DOWSON, John

DOWSON, John. Uxbridge 1820 — 23.8.1881. British Indologist. Professor in Sandhurst. In the age of 16 came to London to assist his uncle —> Edwin Norris, the secretary of R.A.S. He became soon interested in Oriental languages. He was a self-made scholar, but very able. Tutor at Haileybury. In 1855 (unpaid) Professor of Hindustani at University College in London, but still in the same year obtained a chair at Staff College in Sandhurst, where he taught until 1877.

Publications: “On the Chera Kingdom of Ancient India”, JRAS 8, 1846, 1-29.

Edited —> H. M. Elliot’s The History of India, as told by its own Historians. Vols. 2-9. 1867-77.

Translated: Ikhwan-us-Safa, or, Brothers of Purity. 8+156 p. L. 1869 (from Urdū).

Translated: The Arabic Philosophical Cyclopædia. 18?? (unconfirmed).

Grammar of Urdū or Hindūstānī Language. 264 p. L. 1872, 3rd ed. 1908.

Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and Religion. 430 p. 1879, many editions.

– “Translation of three Copper Plate Inscriptions of the 4th century and Notices of the Châlukya and Gurjjara Dynasties”, JRAS 1, 1865, 247-286; articles on Kharoṣṭhī epigraphy, “On a newly discovered Bactrian Pali Inscription”, JRAS 20, 1863, 221-268; “Translation of a B. P. I.”, JRAS 4, 1870, 497-502; “Ancient Inscriptions from Mathura”, JRAS 5, 1871, 182-193; “Notes on a B. P. I. and the Samvat Era”, JRAS 7, 1875, 376-383; “Further Note on…”, JRAS 9, 1877, 144-146; “Indian Inscriptions”, Enc. Brit. 9, 188?.

– “The Invention of Indian Alphabet”, JRAS 13, 1881, 102-119.

A number of articles on India in Saturday Review, etc.

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; S.L[ane]-P[oole], D.N.B. 15, 1888, 407f. (briefly); *K. Prior, Oxford D.N.B. 2004; JRAS 14, 1882, Proc. xivf.; Wikipedia briefly from S.L.-P.

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