[INDOLOGY] [RISA-L LIST] Passing of Ludo Rocher

Olivelle, J P jpo at austin.utexas.edu
Thu Nov 3 19:58:02 UTC 2016

Dear Friends:

To add to the fine eulogy of Fred, the last book authored by Ludo was published just a couple of months before his passing, thanks to the work of our colleague Federico Squarcini:

Vyavahārasaukya: The Treatise on Legal Procedure in the Ṭoḍarānanda composed at the Instance of Ṭoḍaramalla during the Reign of Akbar. Firenze: Società Editrica Fiorentina, 2916.

His Keine Schriften were edited by Don Davis:

Studies in Hindu Law and Dharmaśāstra. London: Anthem Press, 2012.

With best wishes,

Patrick Olivelle

On Nov 3, 2016, at 2:42 PM, Smith, Frederick M <frederick-smith at uiowa.edu<mailto:frederick-smith at uiowa.edu>> wrote:

Dear RISA-L sahṛdayas,

Several of Professor Ludo Rocher’s former students learned this morning of his passing last night, at age 90, peacefully, at his home in Philadelphia. Ludo was more than a mentor and guide for his students, myself included. He was a lifetime friend and a role model of scholarship, elegance, positivity, dignity, and, not least for many of us, of how to act in a most congenial manner as a department chair in the face of truculent administrators and colleagues. He was the chair of the Department of Oriental Studies (later renamed Asian and Middle Eastern Studies), and the Department of South Asian Studies, at the University of Pennsylvania for twenty-four years, and taught actively for nearly forty years, from 1966-2004. He mentored not just his own students, but many of his students’ students. He was a paragon of knowledge, virtue, and love for his work. He was born in Antwerp in 1926, spent several years in India in the 1950s, then returned repeatedly, usually to Kolkata. Much of his work took him to archives in London, Germany, and elsewhere. He is survived by his wife, the wonderful Rosane Rocher, whose indefatigable love and ministrations kept him alive and at work for at least fifteen years beyond what was expected at the time. Rosane was not just his wife, but collaborator on many of his works, in addition to being a fine scholar in her own right. Ludo was one of the most visible and important scholars of Dharmaśāstra of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. I will leave it to others to add more. I will, however, add only one note – His Sanskrit was awesome, his versatility was unparalleled, and he constantly made the most difficult passages completely transparent through his complete understanding of the grammar and the lucidity of his presentation, whether it was in graduate classes, in is careful reading of dissertations, or anything in his extravagantly long list of publications. Hopefully, this list. Including his most recent book, published this year(!), will be forthcoming soon.

Kind regards
Fred Smith
University of Iowa

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