HANXLEDEN, Johannes Ernst (Arṇṇōsŭ pātiri = Ernst Padre). Osterkappeln bei Osnabrück 1681 — “Pashur” (Pazhur), Kerala 20/21.3.1732. Father. 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.
Hanxleden learned Sanskrit from the Nambudiri Brahmins in Trichur, knew also Syriac and Malayālam. He was the author of an unpublished Sanskrit Grammar, the manuscript of which was kept and occasionally studied in Rome.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 himself, but his manuscripts 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.
– Grammatica Grandonica. The Sanskrit grammar of Johann Ernst Hanxleden S.J. (1681–1732). Ed. by T. Van Hal & C. Vielle. Potsdam 2013.
Sources: Babinger, T. S. Bayer. 1915, 69 Anm.; Dahlmann 18f.; C. Mastrangelo, “History and Pedagogy of Sanskrit Grammar through the works of Western missionaries J.E.H. and Paulinus a Sancro Bartholomaeo”, IT 41-42, 2015-16, 83-98; A. Mathias Mundadan, “An unknown ‘Oriental Scholar’: E.H. (A.P.)”, Indian Church History Review 23, 1989, 39-63, and *“John Ernest Hanxleden (Arnos Pathiri): his contributions to the Sanskrit and Malayalam languages and literatures”, A. Amaladass (ed.), Jesuit presence in Indian History. Anand 1988, 182-204; *Platzweg, Lebensbilder deutscher Jesuiten. 1882, 66f.; *T. Van Hal, À la recherche d’une grammaire perdue. J.E.H.’s Grammatica Grandonica retrieved”, Historiographia Linguistica 37, 2010, 445-457; J. Wicki, S.J. N.D.B. 7, 644f.; Windisch 20; briefly D.B.E. 4, 1966, 379.