[INDOLOGY] Fwd: Ludo Rocher (from Belgium)

Christophe Vielle christophe.vielle at uclouvain.be
Mon Nov 7 14:23:07 UTC 2016

Forwarded message :

> De: Winand Callewaert <winand.callewaert at kuleuven.be>
> Objet: RE: [INDOLOGY] Ludo Rocher
> Sadness is not the main feeling overwhelming me now, but rather happiness, and pride, for having known Ludo as the scholar and gentleman he was,
> an Indologist of the old school where knowledge of the language of texts was the most important.
> He cannot be imitated, but he remains for me too an exemplar.
> Em. Prof. Dr Winand M. Callewaert
> Faculty of Arts
> Blijde Inkomststraat 21, 3318
> 3000 Leuven, Belgium
> http://www.arts.kuleuven.be/caies/wcal

Ludo Rocher: the Belgian years
(extracted from the Foreword to the Festschrift for Professor Ludo Rocher [ed. R. W. Lariviere & R. Salomon], by Radha Burnier, ALB 51, 1987, completed with the CV which was formerly available at https://www.southasia.upenn.edu/people/ludo-rocher, and Rosane Rocher's testimony – could somebody provide me with his complete bibliography in electronic form?)
Ludo Rocher was born on April 25, 1926 in Hemiksem (Antwerp) Belgium, the son of Julianus Rocher and Anna Van den Bogaert - Rocher. 

He attended the University of Ghent, where he received the degrees of M.A. in Classics with a minor in Sanskrit in 1948, Dr. Jur. in 1950, and Ph.D. in Indian Studies 1952 under his teacher, Adriaan Scharpé (http://dutchstudies-satsea.nl/auteur/94/AdriaanAlberikMaria-Scharp.html ). During this period he also studied at the University of Utrecht in 1948-49 where he read Vedic with Jan Gonda (http://dutchstudies-satsea.nl/auteur/116/Jan-Gonda.html ), and at the School of Oriental and African Studies of London University in 1952 where he studied Sanskrit with C.A. Rylands, Hindi with John Burton Page, and Hindu Law and the Indian Constitution with Alan Gledhill.

>From 1952 to 1958, he was a Research Fellow of the Belgian National Science Foundation; during this period he privately studied technical Sanskrit literature (mīmāṃsā, nyāya and vyākaraṇa) with Barend Faddegon, em. prof. at the University of Amsterdam (http://dutchstudies-satsea.nl/auteur/56/Barend-Faddegon.html ), and he did research in Poona (from 1953 to 1955) where he studied with Pandit T. S. Srinivasa Sastri at the Deccan College. He got his Habilitation degree (agrégation) at the University of Ghent in 1956, on the basis of his critical edition with annotated translation of the Vyavahāracintāmaṇi by Vācaspati Miśra: A Digest on Hindu Legal Procedure, issued in the Gentse Orientalische Bijdragen series. He worked as agrégé at the University of Ghent in 1958-59.

In 1959 was appointed to the faculty of the Free University of Brussels as Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology, serving at the ranks of Assistant Professor (1959), Associate Professor (1962), and Professor (1964). His primary appointment, from 1959 to 1967, was to teach Greek, Latin, and Comparative Linguistics in the Flemish section of the then single ULB/VUB; in addition, he taught Sanskrit in the Institut de Philologie et d'Histoire orientales et slaves in the French section, and also other courses such as Indian art history and Indian political science. 

He married Rosane Debels - Rocher on April 1, 1961. Born in a French-speaking family of Mouscron, she was at that time concluding a master's degree (licence) in Indo-Iranian studies (she was already licenciée in Classics, 1959) at the Free University of Brussels (where she started her doctoral researches later in the same year 1961, as Research Fellow of the FNRS).

>From 1961 to 1967 he was also director of the Center for the Study of South and Southeast Asia at the Institut Solvay (Institute of sociology) of the ULB/VUB. The Ford Foundation invited him in this capacity in 1962 to tour the Centers for South and Southeast Asia in universities in the United States. In 1965 he was visiting Professor of Hindu Law at the SOAS. He was the first non-Africanist to be elected to the Belgian Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences (1965). 
In 1966, he was appointed Professor of Sanskrit in the Department of Oriental Studies of the University of Pennsylvania. 
In June 6, 1972 he became  (along with Rosane) an American citizen.
In January, 1976 he served as Visiting Professor at Louvain (KU Leuven).

He and his wife occasionally came back to Belgium for visiting family. One of his last visits was in October 2010 (the mother of Rosane was then 107 years old), when he and Rosane were travelling throughout Europe for carrying researches in various libraries and archives in preparation of their last joint historiographical works.

With best wishes,

Christophe Vielle

Christophe Vielle

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