Philip Edward Foucaux


(Angers, Maine-et-Loire, Pays de la Loire, 15.9.1811 – Paris 19.5.1894), tibetologo francese.

Philip Edward Foucaux, was born on 15 September 1811 to Angers, capital of the department Maine-et-Loire, the region of the Blonde. Extraordinarily gifted for languages, learn latino, greek, Italian, Spanish and German, and, in 1838 hour Paris to study Sanskrit to the Collège de France. The course was held daEugène Burnouf (Paris 8.4.1801 – Paris 28.5.1852), which, appreciating the student, I went to the study of Tibetan; of this language were in fact received by theAsiatic Society of Paris, in 1835, two important works, dictionary and grammar of the Hungarian Alexander Csoma de Koros (Koros, Transylvania, 27.3.1784 –Darjeeling 11.4.1842). At the same Asiatic Society had arrived in those years also the precious oriental texts Sanskrit and Tibetan, posted by Brian HoughtonHodgson (Lower Bridge, Prestbury, Cheshire, 1.2.1801 – London 23.5.1894). Foucaux studied by only Tibetan and became expert.

Supported by Burnouf, already 18 June 1840 was admitted as a member of the Asiatic Society, and in 1842 he obtained the establishment, to National School of Oriental Languages of Paris, the first chair of lingua tibetana in Europe; held the chair until 1864 (was only briefly suspended in 1848 the small number of students). In the meantime, translated and commented texts of important Buddhism, including the Lalitavistara sutra (in 1847-1848 he published the Tibetan text and the French translation). The 30 November 1853 also formally returned to the chair of Tibetan, that from 1849 was allowed to take, but without pay, while the 23 November 1857 is in charge of the chair of Sanskrit (it will become the owner on December 8 1862), going to Théodore Pavia (1811-1896),which had received the death of Burnouf. [Théodore Marie Pavia, We ad Angers Louis was the son of the printer (1782-1859) e fratello di Victor (1808-1896)].

To Grammar of the Tibetan language (The Imperial Printing, Paris, 1858), published the first Tibetan grammar in French.

The 23 April 1859 sposò Louise-Marie Filon (1842-1902), daughter of the historian Charles-Auguste-Désiré Filon (18001875) , Dean of the Faculty of Letters Douai,and sister of Pierre-Marie-Augustin Filon (1841-1916), scholar and historian who also published under the pseudonym of Pierre Sandrié. Marie Filon was known, with the name of Mary Summer, as a writer of historical novels, and later was inspired by oriental themes.

In 1864, lasciata a Henri-Leon Feer (Rouen 22.11.1830 - Paris 10.3.1902) the chair of Tibetan (that, due to lack of students, will be abolished in 1873), Foucaux was made knight of the Légion d'Honneur. He kept the teaching of Sanskrit and continued his work of translation and commentary of the texts in buddhisti.Morì Paris the 19 May 1894.

Su Foucaux si veda:

Bernard Le Calloc'h, Philip Edward Foucaux. First Tibetan teacher in Europe, ”The Tibet” Journal”, a. XII, n.1, 1987, pp. 39-48;

Bernard Le Calloc'h, A forgotten Angevin, Philippe-Edouard Foucaux, the first French tibetologist, “Archævs, Studies in History of Religions”, In, 2001, p. 27-66.

[Safety data sheet in March 2009 Enzo G is. Bargiacchi]

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