[INDOLOGY] Origin of the term "Indology"

Patrick Olivelle jpo at uts.cc.utexas.edu
Fri Aug 22 12:43:51 UTC 2014

May be our related field "Sinology" can also provide clues, and may be Sinologists have better dates (as usual) for their own field. I found this in Merriam-Webster.


si·nol·o·gy noun, often capitalized \sī-ˈnä-lə-jē, sə-\

Definition of SINOLOGY

:  the study of the Chinese and especially their language, literature, history, and culture
— si·no·log·i·cal  adjective often capitalized
— si·nol·o·gist  noun often capitalized
Origin of SINOLOGY

probably from French sinologie, from sino- + -logie -logy
First Known Use: circa 1882

On Aug 21, 2014, at 9:08 PM, Rosane Rocher <rrocher at sas.upenn.edu> wrote:

> Dear all, 
> I wish I knew.  Please keep me copied if anyone knows.  The term is clearly linked to the professionalization of the discipline in the early 19th century (barring an early-bird neologism in the 18th).  This most likely takes us to Germany or France.  The OED notes the first occurrence of "Indology" very late, in 1888, and tellingly, in a Trübner catalog.  The first use I can recall offhand, and then of the related term "Indologen," occurs in a letter Christan Lassen sent A. W. v. Schlegel from Paris on 10 June 1825: "Von den Indologen ist mir nur Herr Burnouf zu Gesicht gekommen," in which he used the term in the flat tones of a well-worn word.  Might we engage in a collective game of "beat that date," and see how far back we might reach? 
> In a related question, I wonder how accepted Indology/Indologie and related terms are accepted in common parlance in different languages.  In spite of the OED's listing, my spellcheck consistently flags "Indology" and related terms as faulty.  I also recall the concern a British well-wisher expressed at the prospect of a (now published) book going by the title "The Making of Western Indology," since "Indology is not a word."  We explained that it was the name of our discipline, and I remember pointing out that it was also the name of our professional listserv.  Our friend was too polite to insist, but I am afraid that it convinced him right there and then that our book was not intended for the general public! 
> Best wishes, 
> Rosane Rocher
> Professor Emerita of South Asia Studies
> University of Pennsylvania         
> On 8/21/14 11:28 AM, Michaels, Axel wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> does anybody know when the term "Indology/Indologie" denoting the academic discipline appeared first?
>> Thanks in advance, Axel Michaels
>> Prof. Dr. Axel Michaels | Acting Director Excellence Cluster "Asia and Europe in a Global Context"  | Director Dept. of Classical Indology, South Asia Institute  | Director Research Unit "Historical Documents of Nepal" of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities |Contact |Universität Heidelberg, Südasien-Institut | Im Neuenheimer Feld 330, D-69120 Heidelberg |Tel. +49-6221-548917 / Fax +49-6221-546338 | sek-michaels at uni-heidelberg.de (SAI office) | Axel.Michaels at urz.uni-heidelberg.de (official and personal) | michaels at asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de (Cluster mail) | Websites | http://www.asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de/de/startseite.html | http://www.sai.uni-heidelberg.de/abt/IND/index.php | http://www.haw.uni-heidelberg.de/forschung/forschungsstellen/nepal/projekt.de.html
>> _______________________________________________
>> INDOLOGY mailing list
>> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
>> http://listinfo.indology.info
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
> http://listinfo.indology.info

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://list.indology.info/pipermail/indology/attachments/20140822/54246abb/attachment.htm>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list