GALANOS, Demetrios (Δημήτριος Γαλανός)

GALANOS, Demetrios (Δημήτριος Γαλανός). Athens 1760 — Varanasi 1833. Greek Indologist in India. Son of an Athenian wealthy family, educated in Athens, Patmos and Constantinople, where his uncle had a high ecclesiatic position. Himself rejected a priestly career. In 1786 came to India to work as a tutor in a Greek merchant family living in Calcutta, learned there English, Sanskrit and Persian. With his savings settled down in Benares adopting the Indian way of life. Without knowing the beginnings of Indology in Europe started translating Sanskrit classics in Greek. He was not capable of publishing anything, but in his will left his books, papers and a sum of money to the non-existing Academy of Athens. Through a happy decision this inheritance was given to the new university of Athens (founded in 1836).

DG was enthusiast with the news of Greek independence and hoped that his philological work could somehow be of use in rebuilding Greek civilization. In 1823 he therefore sent a translation to Greek National Assembly, but his messenger, —> N. Kephala kept it for himself and published it under his own name. From his literary remains —> Georgios K. Typaldos edited seven volumes (the first three published by G. Apostolides Kosmetos) of translations from Sanskrit into a solemn, byzantinizing early modern Greek. In addition, his literary remains contained an unfinished translation of the Bhāgavatapurāṇa and preliminary work for a Sanskrit dictionary (discussed by Weber in MbBeAW 1876, 801ff.). In Greece the publication of his translations was hardly noted, but as their language was near enough to classical Greek to be understood by European Indologists, who then all had classical education, they were soon noted by them. While Lassen and Kosegarten remained cool, others like Benfey, Hoefer, Nesselmann and Weber lauded his work.

Publications: Greek translation published by N. Kephala with an Italian rendering and without mentioning DG: Σύνοψις Γνωμῶν Ἠθικῶν τοῦ Ἰνδοῦ φιλο­σόφου Σανακέα… Sommario di sentenze morali del filosofo Indiano Sanakea… 49 p. Rome 1825; French transl. Sentences morales du philosophe indien Sanakea mises en français par Bezout. 1826 (full titles in Gildemeister, Galanos’ Sanskrit text of the Laghucāṇakya ed. by Teza in 1879).

translated in Greek, edited by Typaldos: 1. Ἰνδικῶν μεταφράσεων πρόδρομος, περιέχων Βατριχαρῆ βασίλεως ἠθολογίας, γνωμολογίας καὶ ἀλληγορίας· τοῦ αὐτοῦ ὑποθήκας ἢ περὶ ματαιότητος τῶ τοῦ κόσ­μου: συλλογὴν πολιτικῶν οἰκονομικῶν καὶ ἠθικῶν ἐκδιαφόρων ποιητῶν Σανακέα σύν­οψιν γνωμικῶν καὶ ἠθικῶν· καὶ Σαγαννάθα Πανδιταράζα ἀλληγορικὰ παρα­δειγ­μα­τικὰ καὶ ὁμοιωματικὰ. 49+155 p. Athens 1845 (Bhartṛhari: Nīti- & Vairāgyaśataka; Laghucāṇakya; Bhāminīvilāsa); 2. Βαλαβαράτα ἢ συντομή τῆς Μαχαβαράτας, ποιηθεῖσα ὑπὸ τοῦ Ἀμάρα ἢ Ἀμαρα­σάνδρα, μαθητοῦ τοῦ σοφοῦ Ζηναδάτα. 65+367 p. Athens 1847 (Amaracandra’s Bālabhārata); 3. Γιτά, ἢ θεσπέσιον μέλος. A. 1848 (Bhagavadgītā); 4. Ῥαγγοῦ-Βάνσα ἢ, Γενεαλογία τοῦ Ῥαγγοῦ. 275 p. A. 1850 (Raghuvaṁśa); 5. Ἰτιχασα­σαμουτσαΐα τούτ’ ἒστιν Ἀρχαιολογίας συλλογή, ἢ περί διαλόγων τε καί μύθων φιλοσοφικῶν, νομίμων τε καὶ ἐθίμων Ἰνδικῶν συλλεχθέντων κατ’ ἐκλογὴν ἐκ τῆς Μαχαβαράτας. 136+288 p. A. 1851 (Itihāsasamuccaya); 6. Χιτοπαδάσσα ἢ Πάντσα Τάντρα (Πεντάτευχος), συγγραφεῖσα ὑπὸ τοῦ σοφοῦ Βισνου­σαρμᾶνος, καὶ ψιττακοῦ μυθολογίαι νυκτεριναί. A. 1851 (Pañcatantra and Śukasaptati, both incomplete, Pt. reedited with Sanskrit text by Hertel, WZKM 19, 1905, 62ff.); 7. Δουργα. 39+67 p. A. 1853 (Devīmāhātmya).

of no. 6 the Śukasaptati part was also publ. as an appendix to Typaldos’ edition of the Στεφανίτης καὶ Ἰχνηλάτης. Athens 1851.

Sources: M. Burgi.-Kyriazi, Démétrios Galanos. Enigme de la Renaissance orientale. 160 p. P. 1984; *J. Hertel, “Die Bühler-Mss. der Pañcatantra”, WZKM 19, 1905, 62-76; *A. Hoefer, “Wie umschreibt der Grieche Galanos das Sanskrit”, ZWissSpr 2, 1847; J. Irmscher, “D.G. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Indologie in Griechenland und Deutschland”, WZBerlin 25, 1976, 293-295; *J. Irmscher, Revue ét. sud-est européennes 10, 1972, 669f.; *S.A. Schulz, “D.G. (1760–1833): A Greek Indologist”, JAOS 89, 1969, 339-3??; *A. Weber, “Über ein synonymisches Sanskrit-Glossar aus der Nachlass der D.G.”, MbBeAW 1876, 802-823; Windisch 50-52; *Wikipedia with portrait (Greek version with more details).


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