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Sir Monier Monier-Williams
Monier Monier-Williams
(né Monier Williams), KCIE (/ˈmɒnjər/; 12 November 1819 – 11 April 1899) was the second Boden Professor of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
at Oxford University, England. He studied, documented and taught Asian languages, especially Sanskrit, Persian and Hindustani.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Career 3 Writings and foundations 4 Honours 5 Published works

5.1 Translations 5.2 Original works

6 Notes 7 References 8 External links

Early life[edit] Monier Williams was born in Bombay, the son of Colonel Monier Williams, surveyor-general in the Bombay
Bombay
presidency. His surname was "Williams" until 1887 when he added his Christian name to his surname to create the hyphenated "Monier-Williams". In 1822 he was sent to England to be educated at private schools at Hove, Chelsea and Finchley. He was educated at King's College School, Balliol College, Oxford (1838–40), the East India Company College
East India Company College
(1840–41) and University College, Oxford
University College, Oxford
(1841–44). He took a IVth-class honours degree in Literis Humanoribus in 1844.[1] He married Julia Grantham in 1848. They had six sons and one daughter. He died, aged 79, at Cannes
Cannes
in France.[2] Career[edit] Monier Williams taught Asian languages, at the East India Company College from 1844 until 1858,[3][4] when company rule in India ended after the 1857 rebellion. He came to national prominence during the 1860 election campaign for the Boden Chair of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
at Oxford University, in which he stood against Max Müller. The vacancy followed the death of Horace Hayman Wilson
Horace Hayman Wilson
in 1860. Wilson had started the university's collection of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
manuscripts upon taking the chair in 1831, and had indicated his preference that Williams should be his successor. The campaign was notoriously acrimonious. Müller was known for his liberal religious views and his philosophical speculations based on his reading of Vedic literature. Monier Williams was seen as a less brilliant scholar, but had a detailed practical knowledge of India itself, and of actual religious practices in modern Hinduism. Müller, in contrast, had never visited India.[5]

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: Monier Williams's submission for the Boden Professorship election

Both candidates had to emphasise their support for Christian evangelisation in India, since that was the basis on which the Professorship had been funded by its founder. Monier Williams' dedication to Christianisation was not doubted, unlike Müller's.[6] Monier Williams also stated that his aims were practical rather than speculative. "Englishmen are too practical to study a language very philosophically", he wrote.[5] After his appointment to the professorship Williams declared from the outset that the conversion of India to the Christian religion should be one of the aims of orientalist scholarship.[6] In his book Hinduism, published by SPCK in 1877, he predicted the demise of the Hindu religion and called for Christian evangelism to ward off the spread of Islam.[6] According to Saurabh Dube this work is "widely credited to have introduced the term Hinduism into general English usage"[7] while David N. Lorenzen cites the book along with Alexander Duff (1839). India, and India Missions: Including Sketches of the Gigantic System of Hinduism, Both in Theory and Practice : Also Notices of Some of the Principal Agencies Employed in Conducting the Process of Indian Evangelization, &c. &c. J. Johnstone.  for popularising of the term.[8] Writings and foundations[edit]

Bookplate

When Monier Williams founded the University's Indian Institute
Indian Institute
in 1883, it provided both an academic focus and also a training ground for the Indian Civil Service.[2] Since the early 1870s Monier Williams planned this institution. His vision was the better acquaintance of England and India. On this account he supported academic research into Indian culture. Monier Williams travelled to India in 1875, 1876 and 1883 to finance his project by fundraising. He gained the support of Indian native princes. In 1883 the Prince of Wales laid the foundation stone; the building was inaugurated in 1896 by Lord George Hamilton. The Institute closed on Indian independence in 1947. In his writings on Hinduism Monier Williams argued that the Advaita Vedanta system best represented the Vedic ideal and was the "highest way to salvation" in Hinduism. He considered the more popular traditions of karma and bhakti to be of lesser spiritual value. However, he argued that Hinduism is a complex "huge polygon or irregular multilateral figure" that was unified by Sanskrit literature. He stated that "no description of Hinduism can be exhaustive which does not touch on almost every religious and philosophical idea that the world has ever known."[6] Monier-Williams compiled a Sanskrit–English dictionary, based on the earlier Petersburg Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Dictionary,[9][10] which was published in 1872. A later revised edition was published in 1899 with collaboration by Ernst Leumann and Carl Cappeller (sv).[11] Honours[edit] He was knighted in 1876, and was made KCIE in 1887, when he adopted his given name of Monier as an additional surname. He also received the following academic honours: Honorary DCL, Oxford, 1875; LLD, Calcutta, 1876; Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, 1880; Honorary PhD, Göttingen, 1880s; Vice-President, Royal Asiatic Society, 1890; Honorary Fellow of University College, Oxford, 1892.[2] Published works[edit] Translations[edit] Monier-Williams's translations include that of Kālidāsa's plays Vikramorvasi (1849)[12] and Sakuntala (1853; 2nd ed. 1876).[13]

Translation of Shakuntala
Shakuntala
(1853) Hindu Literature: comprising the Book of Good Counsels, Nala and Damayanti, the Rámáyana and Śakoontalá

Original works[edit]

Sir Monier Monier-Williams
Monier Monier-Williams
(1846). An Elementary Grammar of the Sanscrit Language: Partly in the Roman Character, Arranged According to a New Theory, in Reference Especially to the Classical Languages; with Short Extracts in Easy Prose. To which is Added, a Selection from the Institutes of Manu, with Copious References to the Grammar, and an English Translation. W. H. Allen & Company.  Original papers illustrating the history of the application of the Roman alphabet to the languages of India: Edited by Monier Williams (1859) Modern Reprint Sir Monier Monier-Williams
Monier Monier-Williams
(1875). Indian Wisdom, Or, Examples of the Religious, Philosophical, and Ethical Doctrines of the Hindūs. London: Oxford.  Sir Monier Monier-Williams
Monier Monier-Williams
(1877). Hinduism. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.  Sir Monier Monier-Williams
Monier Monier-Williams
(1878). Modern India and the Indians: Being a Series of Impressions, Notes, and Essays. Trübner and Company.  Translation of Shikshapatri
Shikshapatri
– The manuscript of the principal scripture Sir John Malcolm
Sir John Malcolm
received from Swaminarayan
Swaminarayan
on 26 February 1830 when he was serving as the Governor of Bombay
Bombay
Presidency, Imperial India. Currently preserved at Bodleian Library. Brahmanism and Hinduism (1883) Buddhism, in its connexion with Brahmanism and Hinduism, and in its contrast with Christianity (1889)[14] Sanskrit-English Dictionary, ISBN 0-19-864308-X. A Sanskrit-English Dictionary: Etymologically and Philologically Arranged with Special
Special
Reference to Cognate Indo-European languages, Monier Monier-Williams, revised by E. Leumann, C. Cappeller, et al. 1899, Clarendon Press, Oxford A Practical Grammar of the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Language, Arranged with Reference to the Classical Languages of Europe, for the Use of English Students, Oxford: Clarendon, 1857, enlarged and improved Fourth Edition 1887

Notes[edit]

^ Oxford University
Oxford University
Calendar 1895, Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1895, p.131. ^ a b c Macdonell 1901. ^ Memorials of old Haileybury College. 1894.  ^ "Review of Memorials of Old Haileybury College by Sir Monier Monier-Williams and other Contributors". The Quarterly Review. 179: 224–243. July 1894.  ^ a b Nirad C. Chaudhuri, Scholar Extraordinary, The Life of Professor the Right Honourable Friedrich Max Muller, P.C., Chatto and Windus, 1974, pp. 221–231. ^ a b c d Terence Thomas, The British: their religious beliefs and practices, 1800–1986, Routledge, 1988, pp. 85–88. ^ Saurabh Dube (1998). Untouchable Pasts: Religion, Identity, and Power among a Central Indian Community, 1780–1950. SUNY Press. p. 232. ISBN 978-0-7914-3687-5.  ^ David N. Lorenzen (2006). Who Invented Hinduism: Essays on Religion in History. Yoda Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-81-902272-6-1.  ^ https://www.rbth.com/blogs/2014/04/12/st_petersburgs_illustrious_sanskrit_connections_34481 ^ https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_von_B%C3%B6htlingk#Scholarship ^ Bloomfield, Maurice (1900). "A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Etymologically and Philologically Arranged with Special
Special
Reference to Cognate Indo-European Languages by Monier Monier-Williams; E. Leumann; C. Cappeller". The American Journal of Philology. 21 (3): 323–327. doi:10.2307/287725. JSTOR 287725.  ^ Schuyler, Jr., Montgomery (1902). "Bibliography of Kālidāsa's Mālavikāgnimitra and Vikramorvaçī". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 23: 93–101. doi:10.2307/592384. JSTOR 592384.  ^ Schuyler, Jr., Montgomery (1901). "The Editions and Translations of Çakuntalā". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 22: 237–248. doi:10.2307/592432. JSTOR 592432.  ^ "Buddhism in Its Connexion with Brahmanism and Hinduism and in Its Contrast with Christianity by Monier Monier-Williams". The Old Testament Student. 8 (10): 389–390. June 1889. doi:10.1086/470215. JSTOR 3156561. 

References[edit]

Katz, J. B. "Williams, Sir Monier Monier-". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (October 2007 ed.). Retrieved 31 January 2013. 

Attribution

 Macdonell, Arthur Anthony (1901). "Monier-Williams, Monier". Dictionary of National Biography
Dictionary of National Biography
(1st supplement). London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 186–187. 

External links[edit]

Find more aboutMonier Monier-Williamsat's sister projects

Media from Wikimedia Commons Texts from Wikisource Data from Wikidata

Cologne Digital Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Dictionaries (Searchable), Monier-Williams' Sanskrit-English Dictionary Biography of Sir Monier Monier-Williams, Dr. Gillian Evison, Digital Shikshapatri Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Searchable Monier-Williams Shikshapatri
Shikshapatri
manuscript, Digital Shikshapatri The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary: DICT and HTML versions Works by Monier Monier-Williams
Monier Monier-Williams
at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Monier Monier-Williams
Monier Monier-Williams
at Internet Archive

v t e

Boden Professors of Sanskrit

Horace Hayman Wilson
Horace Hayman Wilson
(1832) 1860 election Monier Monier-Williams
Monier Monier-Williams
(1860) Arthur Anthony Macdonell
Arthur Anthony Macdonell
(1899) Frederick William Thomas (1927) Edward Johnston (1937) Thomas Burrow (1944) Richard Gombrich
Richard Gombrich
(1976) Christopher Minkowski (2005)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 39495690 LCCN: n50081514 ISNI: 0000 0001 0890 0255 GND: 118173405 SELIBR: 194715 SUDOC: 035042451 BNF: cb125727036 (data) NLA: 35358703 NDL: 00742773 NKC: jo2012683

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