Henri Maspero

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Maspero, Henri


Born Dec. 15, 1883, in Paris; died Mar. 17, 1945, in Buchenwald. French Sinologist and specialist in the languages and history of Indochina.

Maspero was the son of the French Egyptologist Gaston Maspero. In 1920, he became a professor of Chinese language and literature at the Collège de France. In 1935 he became a member of the French Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and its president in 1944. He wrote a large number of works on China and Indochina, including the book Ancient China (1927), which covers the history and culture of China from the 12th to the third centuries B.C. Maspero died in a fascist death camp.


Mélanges posthumes sur les religions et l’histoire de la Chine, vols. 1-2. Paris, 1950.
Histoire et institutions de la Chine ancienne. Paris, 1967. (With E. Balazs.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1924, Sinologist Henri Maspero was among others who criticised ancient Chinese scholars for using euhemerism as their sole method of interpreting myths, melting them into 'a colorless residue, in which gods and heroes are transformed into wise emperors and sage ministers, and monsters into rebellious princes'.
Among the French scholars who distinguished themselves by their erudition was Henri Maspero, whose contributions have left an indelible mark on Viet (and Chinese) studies.
(6) Henri Maspero, 'Legendes mythologiques dans le Chou King', Journal Asiatique, 204 (1924): 1-2.
Indeed, the revival of such an approach, rooted in the folk-studies movement of early-twentieth-century China, as well as, in the West, the ethnographic analyses of Henri Maspero and Wolfram Eberhard, feels overdue.
Published in 1926, Henri Maspero's Royaume de Champa established the axioms of a classical Champa that remained unchallenged for decades: a single, hierarchical kingdom, predominantly Chain, Indianised in its sociopolitical form, whose birth, life and death could be verified, and whose legacy survives in relics and vanishing descendants pushed to the margins by inexorable Vietnamese expansion.
The concepts of French academic sinology were deepened and developed by the great disciples of Chavannes--Pelliot, Henri Maspero (1883-1945), Marcel Granet ( 1884-1940), Paul Demieville (1894-1979), Robert des Rotours (1891-1980), and by his Russian disciple Alekseev.