Sanskrit in the West

Sanskrit In The West

Sanskrit in the West

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The study of Sanskrit in the Western world began in the 17th century. Some of Bhartṛhari's poems were translated into Portuguese in 1651. In 1779 a legal code known as was translated by Nathaniel Brassey Halhed from a Persian translation, and published as A Code of Gentoo Laws. In 1785 Charles Wilkins published an English translation of the Bhagavad Gita, which was the first time a Sanskrit book had been translated directly into a European language.

In 1786 Sir William Jones, who had founded The Asiatic Society two years earlier, delivered the third annual discourse; in his often-cited "philologer" passage, he noted similarities between Sanskrit, Ancient Greek and Latin—an event which is often cited as the beginning of comparative linguistics, Indo-European studies, and Sanskrit philology."The Sanscrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all...
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