[INDOLOGY] 150th Birth Anniversary of Moriz Winternitz (2013-2014)!

Jonathan Silk kauzeya at gmail.com
Sun Jan 12 19:21:54 UTC 2014

dear Dr Chakrabarti,

Thank you so very much for sharing this delightful biography. The lives of
our forebears are extremely interesting. I just a few days ago had the
opportunity to discover (again, with delight) the story of Hermann
Grassmann <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Grassmann>, whom we all
know for his work on the Veda, but who, it turns out, is one of the fathers
of linear algebra (I discovered this discussing with my son the question of
how one proves that 2 + 2 = 4, which turns out the involve, or can involve,
the Peano axioms, which owe much to Grassmann). In the biography of
Grassmann which I have seen, Sanskrit receives no more than a few lines
(just as the math is only mentioned in passing by Windisch p 365). I am
reminded of all of this of course by the connection between Winternitz and

In any case, thank you for this fascinating reminder, and for the idea to
do something to celebrate the life and contribution to a scholar who, among
other things, wrote the three volumes which probably sit near the desks of
most readers of the Indology list.

Jonathan Silk

On Sat, Jan 11, 2014 at 5:27 AM, Dr. Debabrata Chakrabarti <
dchakra at hotmail.de> wrote:

> Dear List Members,
>                   Moriz Winternitz (1863-1937)
> I would like to inform the list members that this year marks the 150th
> birth anniversary of Moriz Winternitz. Winternitz was born at Horn in Lower
> Austria on 23rd December 1863. An avid German Indologist he was a professor
> of Indology and Ethnology at the Charles University of Prague. He is known
> to us not only that he authored the three volume History of Indian
> Literature, but that he was the second visiting professor at Santiniketan
> (1922-23) and importantly, a great friend of Rabindranath. He wrote a book
> on Tagore's Religion and World Vision.
> His birth anniversary is going to be celebrated this year in his hometown
> Horn. I went there in 2011 to discover in this small town a closed down
> Jewish Cemetery (Winternitz was a Jew), where I had the opportunity to
> identify Winternitz’s parents’ graves. After this the town authority
> renovated the cemetery, and planned to set up a stone plaque in their
> museum which was formerly the school where Winternitz read in.
> I also spoke to our Indian Ambassador in Prague last November 2013 in
> Prague, who also promised to celebrate his birth anniversary.
> The Asiatic Society, Kolkata is supposed to arrange a lecture on him very
> soon.
> I wonder if any institution or groups decide celebrating his 150th birth
> anniversary any time during 2013-2014.
> Regards
> Debabrata Chakrabarti
> For his biography see: http://www.grieb.org/debu/download/M_Winternitz.pdf
> Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moriz_Winternitz
> For his books see my website: www.grieb.org/debu
> “This body is like a musical instrument; what you hear depends upon how
> you play it.” – Anandamayi Ma
> “Inside every human being there exists a special heaven, whole and
> unbroken.” - Paracelsus
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> http://listinfo.indology.info

J. Silk
Instituut Kern / Universiteit Leiden
Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, LIAS
Johan Huizinga Building, Room 1.37
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
The Netherlands

copies of my publications may be found at

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