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Caquot, AndrÉ°


CAQUOT, ANDRÉ ° (1923–2004), French scholar. Caquot was born in Epinal. After studies in Vesoul and Paris, he entered the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris) in 1944 and was first in the grammar "agrégation" (French, Latin, Greek) in 1948. He specialized in ancient Semitic studies, attending the lectures of the leading professors at the Sorbonne (André Dupont-Sommer) and the École Pratique des Hautes Études/ephe (Isidore Lévy, Edouard Dhorme, Charles Virolleaud, Marcel Cohen, James G. Février), focusing particularly on the new Ugaritic and Qumran texts and the Ge'ez (ancient Ethiopian) language.

With this background in ancient Semitic languages, he worked at the French Institute of Archaeology of Beirut from 1949 to 1952 and the French Archaeological Mission in Addis-Ababa (Ethiopia) in 1953–54, supplementing his knowledge of Semitic languages with Arabic and studying the new Ugaritic and Ge'ez texts there. Meanwhile he received his diploma at the ephe, Religious Sciences section, in 1951. Back from the Middle East, in 1955 he obtained a professorship in comparative Semitic religions in the Religious Sciences section of the ephe and Paris-Sorbonne. From 1957 to 1960, he also taught history of religions at the Protestant Faculty of Strasbourg and from 1964 to 1968, Hebrew and history of Israel Religion at Sorbonne University. In 1972, he succeeded André Dupont-Sommer as Hebrew and Aramaic professor at the Collège de France (Paris), serving until his retirement in 1994. From 1977 until his death, he was a member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres (Paris), being the undisputed French master of ancient Semitic philology and biblical studies.

He was a member and for a time president or secretary of many learned societies: Société Asiatique, Société des Études Juives, Société des Études Renaniennes, Société française d'Histoire des Religons. As a Protestant, he was a passionate devotee of the Hebrew Bible, taking into account the Jewish exegetical tradition. He was involved in the ecumenical translation of the Bible into French and taught the various biblical books as well as new Ugaritic and Qumran texts, emphasizing the new light shed on the biblical texts. Among his publications are Textes ougaritiques I. Mythes et légendes, lapo, 7 (1974, with M. Sznycer and A. Herdner); Textes ougaritiques ii. Textes religieux, rituels, correspondance, lapo, 14 (1989, with J.M. de Tarragon and J.L. Cunchillos); Les livres de Samuel, cat vi (1994, with Ph. De Robert); numerous contributions in Histoire des religions 1–2 (ed. H.Ch. Puech, 1970–72); in La Bible. Écrits intertestamentaires (ed. A. Dupont-Sommer and M. Philonenko, 1987), and in the Revue d'Histoire et de Philosophie Religieuses, Semitica, Annales d'Éthiopie, Annuaire de la section des Sciences religieuses de l'ephe, and Annuaire du Collège de France.

[André Lemaire (2nd ed.)]

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