Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Arthur de Gobineau
Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau (July 14, 1816 - October 13, 1882) was a French aristocrat who became famous for developing the theory of the Aryan master race in his book An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853-1855).
Gobineau was a successful diplomat whose career in Iran influenced the development of his ideas. He came to believe that race created culture. In his view the development of empires created racial mixture, which led to the 'degeneration' of races.
He is also known to Bahá'is as the person who obtained the only complete manuscript of the early history of the Bábí religious movement of Persia, written by Hâjji Mirza Jân of Kashan who was put to death by the Persian authorities in c.1852. The manuscript is now in the public library: the Bibliothèque nationale at Paris.
Gobineau also wrote novels, notably Les Pléiades (1874). His study La Renaissance (1877) was also admired in his day. Both of these works strongly expressed his reactionary aristocratic politics, and his hatred of democratic mass culture.
Gobineau believed himself to be the descendant of Nordic Vikings and condottieri.
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