HOERNLE, Augustus Frederick Rudolf

HOERNLE, Augustus Frederick Rudolf. Sikandra near Agra 19.10.1841 — Oxford 12.11.1918. British (of German origin) Teacher and Indologist in India. Son of the missionary Christian Theophilus H. (1804–1882, translated the Gospels into Urdū), born as British citizen In 1848 he was sent to his grandparents in Germany for education. School in Stuttgart, from 1858 studies at Basel, then Tübingen, and from 1860 in London (under Goldstücker). In 1865 returned to India, worked as Professor of philosophy at Jay Narayan’s College in Benares. In 1873-77 in England, then in 1878-81 Principal of Cathedral Mission College in Calcutta. From 1881 Principal of Calcutta Madrasa in Indian Educational Service. In 1890 visited Europe. In 1899 retired and settled down in Oxford, where he died after a short illness. C.I.E. 1897. Hon. M.A. 1902 Oxford. In India, he was an active member of A.S.B., in 1879-91 its secretary. Married 1877 Sophie Fredericke Louise Romig, at least one son.

AFRH started his scholarly career comparing NIA languages, as a younger contemporary of Beames. He created the two-wave theory of Indi-Aryan migration, soon adopted by Grierson. But he was also a philologist, one of the first to study Central Asian manuscripts. He edited the Bakhshali and the Bower manuscripts and started with Khotan Saka. In the 1890s, eager to achieve new finds, he took earnestly the forgeries of Islam Akhun (the truth was revealed by M. A. Stein in 1901). He was also a pioneer of Āyurvedic philology.

Publications: a great number of articles in JASB, Proc. ASB, IA, JRAS, in addition to linguistics also on numismatics and epigraphy.

– “Essays in aid of a comparative Grammar of the Gaurian Languages”, JASB 1872-74; Comparative Grammar of the Gaudian (Aryo-Indian) Language, with special reference to the eastern Hindi. 40+416 p. L. 1880.

edited in Bibl. Ind.: The Prákṛita Lakshanam or Chanda’s Grammar of the ancient Prakṛit. Calcutta 1880; ed. & transl.: The Prithirāj Rāsau. Cantos 26-34. Calc. 1886; The Uvāsagadasāo. Calc. 1888-90.

with G. A. Grierson: A comparative dictionary of the Bihari language. 1885-89.

– “On a birch bark MS. found at Bakhshálí in the Yusufzai District”, PrASB 1882, 108-113; “The Bakhshali Manuscript”, OC 7 (Wien 1886), 1888, 127-147 & IA 17, 1888, 33-48, 275-279; “A Note on the Date of the Bower Manuscript”, IA 21, 1892, 29-45; “Another Instalment of the Bower Manuscript”, ibid. 129-145; “A Third Instalment…”, ibid. 349-369; further articles about both MSS.

The Uvasagadasao, or, the religious profession of an Uvasaga, expounded in ten lectures, being the seventh Anga of the Jains. Translated from the original Prakrit with copious notes. 171+92 p. B.I. 105. Calcutta 1890.

– “Two Pattavalis of the Sarasvati-Gachchha of the Digambara Jains”, IA 20, 1891, 341-361 (ed., transl., notes); “Three Further Pattavalis of the Digambara Jains”, IA 21, 1892, 57-84.

The Bower Manuscript. Facsimile Leaves, Nagari transcript, romanized transliteration and English with notes. 1-3. 98+401 p. 54 pl. 31 fig. A.S.I. New Imp. Series 22. Calcutta 1893-1912; The Bower Manuscript. Rev. tr. of Parts 1-3. A.S.I. New Imp. Ser. 23. Calcutta 1909 transl. Suśrutasaṁhitā or the Hindu system of Medecine accotding to Suśruta. 1. 98 p. B.I. 139. Calcutta 1897.

A Collection of Antiquities from Central Asia. 1-2. 32+110+55+31 p. 19+13 pl. JASB 68:1, Extra-No. 1 & 72:1, Extra-No. 1. Calcutta 1899-1902 (the forgeries).

– “An epigraphical Note on Palm-leaf, Paper and Birch-bark”, JASB 69:1, 1900, 93-134; “Some problems of ancient Indian history 1-4”, JRAS 1903-09.

with H. A. Stark: A History of India. Cuttack 1904.

– “Studies in Ancient Indian Medicine”, 1-5, JRAS 1906-09; Archiv für Geschichte der Medizin 1907; Studies in the Medicine of Ancient India: Osteology or the bones of human body. 252 p. Oxford 1907.

edited & transl.: Manuscript remains of Buddhist Literature from Eastern Turkestan. 1916, and many articles on the same.

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; Grierson, JRAS 1919, 114-124 with bibliography; *F.E. Pargiter, “Dr. Hoernle’s manuscript papers”, JRAS 1923, 551-558; briefly D.B.E. 5, 1997, 103; Wikipedia; an unpublished photo was presented to me by W. Rau in 1991.


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