Scholars or antiquarians

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Asiatic Society of Bengal

"As Charles Allen shows in his book, under Sir William Jones, the Asiatic Society of Bengal became the scholarly nerve centre that brought together all the different amateur enthusiasts busily working at uncovering the deepest roots of India's lost pre-Islamic history. In the society's Calcutta premises were collated reports sent in from a huge range of eccentric figures working away at translating Buddhist scrolls or ancient rock inscriptions, Gandharan coins or Tibetan mythologies, far separated from each other in remote outposts between the highest peaks of the Himalayas in Tibet and Nepal, through the arid plains of the Deccan to the thickest jungles of 18th-century Burma and Ceylon.” [1]


William Jones 1746-1794

A Judge who, in his spare time, translated from Sanskrit and founded the field of historic linguistics.

Colin Mackenzie 1753-1821

An officer in the Madras Engineers, he had arrived in India in 1783. At the time of his death in 1821, he was Surveyor-General of India. He formed one of the most wide ranging collections ever to reach the Library of the East India Company.

Major David Price 1762-1835

“Very active and excellent officer" of the Bombay Army
Author of Memoirs of the principal events of Mahommedan history, translator and collector of historical Persian Manuscripts. Member of the Royal Asiatic Society

Edward Moor 1771-1848

William Dalrymple, author of White Mughals, in an article [2] states Edward Moor had first come out to India at the age of 11, spoke several Indian languages, and was passionately interested in the cosmology and beliefs of the Hindus. Moor's book The Hindu Pantheon[3] pub 1810 "remains even now a remarkably encyclopaedic and accurate guide to Indian mythology. It brought together almost everything that was then known by European intellectuals about the religion of the Hindus, and contained reliable descriptions, images and genealogies of some 2,000 of the major deities.”
Edward Moor also wrote Hindu infanticide: An account of the measures adopted for suppressing the practice of the systematic murder by their parents of female infants; with incidental remarks on other customs peculiar to the natives of India. Ed., with notes and illustrations published 1811. [4]
Also refer Wikipedia and Dictionary of Indian Biography

Henry Creswicke Rawlinson 1810-1895

  • Sir Henry Rawlinson, 1st Baronet Wikipedia
  • A Memoir of Major-General Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson by George Rawlinson 1898 Born 1810, he joined the Bombay Army in 1827. In 1833 he was sent to Persia, the start of a long association with this country. He was recalled to India in 1839 and in 1840 was appointed Political Agent in Western Afghanistan and was involved in the 1st Afghan War until the end of 1842. In October 1843 he was appointed “British Political Agent in Turkish Arabia” 1844-1849 and 1851-1855 where he resumed an interest in Cuneiform Studies
    • The Persian Cuneiform Inscription at Behistun, decyphered and translated; with a memoir on Persian Cuneiform Inscriptions in general and on that of Behistun in particular by Henry Creswicke Rawlinson 1846 ECHO Cultural Heritage Online Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. Google Books edition
  • Also see Iran

External Links

Historical books online


  1. The Buddha and the Sahibs by Charles Allen (2002) reviewed by William Dalrymple, author of White Mughals, in The Guardian, and in The Spectator.
  2. Moore the Collector by William Dalrymple.
  3. The Hindu Pantheon
  4. Hindu Infanticide