Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 413 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
ANTOINE GALLAND (1646-1715), French Orientalist and archaeologist, the first European translator of the Arabian Nights, was born on the 4th of April 1646 at Rollot, in the department of Somme. The completion of his school education at Noyon was followed by a brief apprenticeship to a trade, from which, however, he soon escaped, to pursue his linguistic studies at Paris. After having been employed for some time in making a catalogue of the Oriental manuscripts at the Sorbonne, he was, in 167o, attached to the French embassy at Constantinople; and in 1673 he travelled in Syria and the Levant, where he copied a great number of inscriptions, and sketched, and in some cases removed historical monuments. After a brief visit to France, where his collection of ancient coins attracted some attention, Galland returned to the Levant in 1676; and in 1679 he undertook a third voyage, being commissioned by the French East India Company to collect for the cabinet of Colbert; on the expiration of this commission he was instructed by the government to continue his researches, and had the title of resorted to by the public, and excited considerable controversy in the scientific world. He had almost reached the zenith of his fame when, in 1807, he repaired to Paris and established himself there as a medical practitioner, at the same time continuing his activity as a lecturer and writer. In 18o8 appeared his Introduction au tours de physiologic du cerveau, which was followed in 1809 by the Recherches sur le systeme nerveux en general, et sur celui du cerveau en particulier (originally laid before the Institute of France in March 1808), and in 18ro by the first instalment of the Anatomic et physiologie du systeme nerveux en general, et du cerveau en particulier, avec des observations sur la possibilite de reconnaitre plusieurs dispositions intellectuelles et morales de l'homme et des animaux par la configuration de leers Mks. The Recherches and the first two volumes of the Anatomic bear the conjoint names of Gall and Spurzheim. The latter work was completed in 1819, and appeared in a second edition of six volumes in 1822-1825. In 1811 he replied to a charge of Spinozism or atheism, which had been strongly urged against him, by a treatise entitled Des dispositions innees de l'dme et de l'esprit, which he afterwards incorporated with his greater work. In 1819 he became a naturalized French subject, but his efforts two years afterwards to obtain admission to the Academy of Sciences, although supported by E. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, were unsuccessful. In 1823 he visited London with the intention of giving a series of phrenological lectures, but his reception was not what he had anticipated, and he speedily abandoned his plans. He continued to lecture and practise in Paris until the beginning of 1828, when he was disabled by an apoplectic seizure. His death took place at Montrouge near Paris, on' the 22nd of " antiquary to the king " conferred upon him. During his pro-longed residences abroad he acquired a thorough knowledge of the Arabic, Turkish and Persian languages and literatures, which, on his final return to France, enabled him to render valuable assistance to Thevenot, the keeper of the royal library, and to Barthelemy d'Herbelot. After their deaths he lived for some time at Caen under the roof of Nicolas Foucault (1643–1721), the intendant of Caen, himself no mean archaeologist; and there he began the publication (12 vols., 1704–1717) of Les mule et une nulls, which excited immense interest during the time of its appearance, and is still the standard French translation. It had no pretensions to verbal accuracy, and the coarseness of the language was modified to suit European taste, but the narrative was adequately rendered. In 1701 Galland had been admitted into the Academy of Inscriptions, and in 1709 he was appointed to the chair of Arabic in the College de France. He continued to discharge the duties of this post until his death, which took place on the 17th of February 1715. Besides a number of archaeological works, especially in the department of numismatics, he published a compilation from the Arabic, Persian and Turkish, entitled Paroles remarquables, bons mots et maximes des orientaux (1694), and a translation from an Arabic manuscript, De l'origine et du progres du cafe (1699). The former of these works appeared in an English translation in 1795. His Conies et fables indiennes de Bidpai et de Lokman was published (1724) after his death. Among his numerous unpublished manuscripts are a translation of the Koran and a Histoire generate des em¢ereurs turcs. His Journal was published by M. Charles Schefer in 1881.
End of Article: ANTOINE GALLAND (1646-1715)
LOUIS GALLAIT (1810-1887)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.