JOHNSON, Helen Moore

JOHNSON, Helen Moore. Saint Clair, Franklin County, Missouri (?) 14.10.1889 — Osceola, Mo. 26.6.1967. U.S. Indologist, a Specialist of Jainism. Birth place from geni.com, some say she was born in Osceola. Daughter of Thomas Moore J. and Alice Jackson. Studies at University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. (A.B. 1907, M.A. 1908). Then 1908-09 at Tulane University in New Orleans and 1909-10 at Bryn Mawr in Pennsylvania, further studies of Greek and Sanskrit. Ph.D. 1912 University of Wisconsin in Madison. In 1912-13 Assistant and 1913-16 Professor of Foreign Languages at Oklahoma College for Women in Chikasha, Oklahoma. In 1916-18 further studies of Sanskrit under Bloomfield at Johns Hopkins (1917-18 Phi-Beta-Kappa Scholar there). In 1918-19 Reader in Spanish in Postal Censorship, in 1919-20 Professor of Latin and Greek at Oxford College for Women in Oxford, Ohio. In 1920-21 Alice Freeman Palmer Fellow in India. In 1924-36 Johnston Scholar at Johns Hopkins. In 1927-29 Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow in India, where she apparently remained until 1931. Spent the rest of her life as free scholar in Osceola, Montana. Again in India in 1947-49 and 1960-62. Died in an illness in the age of 78. Unmarried.

The life-work of HMJ was the English translation of Hemacandra’s great hagiographical work Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra in six volumes, each over 400 pages. She started the work during her first travel in India and later visited India several times in order to consult pandits and to see her volumes through the press.

Publications: Translated: “Rauhiṇeya’s adventures, the Rauhiṇeyacarita”, Bloomfield Fs. 1920, 159-175; “Rohiṇī-Aśokacandrakathā”, JAOS 68, 1948, 168-175.

– “Notes on the Rauhiṇeyacarita”, AJPh 45, 1924, 73-75; The Story of the Thief Rāuhiṇeya in the Mahāvīracaritra of Hemacandra”, JAOS 44, 1924, 1-10; “Historical references in Hemacandra’s Mahāvīracaritra ”, JAOS 45, 1925, 301-310; “A new account of the Relations between Mahāvīra and Gośāla”, AJPh 47, 1926, 74-82; “Śvetāmbara Jaina Iconography”, IA 1927; “Mūrkhaśataka”, Fs. Winternitz 1933; “Conversion of Vikrama saṁvat dates”, JAOS 58, 1938, 668f.; “A note on Rājagṛha”, IHQ 22, 1946, 228f.; “Gama and Cara”, JAOS 66, 1946, 206f. (games in the Triṣaṣṭiśālākapuruṣacarita); “The Udayana-Vāsavadattā Romance in Hemacandra”, JAOS 66, 1946, 295-298; “Paṭṭabandha and Kirīṭa”, ABORI 27, 1947.

– “The date of Dīvālī”, JAOS 59, 1939, 506-508; “Kanakuśala: Rohinī-Aśokacandrakathā”, JAOS 68, 1948, 168-175; reviews in JAOS..

Translated: Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra or the lives of 63 illustrious persons by Ācārya Hemachandra. 1-6. G.O.S. 51, 77, 108, 125 & 139-140. Baroda 1931-62.

– “Botanical References in Hemachandra”, Univ. of Missouri Studies 1936, 75-93; “The lemon in India”, JAOS 56, 1936, 47-50; “Grains of Mediaeval India”, JAOS 61, 1941, 167-171; “Tamāla and vetra”, JAOS 64, 1944, 224.

Sources: J. P. Thaker, JOIB 16, 1966-67, 400-403; Dir. Am. Sch. 1st ed. 1942, not included in later editions; death noted in JAOS 1970; geni.com; https://www.gf.org/fellows/all-fellows/helen-moore-johnson/ with photo.

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