Jump to content

Marie-Félicité Brosset

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Marie-Félicité Brosset
Born24 January 1802
Paris, France
Died3 September 1880 (1880-09-04) (aged 78)

Marie-Félicité Brosset (24 January 1802 – 3 September 1880) was a French orientalist who specialized in Georgian and Armenian studies. He worked mostly in Russia.

Early life and first works[edit]

Marie-Félicité[1] Brosset was born in Paris into the family of a poor merchant, who died a few months after his birth. His mother destined him to the Church. He attended the theological seminaries in Orléans, where he studied Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic.[citation needed]

Back in Paris, he attended lectures delivered at the Collège de France by Carl Benedict Hase (Greek), Antoine-Isaac Silvestre de Sacy (Arabic), and Jean-Pierre Abel-Rémusat (Chinese). He was elected to the Asiatic Society in 1825. His son, Laurent, reported "...after five years of unceasing effort, he suddenly gave up.." and he burned all the material he had created.[2]

From 1826 he devoted himself to the Armenian and Georgian languages, as well as their history and culture. He had finally found his true vocation. Books, texts, teachers, and documents were all scarce, however. For his work in Armenian, he was helped by Antoine-Jean Saint-Martin.[3] For his Georgian work, he had to create his own dictionary from the Georgian translation of the Bible, which was faithful to the Greek text.[citation needed]


Invited to Saint Petersburg in 1837 by the president of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, Count Sergey Uvarov, Brosset was elected a member a year later. He journeyed to the Caucasus in 1847–48. Brosset translated—and commented on—the major medieval and early-modern Georgian chroniclers. He published his work in seven volumes from 1849 to 1858. His magnum opus, Histoire de la Géorgie, was a long-standing authority on the history of Georgia.[4] Brosset also published the correspondence between the czars and the kings of Georgia that occurred from 1639 to 1770.[5]

From 1861 to 1868, Brosset focused on his series regarding Armenian historians, but continued to work on them until 1876. Brosset wrote over 250 works on Georgian and Armenian history and culture overall.

Brosset left Russia in May 1880 and retired to his daughter's residence in Châtellerault. He died there several months later, on 3 September.[6] His son, Laurent, contributed heavily to the knowledge of his life and works.[citation needed]


Lists of works[edit]

Selected works[edit]

  • (1837) Éléments de la langue géorgienne at Google Books. Paris: Imprimerie royale — Reprint: Osnabrück: Biblio, 1974, LVI, 366 p. ISBN 3-7648-0194-8
  • (1848–58) Histoire de la Géorgie depuis l’Antiquité jusqu’au XIXe siècle at Google Books, 7 volumes, Saint Petersburg, 694 p.
  • (1851) Rapports sur un voyage archéologique exécuté dans la Géorgie et dans l'Arménie en 1847-1848 sous les auspices du Prince Vorontzof Lieutenant du Caucase, p. PP9, at Google Books, Saint Petersburg: Académie impériale des sciences, 64 p.
  • (1860–61) Les ruines d’Ani, capitale de l'Arménie sous les rois bagratides aux Xe et XIe siècles, 2 volumes, Saint Petersburg .[7]
  • (1862) "Analyse critique de la Всеобщая история de Vardan", p. 1, at Google Books in Mémoires de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences de Saint-Pétersbourg, vol. 4, issue 9, 30 p.
  • Collection d'historiens arméniens: dix ouvrages sur l'histoire de l'Arménie et des pays adjacents du Xe au XIXe siècle, reprinted by APA-Philo Press, 1978 ISBN 9060223489.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Then as now these two first names were almost always female.[clarification needed] In Russia, he is often called Марий Иванович Броссе, Marius Ivanovitch Brosset.
  2. ^ L. Brosset, 1887, p. IX
  3. ^ Saint-Martin died of cholera in 1832 during the second pandemic. Brosset, who loved him much, wrote his obituary.
  4. ^ "Brosset's Histoire was a sensational breakthrough. But from our vantage a century and a half later, it is not without shortcomings. Today we know that Brosset's edition is based exclusively upon a few MSS of the Vaxtangiseuli recension. We can hardly fault Brosset on this point [...]" Rapp, Stephen H. Studies in medieval Georgian historiography: early texts and Eurasian contexts, p. 31, at Google Books, Peeters Publishers, 2003 ISBN 9789042913189
  5. ^ Bibliographie analytique, p. 370
  6. ^ His death in registre des décès de Châtellerault de 1880, vue 84 sur 119, acte n°326.
  7. ^ Online