HANXLEDEN, Johannes Ernst

HANXLEDEN, Johannes Ernst (Arnos Pathiri = Ernst Padre). Osterkappeln bei Osnabrück 1681 — “Pashur” (= Palayur, or Pazhur?), Kerala 20/21.3.1732. S.J. German Missionary and Precursor of Indology. At early age in 1699 he joined S.J. in Augsburg and left to India with two fathers, who both died during the journey. The route: Germany–Italy–Turkey–Syria–Armenia–Persia, and from Bandar Abbas with ship to Surat and to Goa, arriving in January 1701. After completing his novitiate in Goa he was sent to Kerala, where he worked 30 years, until his death, at last as principal of a college for priests in Kerala. Studied theology at Ampazhakad in Kerala and was ordained there as priest. Worked many years in Palur (Pazhur) and Velur, both near Trichur.

Learnt Sanskrit from the Brahmans of Trichur, knew also Syriac and Malayālam. He was the author of an unpublished Sanskrit Grammar, the MS. of which was kept and occasionally studied in Rome. Also wrote on Malayālam, and compiled a Sanskrit dictionary. In this he was assisted by his missionary colleague Pimentel, whom he in turn helped in his Tamil dictionary. Never published anything, but his MSS. were much used by —> Paulinus a S. Bartholomaeo, who also acknowledged his debt and gave information obtained from his still living disciples.

Publications: Manuscripts only, on Sanskrit: Dictionarium Malabaricum Samscrdamicum–Lusitanicum; Grammatica grandonica sive Samscrdamica.

on Malayālam: Dictionarium Lusitano–Malabaricum. (Borg. 767) and Malabarico-Lusitanum (completed by Pimentel, below); Grammatica Malabarico–Lusitana (in Portuguese, also quoted as Arte Malavar).

religious poems and hymns in Malayālam, which are still reprinted in Kerala, listed by Wicki, reputedly also wrote in Sanskrit.

S. Guptan Nayar (ed.): Vocabularium Malabarico-Lusitanum: Malayalam–Portuguese Nikhantu. Trichur 1988.

Sources: Babinger, T. S. Bayer. 1915, 69 Anm.; Dahlmann 18f.; A. Mathias Mundadan, “An unknown ‘Oriental Scholar’: E.H. (A.P.)”, Indian Church History Review 23, 1989, 39-63; *Platzweg, Lebensbilder deutscher Jesuiten. 1882, 66f.; J. Wicki, S.J. N.D.B. 7, 644f.; Windisch 20; briefly D.B.E. 4, 1966, 379.

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