Louis Jacolliot

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Louis Jacolliot
Louis Jacolliot 2.jpg
Born(1837-10-31)31 October 1837
Charolles, Saône-et-Loire
Died30 October 1890(1890-10-30) (aged 52)
Saint-Thibault-des-Vignes, Seine-et-Marne
OccupationWriter, barrister, colonial judge, lecturer.
GenreHistorical novel, adventures

Louis Jacolliot (31 October 1837 – 30 October 1890) was a French barrister, colonial judge, author and lecturer.


Born in Charolles, Saône-et-Loire, he lived several years in Tahiti and India during the period 1865-1869.

Jacolliot's Occult science in India was written during the 1860s and published 1875 (English translation 1884). Jacolliot was searching for the "Indian roots of western occultism" and makes reference to an otherwise unknown Sanskrit text he calls Agrouchada-Parikchai, which is apparently Jacolliot's personal invention, a "pastiche" of elements taken from Upanishads, Dharmashastras and "a bit of Freemasonry".[1] Jacolliot also expounds his belief in a lost Pacific continent, and was quoted on this by Helena Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled in support of her own Lemuria.

In Jacolliot's book La Bible dans l'Inde, Vie de Iezeus Christna (1869)[2] (The Bible in India, or the Life of Iezeus Christna),[3] he compares the accounts of the life of Bhagavan Krishna with that of Jesus Christ in the Gospels and concludes that it could not have been a coincidence, so similar are the stories in so many details in his opinion. He concludes that the account in the Gospels is a myth based on the mythology of ancient India. Jacolliot does not claim that Jesus was in India as some have claimed. "Christna" is his way of spelling "Krishna" and he wrote that Krishna's disciples gave him the name "Iezeus" which means "pure essence" in Sanskrit.[3]

Jacolliot was successfully sued for defamation by Father Honoré Laval ss.cc, and ordered by the Supreme Court of the State of the Protectorate of the Society Islands to pay 15,000 francs in damages. It ordered the suppression of those portions of the pamphlet "La verité sur Tahiti" deemed defamatory, and further ordered that the judgement be printed in the official journal of the Protectorate in French, English, and Tahitian, as well as in three newspapers of the French colonies, three journals of Paris, and four gazettes of provinces of Laval's choosing.[4]

He has been described as a prolific writer for his time.[5][6] During his time in India he collected Sanskrit myths, which he popularized later starting in his Histoire des Vierges. Les Peuples et les continents disparus (1874). Among other things, he claimed that Hindu-writings (or unspecified "Sanskrit tablets") would tell the story of a sunken land called "Rutas" in the Indian Ocean. However, he relocated this lost continent to the Pacific Ocean and linked it to the Atlantis-myth. Furthermore, his "discovery" of Rutas is somehow similar to the origin of the Mu-Story.

Among his works is a translation of the Manu Smriti. This work influenced Friedrich Nietzsche: see Tschandala. He also translated select verses of the Tirukkural, an ancient Tamil classic, in 1867 and 1876.[7]

He died in Saint-Thibault-des-Vignes, Seine-et-Marne.



  1. ^ Introduction to Occult Science in India by Louis Jacolliot [1919] at sacred-texts.com by J. B. Hare, June 21, 2008.
  2. ^ a b L. Jacolliot (1869) La Bible dans l'Inde, Librairie Internationale, Paris (digitized by Google Books)
  3. ^ a b Louis Jacolliot (1870) The Bible in India, Carleton, New York (digitized by Google Books)
  4. ^ "Father Honore Laval and His Fellow-Laborers in the Pacific", Wellington Independent, Volume XXVII, Issue 3692, 31 December 1872, p. 3
  5. ^ Voyage to the country of liberty: communal life in the United States, p. XI, Jacolliot, Paul Douglas, George Mccool
  6. ^ L. Sprague de Camp, Lost Continents, 1954 (First Edition), p. 58
  7. ^ Sanjeevi, N. (1973). Bibliography on Tirukkural. In First All India Tirukkural Seminar Papers. Chennai: University of Madras. p. 146.

Further reading[edit]

  • Daniel Caracostea, Louis-François Jacolliot (1837 – 1890) : A biographical essay (1997)
  • Christian Gaillard, L'orientalisme anticlérical de Louis Jacolliot (1837 – 1890) (2001)
  • Koenraad Elst: Manu as a Weapon against Egalitarianism. Nietzsche and Hindu Political Philosophy, in: Siemens, Herman W. / Roodt, Vasti (Hg.): Nietzsche, Power and Politics. Rethinking Nietzsche’s Legacy for Political Thought, Berlin / New York 2008, 543-582.
  • Angelo Paratico The Karma Killers New York, 2010.

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