Founders of Western Indology
Founders of Western Indology presents in high relief the central roles two scholars, one German, one English, played in establishing classical Indology in Europe. Their correspondence, edited here for the first time, with extensive introductions and annotations, documents the formative decades during which, under Schlegel’s leadership, incipient Indic scholarship in Europe strove first to use, and promptly to transcend, the work of British amateur scholars in India and their reliance on Indian pandit teachers.
The study by Rosane and Ludo Rocher illuminates the international ambit of competition and controversy in which Indian studies became institutionalized and professionalized, most notably at Prussian universities after a first chair was created in Paris and societies were founded in Paris and in London to emulate the Asiatic Society in Calcutta, over which Colebrooke had presided. It captures how Colebrooke’s gift of his unrivaled collection of manuscripts to the East India Library helped transfer the primary European seat of Indological research from Paris to London. Comparative standards of pre-university education come to the fore when Colebrooke entrusts a son to Schlegel’s affectionate tutelage in Bonn. A companion to the authors’ biography of Colebrooke (2012), this volume puts greater emphasis on Schlegel, who sought to consult Colebrooke’s “oracle” and brought up most items for discussion.