A dire need for this kind of project is felt, for, the book authored by Valentina Stache Rosen
titled “German Indologists” and published twice by Max Mueller Bhavan in New Delhi,
unfortunately does not contain the biographical sketches of eminent German Tamil scholars of the
18th and 19th centuries. For example, the luminous biographies of J.E. Gruendler (1677 – 1720),
C.T. Walther (1699 - 1741), C.T.E. Rhenius (1790 - 1838), C.S. John (1746 – 1813), to name a few
at random, are conspicuously left out in this book of Rosen. Especially, the sixty years’
unbroken service of German missionary J.P. Rottler, for the educational and social uplift of the
Tamil people in Chennai, is conspicuously left out in this book of V.S. Rosen. She had thrown
more light on German scholars, who specialized in north Indian studies and this kind of German
neglect for Tamil studies is quite regrettable, as rightly pointed out by the late Prof. Arno
Lehmann who said “… to many present day Germans, Indian literature means only Sanscrit
My aim of this project is just to undo this lapse through a major research project, titled:
“GERMAN TAMILOLOGISTS: BIOGRAPHIES OF GERMAN = TAMIL SCHOLARS FROM 1706 TO 2006” to bring out
the German contributions to Tamil Studies during a period of 300 years.
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