Chabot, Jean Baptiste

views updated


Orientalist; b. Vouvray, France, Feb. 16, 1860; d. Paris, Jan. 7, 1948. He was ordained on May 30, 1885, and studied at the École des Hautes Études and at Louvain, where he obtained his doctorate of theology in 1892 with a brilliant thesis on the seventh century ascetic Isaac of Ninive. He continued Syriac studies at the Collège de France under R. Duval, whom he succeeded. In 1903 he founded the Corpus scriptorum christianorum orientalium, with H. hyvernat and J. Forget, a collection of texts and Latin translations of the works of Syriac, Coptic, Arab, and Armenian Fathers. He was the sole director of this enterprise for ten years and continued until shortly before his death as chief editor and general manager after the Catholic universities of Louvain and Washington assumed financial and administrative responsibility of the Corpus. In and apart from the Corpus he published many texts, translations, and studies of early Syrian theology and history: Denis Tell-Mahre, Elias of Nisibis, Michael the Syrian, the Synodicum orientale, theodore of mopsuestia, cyril of alexandria, James of Edessa, the Hexaemeron, etc. He became a member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres in 1917 and edited Phoenician and Aramaean inscriptions for the Institute's Corpus inscriptionum Semiticarum. He published works of a more popular nature on inscriptions of Palmyra (1922) and the history of Syriac literature (1934). His valuable library and personal papers were left to the University of Louvain.

Bibliography: g. ryckmans, "JeanBaptiste Chabot," Muséon, 61 (1948) 141152. g. bardy, Catholicisme, 2:855.

[t. petersen]