MEILE, Pierre. Asnières near Paris 23.2.1911 — Saint-Georges-de-Dionne (Charente-Maritime) 31.7.1963. French Indologist (Tamil Scholar). Born near Paris he became one of the last students of S. Lévi, also studied under Foucher, Bloch, Vendryes, Meillet, and Benveniste. Agrégé de grammaire 1935. In 1936-39 further studies in India, mainly at Santiniketan and Allahabad (under D. Varma and B. Saksena), also visited South India. He knew Sanskrit, Hindi, Tamil, Kannaḍa and Bengali, and conducted field-work on Gondi. In 1939-63 Professor of Hindustani and Tamil at É.L.O.V. in Paris. In 1952-53 again in India, Pakistan and Ceylon, in 1962 in India and Pakistan. He was much interested in translation theory and its application to computer. Among his students were J.-L. Chambard, L. Dumont, Fr. Gros and Ch. Vaudeville.

Publications: “La naissance d’un port: Cochin”, Annales de géographie 1939, 276-284; “La population de l’Inde”, Population 3, 1948, 127-146; “Le problème des États himalayens”, Politique étrangère 17, 1952, 471-486; “Les élections de Ceylan”, Revue fr. de science politique 6, 1956, 352-359; a few reviews.

– “Les yavanas dans l’Inde tamoule”, JA 232, 1940 = Mélanges Asiatiques 1940–1941, 85–123; “Sur la sifflante en dravidien”, JA 234, 1943-45 (1947), 73-89; “Misā devehi chez Asoka”, JA 237, 1949, 193-223.

Introduction au Tamil. 224 p. P. 1945.

– “Les langues de l’Inde”, Cent-cinquantenaire d’École des langues orientales. P. 1948, 113-127.

Histoire de l’Inde. Que sais-je? P. 1951, rev. 2nd ed. 1965; translated into Japanese, Italian, and Spanish.

Contributions to L’Inde Classique (1. 1947: “Les races”, 43-51; “Les langues modernes”, 84-119, “Les sources non sanskrites”, 445-480; 2. 1953: “L’ancienne littérature tamoule”, 297-314), to modern history of Bonifacio (Indian history, 1862), and to Grimal’s Manual of mythology (Tamil Mythology).

Articles on Hindi (BSL 44, 1947-48, 74-81) and Tamil (BSL 45, 1949, 135-145).

Sources: The Indo-Asian Culture 12:3, 1964, 201f.; briefly in French Wikipédia; writings in persée.fr and other stray notes in Internet.