Nau, François-Nicolas

NAU, FRANÇOIS-NICOLAS (1864-1931)

A French priest and Orientalist. He was born at Thil, Meurthe-et-Moselle. He studied at the Seminary of Saint Sulpice, was ordained in 1887, and received his doctorate in 1897. He was a professor of mathematics at the Institut catholique of Paris from 1890 to 1931, becoming dean of the School of Sciences in 1928. Curious to understand Oriental literature, he studied Syriac. He wrote his thesis, Book of the Ascension and Spirit of Barhebraeus, at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes. He co-founded the Patrologia Orientalis series with R. Graffin; in it he published twelve fascicles, numbers 11, 19, 36, 45, 46, 47, 51, 63, and 113 (1905-1931). He was secretary (1905-1911) and then director of the Revue de l’Orient chrétien (1911-1919), for which he wrote more than a hundred articles (1896-1931).

Among his books, the following are to be noted: Histoire et Sagesse d’Ahiqar l’Assyrien (1909), Le Livre d’Héraclide de Damas, about Nestorius (1910), and La Didascalie des apôtres. The catalog of his works comprises some 248 titles, without counting articles for the Dictionnaire de la Bible, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, Dictionnaire d’histoire et de géographie ecclésiastique, Journal asiatique, and other such works.

FRANÇOIS GRAFFIN, S.J.

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