BASHAM, Arthur Llewellyn. Loughton, Essex 24.5.1914 — Calcutta 27.1. 1986. British Indologist in Australia. Professor in London and Canberra. Son of a journalist, Abraham Arthur Edward B., who had also served in Indian army, and Maria Jane Thompson, educated at Gorleston School. Began his career as a leftist poet in London, became soon interested in Indology, and studied it from 1938 at S.O.A.S. in London (M.A. 1941, Ph.D. 1951). During the war worked in the Civil Defence Department. Wrote his dissertation under the guidance of —> Barnett. From 1948 Lecturer in the History of India, 1953 Reader, and from 1957 Professor in the History of South Asia at the S.O.A.S. From 1965 Professor and Head of the new Department of Asian Civilisations at Australian National University in Canberra. Retired in 1979. D.Litt. 1965 Kurukshetra University, D.Litt. 19?? London. Several times visiting Professor at universities in South Asia, North and South America. Shortly before his death appointed to the Swami Vivekananda Professorship in Oriental Studies at Calcutta, but died before. Married.
ALB was a prominent scholar of ancient Indian history and especially of cultural history. In 1960 he convened the famous conference on the date of Kaniṣka in London. Among his students were Maity, Trautman and Zysk.
Publications: diss. publ. as The History and Doctrines of the Ājīvikas. 304 p. L. 1951; sel. & tr. Sources of Indian Tradition. N.Y. 1958; articles.
– The Wonder That Was India. L. 1954, 2nd ed. 1963, 3rd rev. ed. 605 p. L. 1969, transl. into French, Polish, Russian (M. 1977), Tamil, Sinhalese, and Hindi.
– ed. Papers on the Date of Kaniṣka. 478 p. Ld. 1968; Civilizations of Monsoon Asia. Sidney 1974; A Cultural History of India. 605 p. L. 1975.
– The origins and development of classical Hinduism. Ed. by K. G. Zysk. 159 p. Delhi 1990.
Sources: *K. Ballhatchet, BSOAS 49, 1986, 561f.; *Neelambar Hutti, AO 47, 1986, 63-65; *A.H. Johns, JASB 38:3, 1986, 81-85, with photo; *I. Puskas, AOHu 41, 1987, 129-13?; F. Wilhelm, ZDMG 138, 1988, 17-23 (with photo); K. Zysk, JAOS 106, 1986, 411f.; Wikipedia (with two photos).
*S. N. Mukherjee(ed.), India. History and Thought. Essays in Honour of A.L.B. Calcutta 1982; *Studies in Orientalogy. Essays in Memory of Prof. A.L.B. Agra 1988; *S. K. Maity, Professor A.L. Basham, My Guruji and Problems and Perspectives of Ancient Indian History and Culture. 1997.