PARGITER, Frederick Eden

PARGITER, Frederick Eden. 1852 — 18.2.1927. British Civil Servant and Indologist in India (I.C.S. 1875-1906). Son of a minister, educated at Taunton Grammar School and Oxford, where he studied mathematics, Sanskrit, etc. In 1875 he joined the Bengal Civil Service serving mainly in Eastern Bengal. From 1885 Undersecretary of Bengal Government, from 1887 District and Session Judge. From 1904 Judge of the High Court, Calcutta. Retired in 1906 and settled down in Oxford where he was active in research and in planning of missionary work. In India he was an active member of the A.S.B. and in 1903-05 its President. In England he was active in the R.A.S. and as its secretary in 1924 edited the Centenary Volume. He was married (widowed in 1905), one son (artillery officer) and one daughter.

His scholarly career FEP started as a scholar of the Purāṇas and Indian history. On the one hand he was the first to make some order in the Purāṇic chaos and to show that these texts, after all, may turn out useful. On the other hand his Purāṇa studies led him to adopt some rather queer and speculative ideas about Indian history. He assisted Hoernle in the publication of Central Asian MSS. fragments. In England Fleet led him also to epigraphy, for which he made some notable contributions. He was said to have been no sportsman because of an asthma, but a good gardener.

Publications: Revenue History of the Sunderbans from 1765–1870. 1920; Bengal Municipal Act 1884. 12+509 p. Calcutta 1904.

– “Chittagong-Dialect”, JASB 55:1, 1886?, 66-??.

Transl. Mārkaṇḍeya-Purāṇa. Bibl. Ind. Calcutta 1888-1905.

– “Ancient Cedi, Matsya and Karūṣa”, JASB 64, 1895, 249-258; “Ancient Countries in Eastern Bengal”, JASB 66, 1897, ??-??.

– “The Geography of Rāma’s Exile”, JRAS 1894, 231-264; “The Nations of India at the battle between the Pandavas and the Kauravas”, JRAS 1908, 109-336 & 851-853 (with many rejoinders); “Ancient Indian Genealogies and Chronology”, JRAS 1910, 1-56; “Suggestions regarding Rigveda X, 102”, JRAS 1910, 1328-1334; “Suggestions regarding Rigveda X, 86”, JRAS 1911, 803-809; “Vṛṣākapi and Hanumant”, JRAS 1913, 396-400; “Visvamitra and Vasistha”, JRAS 1913, 885-904 (& 1914, 411f.); “Vasistha, Hariscandra and Sunahsepa”, JRAS 1917, 37-67; “Sagara and the Haihayas, Vasistha and Aurva”, JRAS 1919, 353-367; and other articles.

articles on Kharoṣṭhī epigraphy in IA 1910 and EI 1911-14 and JRAS 1912-14; epigraphy also in JASB N.S. 7, 1911, 475-502.

The Purāṇa Text of the Dynasties of the Kali Age. 34+97 p. L. 1913; Ancient Indian Historical Tradition. 368 p. L. 1922.

Vocabulary of Peculiar Vernacular Bengali Words. 116 p. Calcutta 1923.

Sources: *H.P. Shastri, JASB 24, 1928, clxivf.; F.W. Thomas, JRAS 1927, 409-411; Wikipedia.

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