Michel Bréal

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Bréal, Michel


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).


Études 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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Schantz: Pierre de Coubertin's "Civilizing Mission" * Norbert Muller: Michel Breal (1832-1915): The Man Behind the Idea of the Marathon * Lisa Reithmann: Interpretations of the Body: A Comparison of Nietsche's "Superman" and de Coubertin's "Athlete"
This position would also be that of Michel Breal, first professor of linguistics at the prestigious College de France and introducer of the comparative grammar of Indo-european languages, who spoke in the same terms (Breal 1891: 631):