William McGuckin de Slane

William McGuckin (also Mac Guckin and MacGuckin), known as Baron de Slane (Belfast, Ireland, 12 August 1801 – Paris, France, 4 August 1878) was an Irish orientalist. He became a French national on 31 December 1838. and held the post of the Principal Interpreter of Arabic of the French Army from 1 September 1846 until his retirement on 28 March 1872. He is known for publishing and translating a number of important medieval Arabic texts.

William McGuckin de Slane
Photograph by Charles Reutlinger
Born12 August 1801
Belfast, Ireland
Died4 August 1878
Passy, Paris, France
NationalityIrish and French
Occupation(s)Orientalist, Arabic phililogist
Known forTranslation of medieval Arabic texts
Spouse(s)Angadrème Sophie Félicité de la Barre de Mérona (married 30 October 1826) (died 24 September 1833)
Anne Elise Sutton de Clonard
ChildrenEugene-Michel-Thomas Macguckin (29 October 1836 - 27 March 1899) + 4 others

Biography edit

De Slane was born in Belfast, the son of James McGuckin and Euphemia Hughes.[1] After graduating from Trinity College Dublin, in 1822[1] he moved to Paris and studied oriental languages under Silvestre de Sacy.

In 1828 he was admitted to the Société Asiatique, a French learned society.[2] The society financed Joseph Toussaint Reinaud and de Slane to prepare a critical edition[3] of Abu'l-Fida (أبو الفداء)'s Arabic geography, Taqwīm al-Buldān (تقويم البلدان)[4] - "Locating the Lands" (1321). This was published in 1840.[5][2]

Between 1843 and 1846 he was sent on a mission by the French Government to catalogue important documents in the libraries of Algiers and Constantine.[2][6] During this time he also served as an Interpreter of Arabic in the French African Army and in 1846 he was appointed as Principal Interpreter for the French African army.[7][8] He served as Professor of Arabic at the École de langues orientales in Paris and from 1849 also taught Turkish.[8] He was also commissioned by the Bibliothèque Nationale to catalogue their Arabic manuscripts.[8][9]

On 30 October 1826 he married Angadrème Sophie Félicité de la Barre de Mérona. She died seven years later on 24 September 1833. He then married Anne Elise Sutton de Clonard and together they had five children.[1] De Slane was awarded French citizenship on 31 December 1838.[10] He died aged 76 in Passy, France on the 4 August 1878.[1]

In France he was awarded following honours:

Selected publications edit

Arabic text of Abu'l-Fida's Takwin al-Buldan, one volume, 1840

  • Reinaud, Joseph Toussaint; de Slane, Baron Mac Guckin, eds. (1840). Géographie d'Aboulféda; texte arabe publié d'après les manuscrits de Paris et de Leyde aux frais de la Société Asiatique (in French and Arabic). Paris: Imprimerie Royale.

Translation of a section of Ibn Battuta's rihla, 1843

Translation of Ibn Khallikan's biographical dictionary, four volumes, 1843-1871

Arabic text of Ibn Khaldun's Histoire des Berbères, 2 volumes, 1847-1851

Translation of Ibn Khaldun's Histoire des Berbères, 4 volumes, 1852-1856

Translation of Al-Bakri, 1859, one volume

Translation of Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah (Prolegomena), three volumes, 1863-1868

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d Darwin, Kenneth, ed. (1990). Familia 1990: Ulster Genealogical Review: Number 6. Belfast: Ulster Historical Foundation. p. 30. ISBN 978-090190546-8.
  2. ^ a b c Pouillon, François (2008). Dictionnaire des orientalistes de langue française (in French). Paris: Karthala. pp. 902–903. ISBN 978-2-84586-802-1.
  3. ^ Géographie d'Aboulféda; texte arabe publié d'après les manuscrits de Paris et de Leyden.
  4. ^ Taqwīm al-Buldān.
  5. ^ Reinaud & de Slane 1840.
  6. ^ de Slane 1845.
  7. ^ "SLANE, William Mac-Guckin de". TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi (in Turkish). Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  8. ^ a b c "Néocrologie". Polybiblion: Revue bibliographique universelle (in French). 8: 365–366. October 1878.
  9. ^ de Slane 1883–1895.
  10. ^ a b Potiquet, Alfred (1871). L'Institut national de France: ses diverses organisations, ses membres, ses associés et ses correspondants (20 novembre 1795-19 novembre 1869) (in French). Paris: Didier. pp. 182–183.

External links edit