Joseph Toussaint Reinaud - Encyclopedia

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JOSEPH TOUSSAINT REINAUD (1795-1867), French orientalist, was born on the 4th of December 1795 at Lambesc, Bouches du Rhone. He came to Paris in 1815, and became a pupil of Silvestre de Sacy. In 1818-19 he was at Rome as an attache to the French minister, and studied under the Maronites of the Propaganda, but gave special attention to Mahommedan coins. In 1824 he entered the department of oriental MSS. in the Royal Library at Paris, and in 1838, on the death of De Sacy, he succeeded to his chair in the: school of living oriental languages. In 1847 he became president of the Societe Asiatique, and in 1858 conservator of oriental MSS. in the Imperial Library. His first important work was his classical description of the collections of the duc de Blacas (1828). To history he contributed an essay on the Arab invasions of France, Savoy, Piedmont and Switzerland (1836), and various collections for the period of the crusades; he edited (1840) and in part translated (1848) the geography of Abulfeda; to him too is due a useful edition of the very curious records of early Arab intercourse with China of which Eusebe Renaudot had given but an imperfect translation (Relation des voyages, &c., 1845), and various other essays illustrating the ancient and medieval geography of the East. Reinaud died in Paris on the 14th of May 1867.

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