JONES, John James. Newquay, Cardiganshire 12.3.1892 — Aberystwyth? 20.2.1957. British (Welsh) Indologist. Son of a saddler. Studies of Classics at University College of Wales in Aberystwyth 1911-14 (M.A.). Worked nine years as school-teacher in Stockton-on-Tees, Whitchurch (Salop) and Gloucester, from 1926 Assistant Keeper, 1928 Deputy-Keeper at Department of Printed Books at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, from 1950 Keeper and Head of the same Department. Died little before retirement.
Although the translator remained almost unknown, his Mahāvastu is highly important, even if not faultless (he did it just before Edgerton’s work on BHS was published). Beside Sanskrit, classic, Romance and Germanic languages he was also familiar with Celtic, Slavonic, Semitic, Persian, Chinese and Japanese. A detailed bibliography of Celtology remained unfinished.
Publications: M.A. thesis: The native Italian element in early Roman religion. MS.
– two articles on Buddhism in Welsh, 1941 & 1946.
– Translated: Mahāvastu. 3 Vols. S.B.B. 16, 18-19. L. 1949-56.
Sources: Obituary by Thomas Parry, Cylchgrawn Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / National Library of Wales Journal 10, 1957 in welshjournals.llgc.org.uk; J.N. Silk, “Keeping up with Joneses”, ARIRIAB 17, 2014, 427-442.