Jean Filliozat

Portrait of Jean   Filliozat

Jean Filliozat (4 Nov 1906, Paris, France – 27 Oct 1982, Paris) was a French linguist specialized in Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan and Tamil, who, as an ophtalmologist initially, studied the history and philosophy of Indian medecine, with an emphasis on Ayurveda.

According to Arion Rosu's biographical note [in Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, Harrassowitz Verlag 1984, Vol. 134, No.1, pp. 15-23], his fascination for India started in his teenage years, after reading Leconte de Lisle's Les Poèmes antiques, in particular the first vedic hymn dedicated to Surya. For five years, he attended Prof. Sylvain Lévi's lectures in Sanskrit language and literature at College de France, specializing in Tamil texts and other trends in Hindu-Buddhist philosophy under the direction of linguist Jules Bloch, tibetologist Jacques Bacot and archaeologist Alfred Foucher.

Director of studies at the École pratique des hautes études from 1941 to 1978, he taught at Collège de France from 1952 to 1978. In 1955, he established the Institut Français d'Indologie (IFI) at Pondicherry, and served as director of the École Française d'Extrême Orient (EFEO) from 1956 until 1977.

His son Jean-Pierre Filliozat, who also became a Sanskrit scholar under the supervision of Indian Sanskritists Narasimhacharya Iyengar and N. Ramachandra Bhatt, married in 1968 South India historian Vasundhara Filliozat, a specialist in Karnataka temples who had worked with IFI and Jean Filliozat when she was researching the history of the Vijayanagar Empire.

A member of the Academie des inscriptions et belles-lettres in 1966, vice president of the Societe Asiatique in 1974, doctor honoris causa of Benares University in 1981, Jean Filliozat has published (non exhaustive list):

  • "Sur la "concentration oculaire" dans le yoga", in Yoga. Internationale Zeitschrift fur wissenschaftliche Yoga-Forschung 1, 1931, p 93-102.
  • Magie et médecine, Paris, P.U.F., 1943, 147 p. (Collection mythes et Religions).
  • Fragments de textes koutchéens de médecine et de magie, Paris, Adrien Maisonneuve, 1948, 157 p.
  • "L'orientalisme et les sciences humaines", Bulletin études indochinoises 26, 1951, p 573 ssq.
  • La Doctrine classique de la médecine indienne: ses origines et ses parallèles grecs, Paris, Imprimerie Nationale, 1949 (2e édition, Paris, Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient, 1975). The Classical Doctrine of Indian Medicine. Its origins and its Greek parallels, translated from French by Dev Raj Chanana, New Delhi, Munshiram Manoharlal, 1964.
  • Yogasataka. Texte médical attribué à Nagarjuna. Textes sanskrit et tibétain, traduction française, notes, indices, Pondicherry: Institut Français d'Indologie, 1979, 207 p.
  • (with L. Renou et al.), L'Inde classique. Manuel des études indiennes, t. 1, Paris, Payot, 1949 ; t. 2, Paris, EFEO, 1953.
  • Studies in Asokan Inscriptions, translated by R. K. Menon, Calcutta, Indian Studies Past and Present. 1967.
  • "Les théories psychologiques de l'Inde", Bulletin de la Société française de philosophie 66-3, 1972, p. 73-96.
  • Un texte de la religion kaumâra. Le Tirumurukârrupatai, Pondicherry: Institut français d'indologie (PIFI, 49), 1973.
  • "Besoins et perspectives de l'indologie", Annuaire du Collège de France 78 (1977/1978), p 605-9 [his last lecture].
  • "Ecologie historique en Inde du Sud: le pays des Kallar", BEFEO 67, 1980, p. 103-123. ,
  • "Sur l'identification des maladies dans l'Ayurveda", in Les médecines traditionnelles de l'Asie, Strasbourg 1981, p. 140-9.
  • (en coll. avec J. André), L'Inde vue de Rome. Textes latins de l'antiquité relatifs à l'Inde, textes, trad. et comm., Paris, Les Belles Lettres. 1986.
  • Religion, Philosophy, Yoga: A Selection of Articles, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1991.

Listed works