BRÉAL, Michel-Jules-Alfred

BRÉAL, Michel-Jules-Alfred. Landau (Pfalz) 26.3.1832 — Paris 25.11.1915. French IE scholar. Professor in Paris. Educated in Wissembourg, Metz and Paris (Lycée Louis-le-Grand), then 1852-55 at the École normale. Teacher in Strasbourg (1855) and Paris (Louis-le-Grand, 1856). Studied in 1857-60 Sanskrit at Berlin under Bopp and Weber. 1860 Renan’s successor as Keeper of Oriental Manuscripts in Bibl. nationale. Ph.D. 1863. In 1864 succeeded Hase as Professor of comparative IE linguistics at Collège de France. In 1875 A.I.B.L. In 1879-88 inspecteur général de l’instruction publique pour l’enseignement supérieur. Discussed comparative grammar and mythology. Founder of semantics. Among his students were Bergaigne, Darmesteter and L. Havet.

Publications: Étude des origines de la religion zoroastrienne. 1862; “De la géographie de l’avesta”, JA 5:19, 1862, 482-497; “Le brahme tchengrénghâtchah”, ib. 497-502.

diss. Hercule et Cecus. Étude de mythologie comparée. 177 p. P. 1863; and De persicis nominibus apud scriptores graecos. 50 p. P. 1863.

De la méthode comparative. 23 p. P. 1864; Mélanges de mythologie et de linguistique. 416 p. P. 1877, 2nd ed. P. 1882; E. Renan et la philosophie indo-européenne. 1893; Essai de sémantique. 349 p. P.1897, 5th edition P. 1911, English transl. by Mrs. Henry Cust, L. 1900.

translated: Bopp, Grammaire comparée. 1. 57+458 p. P. 1866.

Les tables engubines. 1875; Dictionnaire etymologique latin. 463 p. P. 1885; Pour mieux connaître Homère. 309 p. P. 1906; several other works on linguistics, pedagogy etc.

Sources: R. d’Amat, Dict. Biogr. franç. 7, 1956, 181; *S. Delesalle, Lex. Gramm. 1996, 128f.; *A. Meillet, BSL 20, 1916, 10-19; *BSL 11, 1901, 175-190; French and English Wikipedia (with photo and further references).

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