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German Tamilologists: Biographies of German = Tamil scholars

To a great extent, this monograph will be a by-product of my above post-doctoral research project. A dire need for this kind of monograph 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 Benjamin Schultze (1689 – 1760), whose studies of Telugu, Sanscrit besides Tamil were quite significant, Christoph Theodore Walther (1699–1741) who even authored a Sanscrit grammar and mastered Tamil and a few more like these Germans, 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. 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 literature. …”

My aim of this second project is just to undo this lapse found in Valentina Stache Rosen’s book and also to bring out a tri-lingual monograph titled: “GERMAN TAMILOLOGISTS”: BIOGRAPHICAL STUDY OF GERMAN = TAMIL SCHOLARS FROM 1706 TO 2006.”