880, 282-287; 10, 1881, 83-85, 180-182, 209-211, 269-273; and from the book (with revisions by Senart): “The Inscriptions of Piyadasi”, IA 17, 1888, 303-307; 18, 1889, 1-9, 73-80, 105-108, 300-309; 19, 1890, 82-102; 20, 1891, 154-170, 229-266; 21, 1892, 1-13, 85-92, 101-106, 145-155, 171-177, 203-210, 243-250 & 258-276 (concluded).

edited: Mahavastu. 1-3. P. 1882-97; “Le manuscrit kharoṣṭhī du Dhammapada. Les fragments Dutréuil du Rhins”, JA 9:12, 1898, 193-308, 545-548, 5 pl. (Manuscript Dutréuil du Rhins).

– “Notes d’Épigraphie Indienne”, JA 1888-1900 (Br. & Kh.); edited the inscriptions of Karle and Nasik in EI 7-8, 1902–06.

Les castes dans l’Inde. P. 1894, 2nd ed. 7+244 p. P. 1927, English tr. L. 1930.

with Boyer & Rapson: Kharoṣṭhī Inscriptions discovered by Sir Aurel Stein. I. Text of Inscriptions discovered at the Niya Site 1901. II.-III. Inscriptions from Niya, Endere and Lou-lan. 1-2. 266 p. 14 pl. Oxford 1920-27.

edited & transl. (in French): Chāndogya Upaniṣad. 32+142 p. P. 1930; Bṛhadāraṇyaka-Upaniṣad. 28+137 p. P. 1934; transl. La Bhagavadgītā. 180 p. P. 1922.

numerous articles in JA, etc.

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; *L. Finot, BEFEO 28, 1928, 335-347; *A. Foucher, JA 212, 1928, 1-15; Bibliography by A. Guérinot, JA 223, 1933, 1-75; *L. de La Vallée Poussin, BCLS 514, 33f.; A. Padoux, D.O.L.F. 888; *P. Pelliot, RAA 5, 1926; *Pelliot, TP 26, 1928, 68-70; *Pelliot, AL N.S. 2, 1928, 29-??; F.W. Thomas, JRAS 1928, 751-760; *Bibl. Bouddh. 2, 534-537; *IHQ 4, 1928, 400-404; La Grande Encyclop. 29; briefly Wikipedia with photo; another photo in JA 261, 1973.

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