From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Marie-Félicité Brosset

Marie-Félicité Brosset (January 24, 1802 – September 22, 1880) was a French orientalist who specialized in Georgian and Armenian studies. He worked mostly in Russia.


Marie-Félicité[1] Brosset was born in Paris into the family of a poor merchant who died a few months after Marie-Félicité's birth.

Education and first works[edit]

His mother destined him to the Church. He attended the theological seminaries in Orléans, where he studied Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic.

Back to Paris, he attended lectures delivered at the Collège de France by Carl Benedict Hase, for Greek, Antoine-Isaac Silvestre de Sacy for Arabic and Jean-Pierre Abel-Rémusat for the Chinese languages. He was elected to the Asiatic Society in 1825. Eventually, says his son Laurent, "after five years of unceasing effort, he suddenly gave up" and burned all the material he had painfully built.[2]

From 1826 he devoted himself to the Armenian and Georgian languages, history and culture. He had found his true vocation.

Books, teachers, documents were however scarce. For Armenian he was helped by Antoine-Jean Saint-Martin.[3] For Georgian he had to create his own dictionary from the Georgian translation of the Bible, which is truthful to the Greek text.


Invited to Saint Petersburg in 1837 by Count Sergey Uvarov, president of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, he was elected a member a year later. He journeyed to the Caucasus in 1847–48. He translated and commented on all major medieval and early modern Georgian chroniclers and published them in seven volumes from 1849 to 1858. His magnum opus, Histoire de la Géorgie, was a long-standing authority on the history of Georgia.[4] He also published the correspondence between the tsars and the kings of Georgia from 1639 to 1770.[5]

He devoted the years 1861–1868 mainly to his series on Armenian historians, but continued to work on them until 1876.

Overall, Brosset wrote over 250 works pertaining to Georgian and Armenian history and culture.

He left Russia in May 1880 et and retired at his daughter's in Châtellerault. He died there a few months later. His son Laurent's analytic bibliography was a major contribution to the knowledge of his life and works.


Lists of works[edit]

List of online works[edit]

Selected works[edit]



  1. ^ Then as now two first names for a female. In Russia he was often called Марий Иванович Броссе, Marius Ivanovitch Brosset.
  2. ^ L. Brosset, 1887, p. IX
  3. ^ Saint-Martin died of cholera in 1832 during the second pandemic. Brosset, who loved him much, wrote his obituary: online on Gallica
  4. ^ "Brosset's Histoire was a sensational breakthrough. But from our vantage a century and a half later, it is not without shortcomings. Today we know that Brosset's edition is based exclusively upon a few MSS of the Vaxtangiseuli recension. We can hardly fault Brosset on this point [...]" Rapp, Stephen H. Studies in medieval Georgian historiography: Early texts and Eurasian contexts, p. 31, at Google Books, Peeters Publishers, 2003, p. 31 ISBN 9789042913189
  5. ^

Category:1802 births Category:1880 deaths Category:French historians Category:French orientalists Category:Kartvelian studies Category:Armenian studies Category:Full Members of the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences Category:Writers from Paris