The Asiatic Society
( Founded in 1784 )

1, PARK STREET, KOLKATA : 700 016
INDIA



THE FOUNDER

HISTORY

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Sir Charles Wilkins (1750-1833) translated the Bhagavadgita into English in 1785, deciphered a number of Sanskrit inscriptions published a translation of Hitopadesa (1787) and a Grammar of the Sanskrit Language. Sir William Jones translated Kalidasa's Abhijnana books (1789), Jayadeva's Gitagovinda (1789) and Manusamhita (1794), and edited Ritusamhara (1792). Jones also translated a Persian work Laila Majnu. The works initiated by Wilkins and Jones were continued by Colebrooke (1765-1837) and Wilson (1786-1860). Colebrooke was the President of the Society from 1806 to 1815 and contributed nineteen papers to the Transactions of the Society. He published an English translation of Jagannath Tarkapanchanan's celebrated work on Hindu law, the Vivadabhangarnava under the title Digest of Hindu Law on Contracts and Successions (1798). He also published a critical edition of the Sanskrit lexicon Amarakosha (1808). Wilson was Secretary of the Asiatic Society from 1811 to 1832 and published Kalidasa's Meghaduta (1813) and translated eighteen principal Puranas into English. He also published an edition of Kalhana's Rajatarangini (1825).Wilson’s work entitled Select specimen of the Theatre of the Hindus published in 3 big volume in 1827 was translated into German and French languages. Sir John Shore (1751-1834) who succeeded William Jones as President of the Society in 1794, published from a Persian version an abridged English translation of the Yoga Vasistha and contributed six papers to the Asiatic Researches. Alexander Csoma de Koros’s Grammar of Tibetan Language was published in 1834. Most of the works of the Society are research-based and research-oriented, and have not been loudly spectacular. But its publication, the Books, consisting of a series of several hundred Oriental texts in Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Bengali, Tibetan and other Asian languages, both in original and translation, has earned the Society a rare reputation among scholars all over the world. Its Monographs were supplemented by several new series such as Public Lectures, Monthly Bulletins, Seminar Proceedings, Memorial Lectures and Memoirs (1905-33). These are in addition to the Society's Journal, Journal of the Asiatic Society, formerly, Asiatic Researches (1788-1849), Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (1832-1904), Proceedings of the Asiatic Society (1865-1904), Journal and the Proceedings of the Asiatic Society (1905-1934), Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (1935-1952) and Journal of the Asiatic Society (since 1953). A cursory glance at the contents of the Books will show how great many historical Monographs and Oriental studies, all fruits of original research, were brought out in them. Archaeological and Geological surveys, census reports, treatises on law and revenue systems, all these prepared the solid basis for all future researches on Asia and the Orient.

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