Abel Bergaigne

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Abel Henri Joseph Bergaigne (31 August 1838 – 6 August 1888) was a French Indologist and scholar of Sanskrit. He wrote a number of books related to religion and philosophy. He published the beginning of a study on grammatical construction, which is regarded for its historical development. Languages included Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Germanic languages and others.[1]


Born in Vimy, Pas-de-Calais, on 31 August 1838. After his father, he took a job in Registration service; however, his rising interest in literature and science led him to abandon the job.[2]

In 1867, Bergaigne became a coach in Sanskrit. By 1877, he became a lecturer in Sorbonne, and in 1885, he was appointed as a professor of Sanskrit and comparative linguistic. Apart from Vedas, he had also translated Bhagavada Gita.[3]

He died on 6 August 1888.[4]


His interpretation of Rigveda brought him worldwide fame. He was regarded as the leading Orientalist of France[5] for his period. His work has influenced people such as Sylvain Lévi, Paul Mus, and others.[6]

One review described his book La Religion Védique D'après Les Hymnes Du Rig-Veda as "an acute, careful, and comprehensive work by an able scholar."[7]

Notable works[edit]

  • La Religion Védique D'après Les Hymnes Du Rig-Veda, 1878
  • Inscriptions sanscrites du Cambodge, 1882
  • La division en adhyayas du Rig-Veda, 1888


  1. ^ Henri Weil. The Order of Words in the Ancient Languages Compared with that of the Modern Languages. John Benjamins Publishing. p. 9. 
  2. ^ François Pouillon, Dictionnaire des orientalistes, Karthala Éditions, 2008, p.|90.
  3. ^ Carrie Noland (2010). Agency and Embodiment: Performing Gestures/Producing Culture. Havard University. p. 226. ISBN 9780674054387. 
  4. ^ Adalbert Bezzenberger; Walther Prellwitz (1890). Beiträge zur Kunde der Indogermanischen Sprachen ..., Volume 16. R. Peppmüller. p. 349. 
  5. ^ Current Literature: Jul.-Dec.1888, Volume 1. Current Literature Publishing Company. p. 473. 
  6. ^ Thomas A. Idinopulos; Edward A. Yonan (1996). The Sacred and Its Scholars: Comparative Methodologies for the Study of Primary Religious Data. Brill. p. 32. 
  7. ^ Charles Lowe; Henry Wilder Foote; John Hopkins Morison; Henry H. Barber; James De Normandie; Joseph Henry Allen. The Unitarian Review, Volume 23. p. 558.  Originally from University of Michigan