1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Burnouf, Eugène

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BURNOUF, EUGÈNE (1801-1852), French orientalist, was born in Paris on the 8th of April 1801. His father, Prof. Jean Louis Burnouf (1775-1844), was a classical scholar of high reputation, and the author, among other works, of an excellent translation of Tacitus (6 vols., 1827-1833). Eugene Burnouf published in 1826 an Essai sur le Pâli ..., written in collaboration with Christian Lassen; and in the following year Observations grammaticales sur quelques passages de l'essai sur le Pâli. The next great work he undertook was the deciphering of the Zend manuscripts brought to France by Anquetil du Perron. By his labours a knowledge of the Zend language was first brought into the scientific world of Europe. He caused the Vendidad Sade, part of one of the books bearing the name of Zoroaster, to be lithographed with the utmost care from the Zend MS. in the Bibliothèque Nationale, and published it in folio parts, 1829-1843. From 1833 to 1835 he published his Commentaire sur le Yaçna, l'un des livres liturgiques des Parses; he also published the Sanskrit text and French translation of the Bhâgavata Purâna ou histoire poétique de Krichna in three folio volumes (1840-1847). His last works were Introduction à l'histoire du Bouddhisme indien (1844), and a translation of Le lotus de la bonne loi (1852). Burnouf died on the 28th of May 1852. He had been for twenty years a member of the Académie des Inscriptions and professor of Sanskrit in the Collège de France.

See[edit]

  • A notice of Burnouf's works by Barthélemy Saint-Hilaire, prefixed to the second edition (1876) of the Introd. à l'histoire du Bouddhisme indien.
  • Naudet, "Notice historique sur M.M. Burnouf, père et fils," in Mem. de l'Acad. des Inscriptions, xx. A list of his valuable contributions to the Journal asiatique, and of his MS. writings, is given in the appendix to the Choix de lettres d'Eugène Burnouf (1891).