Volume 37, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN 0302-5160
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9781
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This article, a successor to the author’s 2002 “Steinthal and Max Müller: Comparative Lives”, attempts to situate the Semiticist and ‘Orientalist’ Ernest Renan in a nexus between the poles represented by Heymann Steinthal (1823–1899) and Friedrich Max Müller (1823–1900). Renan can be viewed as wavering — in the 1840s through 1860s — between (and perhaps developing from) a natural scientific and linguistic orientation influenced by Humboldtians such as August Friedrich Pott (1802–1887) and the Völkerpsychologist Steinthal and a racial ideology in linguistics similar to that of the more historicist linguist Max Müller. Max Müller had a similar set of influences in Paris to Renan in this period, such as their common amateur mentor Baron Ferdinand von Eckstein (1790–1861) and Collège de France professor Eugène Burnouf (1801–1852). But a crucial hypothesis relates to how much Renan was influenced in his change to racial ideology by the advent of the 1848 Revolution. The author explains how this hypothesis can be tested by specific further research into the manuscript of Renan’s 1847 Prix Volney prizewinning essay.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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