La divulgazione orientalista francese di fine Ottocento e lo sviluppo sociale dei popoli d’Oriente: gli Armeni di Ernest Chantre
An accurate analysis of the works of Ernest Chantre (1843-1924), often published under the auspices of the French Ministry of Public Education, shows a particular interest for civilisations of the Middle East, in particular for the Armenian people and culture. Chantre is influenced by the racial view that dominates in Europe in the late 19th century but, in the same time, he participates in the dissemination of knowledge of cultures and society of the Middle East, more and more integrated into the European world. In this context, French educated elites think they can find a happy balance with the Other only through the relentless spread of Catholicism, a powerful way to transform the thought of the Armenian people and to propagate the European civilisation.
Keywords: Orientalism • France (late 19th century) • Imperialism • Armenia (late 19th century) • Public opinion (late 19th century)