Amaury de Riencourt

French sinologist (1918–2005)

Amaury de Riencourt (born 12 June 1918 in Orleans, France died 13 January 2005 at Bellevue, Switzerland) was a writer, historian, an expert on Southeast Asia, Indian scholar, sinologist, tibetologist and Americanist.


  • Like every old civilisation still represented on this globe, India has been, and is, increasingly, in spite of appearances, returning to its original sources... It is from the depths of that old civilisation that India is most likely to draw the strength needed to adapt itself to the modern world.
    • Amaury de Riencourt, The Soul of India. Quoted in K.R. Malkani: Indian Express New Delhi, 27 July 1995 ‘One country, one people’ [Section V, 13. Secret of BJP’s success] and quoted from Time for stock taking, whither Sangh Parivar? Edited by Goel, S. R. (1997)
  • The enthusiasm for Indian culture was widespread. Amaury de Riencourt in his The Soul of India tells us that philosophers like Schelling, Fichte, Hegel, Schopenhauer and Schleiermacher, poets such as Goethe, Schillar, Novalis, Tieck and Brentano, historians like Herder and Schlegel, all acclaimed the discovery of Indian culture with cries of ecstasy: "India, the home of universal religion, the cradle of the noblest human race, of all literature, of all philosophies and metaphysics." And he adds that "this enthusiasm was not confined to Germany. The entire Romantic movement in the West put Indian culture on a lofty pedestal which the preceding Classical Movement had reserved for Greece and Rome."
    • quoted from Ram Swarup (2000). On Hinduism: Reviews and reflections. Ch. 4.
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