Silvestre de Sacy

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Silvestre de Sacy:

see Sacy, Antoine Isaac, Baron Silvestre deSacy, Antoine Isaac, Baron Silvestre de
, 1758–1838, French Orientalist. Sacy's works on Arabic were pioneering, and he was one of the founders of modern Arabic studies in France.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sacy, Silvestre de


(Antoine-Isaac Silvestre de Sacy). Born Sept. 21, 1758, in Paris; died there Feb. 21, 1838. French Orientalist. Member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (1792).

Silvestre de Sacy became a professor at the School of Oriental Languages in 1795 and at the Collège de France in 1806. In 1814 he was made a baron. He became director of the Collège de France in 1823 and director of the School of Oriental Languages in 1824.

During the restoration period, Silvestre de Sacy was a partisan of the Bourbons. In 1832 he became a peer of France. He was the founder (1821) and first president of the Société Asiatique, the publisher of the Journal Asiatique from 1822, and the publisher of the Journal des Savants from 1816. In 1833 he was named secretary of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres for life.

Among Silvestre de Sacy’s most important works are histories of the Arabs and the Sassanids, an Arabic grammar, and a chrestomathy of Arabic literature. Silvestre de Sacy composed brilliant annotated critical translations of works by Arabic and Persian scholars, including al-Damiri, Mirkhwand, al-Maqrizi, and Abd al-Latif, and investigated the sources of Kalila and Dimna and other works. He also attempted to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.


Mémoire sur l’histoire des Arabes avant Mahomet. Paris, 1785.
Mémoires sur diverses antiquités de la Perse, et sur les médailles des rois de la dynastie des Sassanides. Paris, 1793.
Grammaire arabe, parts 1–2. Paris, 1810.
Chrestomathie arabe, 2nd ed., vols. 1–3. Paris, 1826–27.
Exposé de la religion des druses, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1838.


Krachkovskii, I. Iu. Izbr. soch., vol. I. Moscow-Leningrad, 1955. Vol. 4: Moscow-Leningrad, 1957. (See indexes.)
Deherain, H. Silvestre de Sacy. Paris, 1938.
Fück, J. Die arabischen Studien in Europa. Leipzig, 1955.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Silvestre de Sacy had already dwelt on this issue (as documented by Chauvin and Littmann) in "Journal des savants", 1817, 678; "Recherches sur l'Origine du Recueil des Contes Intitules les Mille et Une Nuits", Paris, 1829; and in the "Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions & Belles-Lettres", x, 1833, 30.
Recognizing the potential of the stone's trilingual inscriptions in Greek, Egyptian Demotic (cursive), and hieroglyphic, European scholars like the French baron Silvestre de Sacy [17581838]--a mentor and sometime nemesis of his pupil, Champollion--and the British scientist and all-around polymath Thomas Young [1773-1829] began to search for equivalents of the names of the Macedonian rulers of Egypt in the hieroglyphic section.
This should not deter us, since Abd al-Latif's manuscript (in the Bodleian Library) has been the object of considerable scholarly attention since before the turn of the nineteenth century: Joseph White published an Arabic transcription in 1789 and a Latin translation in 1800, and Silvestre de Sacy issued an elaborately annotated edition in French in 1810.
Almost two centuries ago, the French orientalist Silvestre de Sacy published his monumental Expose de la religion des Druzes (Paris, 1838).
These also analyse the glamour of Oriental studies in the wake of Napoleon, Champollion, Silvestre de Sacy, and the fantastic Ferdinand Eckstein ('baron sanskrit').