François Pétis of the Cross
BiographyHe was the son of an Arab interpreter of of the court of France, and inherited this load to dead of his father in 1695, transmitting it later to his own son, Alexandre-Louis-Marie, who himself was distinguished in the Eastern studies. Any young person, François was sent by Colbert in the East; during the ten years that it passed in Syria, in Perse and Turkey, it acquired the control of Arabic, the Persan and the Turkish , and collected a rich person material for his future writings.
He worked some time as secretary of the ambassador of France to the Morocco, and was the interpreter of the French forces sent against Algiers, contributing to the satisfying payment of the peace treaty, which he wrote in Turkish and who was ratified in 1684. He led the negotiations with Tunis and Tripoli in 1685, and those with Morocco in 1687; and the zeal, tact and the knowledge of languages of which it made proof at the time of these transactions and others with the courses Eastern were finally rewarded in 1692 by its nomination with the Arab pulpit of for the royal Collège for France, which it occupied until its death.
He published Contes Turkish (Paris, 1707) and the Thousand and one days (5 volumes, Paris, 1710-1712); a Dictionary of Armenian and a Description of Ethiopia . But the durable monument of its literary fame is its excellent French version of the Zafar Nama or Histoire of Timur Sharafuddin Ali Yazdi (original completed in 1425), which was published in posthumous title (4 volumes, Paris, 1722; English translation of J. Darby, London, 1723). This work, a rare specimen of critical history of Persia, was compiled under the auspices of Mirza Ibrahim Sultan, wire of Shah Rukh and grandson of large the Timur (Tamerlan). The only error made by Pétis of the Cross in its very correct translation in addition is that it assigned by error the big part taken by Ibrahim Sultan in Zafar Nama in Tamerlan itself.
- François Pétis of the Cross, Thousand and one days - Persan Tales , Phébus Editions, Paris, 2003.
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