Anquetil-Duperron, Abraham Hyacinthe

Anquetil-Duperron, Abraham Hyacinthe

(äbrä-äm`yäsăNt` äNkətēl` düpĕrôN`), 1731–1805, French Orientalist. He gave up studying for the priesthood to pursue his deep interest in Eastern languages. In India (1755–61) he learned Persian, Sanskrit, Zend, Avestan, and Pahlavi. After studying with the ParsisParsis
or Parsees
, religious community of India, practicing Zoroastrianism. The Parsis (numbering about 75,000) are concentrated in Maharashtra and Gujarat states, especially in Mumbai. Their ancestors migrated from Iran in the 8th cent. to avoid Muslim persecution.
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, he was forced to return to France as a result of the British conquests in India. He took with him 180 manuscripts, which he gave to the Royal Library. His three-volume translation of the Zend-Avesta (1771) introduced Zoroastrian texts to Europe. Anquetil-Duperron also translated the Upanishads into Latin (1804) and wrote several works on India.
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