DRESDEN, Mark Jan. Amsterdam 26.4.1911 — Philadelphia 16.8.1986. Dutch Indologist and Iranian scholar in the U.S.A. Citizen of the U.S.A., Professor in Philadelphia. Son of the composer Sem Dr. and Jacoba Dhont, educated in Amsterdam. Studies of classical and especially Indo-Iranian philology at Amsterdam, B.A. 1933, M.A. 1937 (under Faddegon). Further studies of Indology under Gonda at Utrecht, in 1937-38 at É.P.H.É. (Benveniste) and Collège de France in Paris. Ph.D. 1941 Utrecht (in Indology). In 1938-39 and 1945-49 school-teacher of classical languages in Amsterdam. In summers 1947-49 further studies at Cambridge (Bailey and Henning). From 1949 taught Iranian philology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, invited there by W. Norman Brown. From 1958 Reader of Modern Persian, from 1960 Professor of Iranian Studies there. Retired in 1980. In 1973-74 President of the A.O.S. Married Jacqueline Hermance Haas.
Dresden began his career as an Indologist, but moved soon into Iranian, specializing in Khotan Saka and Pehlevi, also in Sogdian. His major work was the edition and translation of the Khotanese Jātakastava. Many years he was the reviewer of Iranian studies for the JAOS. Teaching took much time from research. He was a skilled lay violinist.
Publications: Diss. Mānavagṛhyasūtra. A Vedic Manual of Domestic Rites. Translation and commentary. 12+197 p. Groningen 1941.
– Jātakastava or “Praise of the Buddha’s Former Births”. Indo-Scythian (Khotanese) text, transl., notes and glossary. TAPA 45:5, 397-508. Philadelphia 1955.
– With others: A Reader in modern Persian. 400 p. N.Y. 1958, rev. ed. 1964.
– “Note on the ‘B’ Manuscript of the Dēnkart”, J. M. Unvala Vol. 1964, 198-268.
– Edited: Denkart. A Pahlavi Text. Facsimile edition of the manuscript B of the K. R. Cama Oriental Inst. Bombay. 833 p. Wb. 1966.
– “Survey of the History of Iranian Studies”, HdO Abt. I:IV, pt. 2/1, Leiden 1968, 168-90; “Middle Iranian”, Current Trends in Linguistics 6, 1970, 26-63; “Sogdian Language and Literature”, Cambridge History of Iran 3:2, 1983, 1216-1229.
– “A Lyrical Poem in Khotanese. Part I. Text”, Festschrift Waldschmidt 1977, 81-103; “Khotanese manuscripts: a provisional list”, Acta Iranica: Varia 1976. 1977, 27-85; other articles and reviews.
Sources: R.N. Frye, St. Iran. 16, 1987, 261-263 (with bibliography); H. Kumamoto, Encyclop. Iranica 7, 1995, 551f.; Dir. Am. Sch. 5th ed. 3, 1969 & 8th ed. 3, 1982; Bio-bibliogr. de 134 savants. 1979, 122-124; Dutch Indology homepage; family relations in geni.com.