Quatremere, Etienne Marc
QUATREMERE, ETIENNE MARC (1782-1857), one of the most learned of modern Orientalists, came of an eminent family of Parisian merchants. His father was a victim of the Revolution, his mother a pious woman devoted to works of charity and venerated after her death almost as a saint. The son retained much of what was best in the old spirit of the Parisian bourgeoisie - its industry, sobriety, and independence of character, along with a certain narrowness of view. He was sincerely religious, with strong Jansenist and Gallican tendencies, a touch of rationalism, and a great dislike of modern growths of Catholicism. His whole life was spent alone among his book; and his works always display the most extensive and accurate erudition - in which indeed, and not in criticism or original ideas, his strength lay. Employed in 1807 in the manuscript department of the imperial library, he passed to the chair of Greek in Rouen in 1809, entered the academy of inscriptions in 1815, taught Hebrew and Aramaic in the College de France from 1819, and finally in 1827 became professor of Persian in the School of Living Oriental Languages.
Quatremere's first work was _Recherches sur in langue et la litteralure de l'Egypte (1808), showing that the language of ancient Egypt must be sought in Coptic. His Mem. sur lee Nabateens (1835) has been mentioned under NABAT/EANS, and his translation of lfAxaizi's history of the llameluke sultans in the article on that author. The valuable notes to the latter book show his erudition at the best. He published also among other works a translation of Rashid al-Din's Mist. des Mongols de la Pcrse (1836); Mem. geog. et hist. sur l'Egypte (1810) ; the text of I bn Khaltifin's Prolegomena ; and a vast number of useful memoirs in the Jour. As. His numerous reviews in the Jour. des Savants should also be mentioned. Qu'atronero made great lexicographic collections in Oriental languages, fragments of which appear iu the notes to his various works. His MS. material for Syriac has been utilized in Payne Smith's Thesaurus ; of the slips he collected for a projected Arabic, Persian, and Turkish lexicon some account is given in the preface to Dozy, Sapp. aux Dictt. Arabes. They are now in the Munich library.