BARNETT, Lionel David. Liverpool 21.10.1871 — 28.1.1960. British Indologist. Son of banker Baron B. and Adelaide Cowen. Educated at University College in Liverpool and from 1892 at Trinity College, Cambridge, studying classical languages. B.A. 1896, M.A. 1899, Litt.D. 1900. He began his scholarly career as a classical scholar, but soon changed Greek into Sanskrit. In 1899-1908 Assistant Keeper in Department of Oriental Printed Books, British Museum, 1908-36 Keeper, Oriental Printed Books and Manuscripts. At the same time, in 1906-17 Professor of Sanskrit at University College, London, in 1917-48 Lecturer in Sanskrit at S.O.A.S. After 1948 he was again serving at the Museum, because of a shortage of specialists. In 1936 Fellow of the British Academy, 1937 Companion of the Bath. Married Blanche Berliner, one daughter, one son.
Barnett was a modest and retiring scholar, who wrote, in addition to many other things, more than 4000 quarto pages of British Museum catalogues, also many popular books. Beside Sanskrit he was interested in Sinhalese. Among his dr. students were A. L. Basham, S. K. Chatterji, Hemchandra Ray and B. A. Saletore.
Publications: The Greek Drama. L. 1900; The Eumenides of Aeschylus, edited for the schools. 1901; transl. with others: Plautus, Mostellaria. 1890.
– Edited & transl.: “The Manavulu-Sandesaya”, JRAS 1905, 265-283 (in Sinhalese); “Abhinavagupta, The Paramārthasāra”, JRAS 1910, 707-747 & 1338f.
– Translated: The Bhagavadgītā or the Lord’s Song. 6+211 p. L. 1905; Some Sayings from the Upanishads. 59 p. L. 1905; The Golden Town, and other tales from Soma-deva’s Ocean of romance-rivers. 108 p. L. 1909; The Path of Light. Rendered … from the Bodhicharyāvatāra of Ṥāntideva. 107 p. L. 1909, 2nd ed. 1947; “Mahendravikrama-varman, Mattavilāsa”, BSOS 5, 1930, 697-717; Hitopadeśa, the book of wholesome counsel. Transl. by Francis Johnson, revised and in part re-written with an introd. by L.D.B. 19+201 p. L. 1928.
– Hinduism. 72 p. L. 1906; Brahma-Knowledge. An outline of the Philosophy of the Vedānta. 113 p. L. 1907; The Heart of India. 126 p. L. 1908; Hindu Gods and Heroes. Studies in the history of the religion in India. 120 p. L. 1922.
– The Antagada-dasāo and Aṇuttarovavāiya-dasāo. 180 p. Or. Tr. Fund N.S. 17. L. 1907 (transl., the second with text).
– Antiquities of India. 306 p. L. 1913; Alphabetical Guide to Sinhalese folklore from ballad sources. Suppl. to IA 1916, sep. 1917;
– Articles on the Bhāsa question and the Mattavilāsa: BSOS 1:3, 1919, 35-38; 3:3, 1924, 519-522; JRAS 1919, 233f.; 1921, 587-589; 1925, 99; 1928, 877-890.
– Edited: “Kalyānasaugandhikam of Nīlakaṇṭha”, BSOS 3, 1923, 33-50; “Janakīharaṇa XVI”, BSOS 4, 1926, 285-293.
– Edited & translated with G. A. Grierson: Lalla-vākyāni or the Sayings of Lal Ded. 225 p. As. Soc. Monogr. 17. L. 1920.
– A Supplementary Catalogue of Sanskrit, Pali, and Prakrit Books in … British Museum … 1892–1906. L. 1908; … 1906–1928. L. 1928; with G. U. Pope, A Catalogue of the Tamil Books in … British Museum. L. 1909; A Catalogue of the Kannada Books in … British Museum. L. 1910; A Catalogue of the Telugu Books in … British Museum. L. 1912; A Catalogue of the Burmese Books in … British Museum. L. 1913; A Supplementary Catalogue of the Tamil Books in … British Museum. 1931; with J. F. Blumhardt & J. V. S. Wilkinson: A Second Supplementary Catalogue of Printed Books in Hindi, Bihari, and Pahari in the Library of British Museum. L. 1957; Panjabi Printed Book in the British Museum. A Supplementary Catalogue. 8+121 p. L. 1961.
– A great number of further articles, obituaries, inscription editions, and reviews, especially in JRAS and BSO(A)S, also in EI.
Sources: *A.L. Basham, BSOAS 23, 642-644; A.S. Fulton, JRAS 1960, 200–202; *JOIB 9, 1959-60, 349f.; Bibliography by E.M. White, BSOAS 12:3-4, 1948, 497-532 with photo; family in www.geni.com; Wikipedia.