A French Orientalist, born at Neuilly, 15 January, 1773; died at Paris, 31 August, 1832. His father was an engineer, and he was originally destined for a scientific career, but he preferred linguistic studies, and devoted himself to Arabic and Persian under Sacy and Langlès. In 1799 he was appointed assistant librarian in the department of manuscripts of the Bibliothèque Nationale. Attracted by the Sanskrit manuscripts, he was the Frenchman who took up the study of India's sacred language, though he had neither grammar nor dictionary to assist him. When, in 1814, the first professorship of Sanskrit in Europe was established at the Collège de France, Chézy was called to the position. Many of the foremost European Sanskritists were his pupils, among them Burnouf, Langlois, Loiseleur-Deslongchamps, and Lassen. In 1805 Chézy married Wilhelmine Christiane von Klencke, better known as Helmina von Chézy, an authoress of some reputation. The couple separated after five years.
He is the author of numerous editions and translations of Oriental works. In 1807 appeared "Les Amours de Medjnoun et Leïla", a translation of Jami's Persian poem "Laila u Majnun". "La Mort de Yadjnadatta" (Paris, 1814, and again, with Sanskrit text, 1826) is a translation of a well-known episode of the Ramayana, describing the slaying of a hermit by King Dasaratha (Bombay ed., II, 63). A translation of another episode from the same poem, the fight of Lakshmana with the giant Atikaya (VI, 71) appeared in 1818. Chézy's most notable work however, was the publication in 1820 of Kalidasa's famous drama, "Sakuntala" under the title "La reconnaissance de Sacountala". This was the first time that the Sanskrit text of this masterpiece was printed. Other works of his are all analysis of the Meghaduta (1817), "Anthologie érotique d'Amarou", a translation of the "Amarusataka", which appeared under the pseudonym of Apudy in 1831, and "La théorie du Sloka" (1829), a disquisition on Sanskrit metre. Besides this he has left much work in manuscript.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online