René Grousset

René Grousset

René Grousset (5 September 1885 – 12 September 1952) was a French historian, curator of both the Cernuschi and Guimet Museums in Paris, and a member of the prestigious Académie française. He wrote several major works on Asiatic and Oriental civilizations, with his two most important works being History of the Crusades (1934-1936) and The Empire of the Steppes, a History of Central Asia (1939), both of which were considered standard references on the subject.


Grousset was born in Aubais, Gard in 1885.[1] Having graduated from the University of Montpellier with a degree in history, he began his distinguished career soon afterward. He served in the French army during World War I. In 1925, Grousset was appointed adjunct conservator of the Musée Guimet in Paris and secretary of the Journal asiatique. By 1930 he had published five major works on Asiatic and Oriental civilizations. In 1933 he was appointed director of the Cernuschi Museum in Paris and curator of its Asiatic art collections. He wrote a major work on the Chinese buddhist medieval pilgrim Xuanzang, particularly emphasising the importance of his visit to the northern Indian Buddhist university of Nalanda.[2]

Before the outbreak of World War II, Grousset had published his two most important works, Histoire des Croisades (1934-1936) and L'Empire des Steppes (1939). Dismissed from his museum posts by the Vichy government, he continued his research privately and published three volumes on China and the Mongols during the war. Following the liberation of France, he resumed his curatorship of the Cernuschi Museum and in addition was appointed curator of the Guimet Museum. In 1946, Grousset was made a member of the Académie française. Between 1946 and 1949, he published four final works, concentrating on Asia Minor and the Near East.

In 1952, Grousset died at the age of 67 in Paris.


1922 - Histoire de l'Asie , 4 vol., Paris: G. Crès & cie. OCLC 4594662
1923 - Histoire de la philosophie orientale
1924 - Le réveil de l'Asie
1926 - L'épopée des Croisades
1928 - La Grèce et l'Orient, des guerres médiques à la conquête romaine
1929 - Histoire de l'Extrême-Orient
1929 - Sur les traces de Bouddha, tableau du VIIe siècle bouddhique
(English) In the Footsteps of the Buddha. JA Underwood (trans) Orion Press. New York (1971)
1929-1930 - Les civilisations de l'Orient, 4 vol.
1931 - Les philosophies indiennes
1934-1936 - Histoire des Croisades et du royaume franc de Jérusalem , 3 vol. Paris: Plon. OCLC 37267632
1936 - L'art de l'Extrême Orient : paysages, fleurs, animaux
1937 - De Venise à Pékin au XIVe siècle : Odoric de Pordenone (with H. Demoulin-Bernard)
1939 - Les sculptures des Indes et de la Chine
1939 - L'empire des steppes : Attila, Gengis-Khan, Tamerlan Paris: Editions Payot. OCLC 220712631
(English) The Empire of the Steppes. (tr., Naomi Walford). New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. (1970) ISBN 978-0-8135-1304-1; OCLC 90972.
1941 - L'empire mongol
1941 - L'Asie orientale, des origines au XVe siècle (with J. Auboyer et J. Buhot)
1942 - Histoire de Chine
1944 - Le conquérant du monde : vie de Gengis-Khan
1945 - L'Europe orientale de 1081 à 1453 (with C. DIehl, R. Guilland et L. Oeconomos)
1946 - L'empire du Levant : histoire de la question d'Orient
1946 - Bilan de l'histoire
1947 - Histoire de l'Arménie des origines à 1071 Paris: Payot. OCLC 3084562
1948 - De la Grèce à la Chine
1949 - Figures de proue
1950 - Les premières civilisations (collective work)
1950 - De l'Inde au Cambodge et à Java (with J. Auboyer)
1951 - De la Chine au Japon

See also


  1. René Grousset biography on Académie française website (French)
  2. Rene Grousset. In the Footsteps of the Buddha. J. A. Underwood (trans) Orion Press. New York. 1971
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