ESTELLER Y MELIÀ, Adolfo. Alcanar (Montsià) near Valencia 10.1.1899 — 18.3.1984. S.J. Spanish Indologist in India. Professor in Bombay. Son of estate manager Hermengildo E. and Elisa Melia. Joined the S.J. 1914. Educated in Castellon and Zaragoza, then studies of philosophy at Pontificia Universitá Gregoriana in Rome (Ph.D. there 1921). Destined to India to succeed German missionaries (expelled by the British during the war) he learned English in Blackburn in 1920-21. Then to Bombay, where he was teacher trainee at St.Mary’s and St.Xavier’s High Schools. Learned Sanskrit from Zimmermann. Back in Europe studied eight terms theology at Ignatius College in Valkenburg, Netherlands, until 1929. Then studied Indology, Iranian and especially IE linguistics at Berlin University under Lüders, Markwart and Schulze. Ph.D. 1937 Berlin. In 1937-64 he taught Sanskrit at St. Xavier’s College of Bombay University, as Professor and director of Sanskrit department. In 1956-63 also Director of Heras Institute of Indian History and Culture. Vice-President of K. R. Cama Oriental Institute.
In his later years Estelle was mainly a Rigvedic scholar, who tried to reconstruct the earliest text form from metrics, accent, lexical archaisms and parallel passages. Unfortunately the results were rather questionable (see M. A. Mehendale, “The Ṛgveda-Saṁhitākāra and Father Esteller”, BDCRI 35, 1975, 97-116).
Publications: Diss. extract of 85 p. of the work Die älteste Rezension des ‘Mahānāṭakam’. Beiträge zur Geschichte des indischen Bühnen- und Schattenspiels und der Rāmasage. 260 p. A.K.M. 21:7. Bonn 1937.
– “The proper text critical approach to the Rgveda – the rhytmical-oral-auricular method”, Indica 1, 1953, 103-131; “Samskṛt kava – and related words”, Taraporewala Mem. Vol. = IL 17, 1955-56 (1957), 29-38; “El palimpsesto del Rgveda sánscrito”, Bol. As. Esp. Or. 1965, 9-34; and other articles on the Rgveda in Bol. As. Esp. Or. 10, 1974, 167-200 & 13, 1977, 87-103, NIA 4, 1967, 1-23, ABORI 48-49, 1968, 1-16, 50, 1969, 1-40, 51, 1970, 59-76 & 55, 1974, 23-72, J. Univ. Bombay 43, 1974, IT 7, 1979, 225-238, etc.
Sources: F. M. Pareja, Bol. As. Esp. Or. 16, 1980, 9f. with photo; J. Dave, JOIB 33, 1984, 373f.; Barnadas, Gran enciclopedia catalana; vita in diss.
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