Sanskrit teaching at Cambridge to end

David Magier magier at COLUMBIA.EDU
Mon Oct 16 19:02:29 UTC 2006

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David Magier

--On Monday, October 16, 2006 7:40 PM +0100 Dominik Wujastyk 
<ucgadkw at> wrote:

> It is shocking to note the closing of the Tripos in Sanskrit and Hindi at
> the University of Cambridge (U.K.).
> This announcement follows the award of an honorary degree to Dr Manmohan
> Singh, the Prime Minister of India.
> For news items see the following links:
>   and
> receives+doctorate+from+Cambridge&id=94638
> The Cambridge university website that used to announce the Sanskrit
> course has been deleted.  It was
> It used to begin as follows:
> ------------ cut --------------
> South Asian Studies
> Undergraduate Programme
> General
> Our four-year BA Honours degree provides students with the opportunity of
> studying Hindi or Sanskrit or both languages combined, and then to
> explore the literature, history and religion of the subcontinent through
> an array of texts, from the Rigveda to the epics and classical
> literature, religion and philosophy for students of Sanskrit, and from
> nineteenth-century plays to contemporary autobiographies for students of
> Hindi.
> We offer a range of courses, from spoken Hindi to Indian history and
> historiography, from Indian epics to Sanskrit linguistics. Our aim is to
> give students a thorough grounding in their language of choice in the
> first two years and a broad introduction to Indian culture, religion and
> history.
> The year abroad gives Hindi students an exciting chance to experience
> day-to-day life in India, improve their language and meet Indian
> students. The final part of the programme involves a wider range of
> course options, the possibility of studying Pali, Prakrit, Urdu,
> Rajasthani and Bengali, and the chance to study subjects more in depth.
> Students also get the chance of writing a dissertation on a topic which
> particularly interests them, using sources in the language they have
> studied.
> ------------ cut --------------
> The first professor of Sanskrit at Cambridge (1867 to 1903) was E. B.
> Cowell (see, who moved
> there from his post at University College London.
> On Cowell's death in 1903, his former pupil Cecil Bendall (1856-1906) was
> elected professor of Sanskrit and was made honorary fellow of Caius in
> 1905. (Bendall was at also UCL before going to Cambridge.)
> Bendall collaborated in research with W. H. D. Rouse (1863-1950), who
> taught Sanskrit at Cambridge for thirty years From Cowell's death in 1903
> to 1939, Rouse was university teacher of Sanskrit at Cambridge to
> candidates for the Indian Civil Service.
> More recent past professors of Sanskrit at Cambridge included Prof.
> Harold Bailey (1899-1996) from 1936, and Prof. John Brough (1917-1984)
> from 1967. After Brough, the Cambridge chair of Sanskrit was abolished.
> Sanskrit is currently taught by Readers Dr John Smith and Dr Eivind Kahrs.
> Bailey's library is still available at the India and Iran Trust in
> Cambridge (
> Obituary: Sir Harold Bailey 1899-1996 Nicholas Sims-Williams, George
> Hewitt Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University
> of London, Vol. 60, No. 1 (1997), pp. 109-116.  Brough: Bulletin of the
> School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 48,
> No. 2. (1985), pp. 333-339.  His materials at Cambridge:

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