WILLMAN-GRABOWSKA, Helena

WILLMAN-GRABOWSKA, Helena Antonina Maria. Warsaw 4.1.1870 — Cracow 31.10.1957. Polish Indologist. Professor in Krakow. Daughter of Józef Grabowski and Elżbieta Lipińska. After school in Warsaw she became a schoolteacher in 1887 (when 17). Soon active in anti-Russian movement. Women were then not allowed to the university, but she studied privately under Baudouin de Courtenay and followed his advice to go to the West. From 1909 studied French and German literature at Bern and Lausanne, then from 1911 in Paris, now Indology under Lévi, Foucher, Finot, and Meillet. From 1921 Chargée de conferences at E.P.H.E., teaching Sanskrit and Pāli during the seven years of Finot’s absence in Hanoi. In 1927 she returned to Poland and was soon given the chair of Sanskrit at Cracow (after a vacancy from 1916), first as Associate, full Professor only 1937 (she was the first female Professor in university’s history). Dr. ès lettres 1928. In 1936-37 travelled in India and Sri Lanka. From 1939 during the occupation she was hiding in coutryside, but fortunately had part of her books there. She studied Old Persian and Dravidian and taught at nights Polish literature to the young of the village. After the war she returned to Cracow, but was forced to retire in 1948 without pension (finally given to her in 1951). In 1957 she was again given permission to teach, but died of a heart attack before starting. In 1900 married Cesław Aleksy Willman (d. 1922), but separated in 1905, a daughter and a son (died early).

Willman-Grabowska was mainly a Vedic scholar. Among her students were Sternbach, Pobożniak, Lączak, and Skurzak.

Publications: Diss. Le locatif dans le Rigveda. P. 1928; diss. 2. part 1. of Les composés nominaux dans le Çatapathabrāhmaṇa. 1. 22+134, p. Mém. de la Commission Orientale de l’Academie Polonaise des Sciences et Lettres 10 & 12. Cracovie 1927-28.

With P. Masson-Oursel & Ph. Stern: L’Inde antique et la civilisation indienne. 32+493 p. Bibl. historique 26. P. 1933 (ch. “Littérature sanscrite” by HW-G), English tr. Ancient India and Indian Civilisation. Transl. by M. R. Dobie. 435 p. L. 1934.

– “Les noms de personnes dans le Çatapatha Brāhmaṇa”, Mélanges Vendryes 1925, 373-390; “Examen des composés nominaux dans les inscriptions d’Aśoka”, RO 3, 1925 (1927), 68-106; “Les répétitions du Śatapatha-Brāhmaṇa”, RO 6, 1928 (1929), 170-190; “Génitif en vieil Indien”, BSOS 1937; “Le catégorie du genre dans les langues dravidiennes”, Biuletyn PTJ 11, 1952, 162-170.

– “L’idée de l’ātman du Rig-Veda aux Brāhmaṇa”, RO 7, 1929-30 (1931), 10-25; “Evolution sémantique du mot ‘dharma’”, RO 10, 1934, 38-50; “La notion de temps dans les Brāhmaṇas”, Atti del XIX Congresso intern. degli orientalisti, Roma 1935. Rome 1938, 324-330.

– “Le chien dans l’Avesta et dans les Védas”, RO 8, 1931-32, 30-67; “Un vieux thème de fiançailles dans la littérature indienne et grecque”, Bulletin international de l’Academie polonaise des sciences et lettres, classe de philologie, classe d’histoire et de philosophie, Année 1934, 216–229; “Les nāgas dans l’Arthaśāstra de Kauṭilya”, RO 11, 1935 (1936), 193-205; “Sarasvatī-Anāhita et autres déesses. Étude de mythologie indo-iranienne”, RO 17, 1953, 250-272.

Translated in Polish: Dwadzieścia pięć opowieści wampira. 130+239 p. Wrocław 1955; “Fragmenty z Mahābhārata”, RO 21, 1957, 459-490; O cnocie i necnocie niewieściej (fragmenty Kathasaritsagary). 1960.

A book on Kālidāsa in Polish; articles in Polish.

In the 1920s wrote textbooks of Polish in French.

Sources: R. Lardinois, D.O.L.F. 979f.; H. Marlewicz in http://www.academia.edu/36718109/Helena_Willman-Grabowska with photo and references to Polish sources; *T. Pobożniak, Przegląd Orientalistyczny 1958:2, 139-144 with photo; L. Sternbach, JA 246, 1958, 95f.; photo in L. Sudyka, Orientalia Commemorativa. Kraków 2011.

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