Born Mar. 26, 1832, in Landau, Bavaria; died Nov. 25, 1915, in Paris. French philologist and linguist; specialist in comparative linguistics and the ancient Italic languages.
Bréal was the head of the department of Oriental manuscripts at the National Library in Paris until 1864 and a professor at the University of Paris. He studied under F. Bopp in Germany. He translated Bopp’s Comparative Grammar (vols. 1-4, 1866-72) into French and wrote the preface for it (1874). He was involved in the deciphering of the Cyprian syllabic writing system and the Umbrian Iguvine tablets, which were discovered in 1444 in the city of Gubbio (Iguvine Tablets, Text, Translation, and Commentary With Historical Grammar and Historical Introduction, 1875). He also wrote Essay on Semantics (1897).
WORKSÉtudes de la mythologie comparée. Paris, 1863.
Les tables Eugubines. Paris, 1875.
Mélanges de mythologie et de linguistique. Paris, 1878.
Dictionnaire étymologique latin, 3rd ed. Paris, 1902.
Essai de sémantique. Paris, 1897.