History of Sanskrit studies

Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU
Mon Nov 1 14:11:35 UTC 2004

Raymond Schwab, Oriental Renaissance (Columbia University 1984,
trans. from the French original) is an eccentric, but
nevertheless informative and useful, work on the
early modern European
encounter with Indian culture in general.
Sanskrit of course has an important place in the story
overall. It is not, however, a history of the
field per se, though inter alia it does touch on this.

For Buddhist Sanskrit studies in particular, one might
consult the useful monograph by de Jong: A Brief History
of Buddhist Studies in Europe and America.

Charles Allen, The Buddha and the Sahibs, is a retelling
for the general readership, but with occasional gems that I've
not seen elsewhere, esp. the account of James Prinsep. Again,
Sanskrit studies are not central here, but they are mentioned
on occasion.

On course, the notes and apparatus scattered throughout Gonda's
History of Indian Literature contain much of the raw material
for a history of the field.

Matthew Kapstein

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