SIMONSSON, Nils. Offerdal, Jämtland 12.11.1920 — Uppsala 22.5.1994. Swedish Indologist. Professor in Oslo and Uppsala. Son of a farmer, Simon S., and Helena Olofsson. Educated in Offerdal and Östersund. From 1941 studies at Uppsala under H. Smith, passed fil.kand. 1945 and fil.lic 1951. In 1949 further studies in Paris under Renou and Lalou, in 1952-53 taught Sanskrit at Copenhagen, then studied in Oslo under Morgenstierne. Ph.D. 1957 Uppsala. In 1957-63 Docent i Saskrit med jämförande indoeur. språkforskning at Uppsala. In 1963–75 Morgenstierne’s successor as Professor of Indian languages and literature at Oslo, in 1976–85 Wikander’s successor as Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative IE Linguistics at Uppsala. Married in 1944 with Ingeborg Morgenstern, one son. Last years severely ill.
NS was very much appreciated by his students because of his deep learning and his diss. is in any case a classic of scholarship, but after that he published very little. His main field was always the transmission of ideas through translation. In his later years he also worked on concepts of logical methods and grammatical tradition in India. Also knew Tamil. He was much appreciated as teacher, among his students were Gren-Eklund and Kahrs.
Publications: Indo-Tibetische Studien. Die Methoden der tibetischen Übersetzer, untersucht im Hinblick auf die Bedeutung ihrer Übersetzungen für die Sanskritphilologie. 1. 291 p. Uppsala 1957.
– Indisk filosofi. Sânkhya. Inledning och översättning. 1955 (Swedish translation of the Sāṁkhyakārikā with Māṭharavṛtti).
– articles on Sanskrit, Tibetan, their relation, Indian philosophy, etc., reviews, translations, encyclopaedia articles etc.
– “Audumbarāyaṇa’s Theory of Sound”, Or.Suec. 10, 1961, 22-30; “Some philological problems in Indian musicological literature”, AO 37, 1976, 127-163 (on Nijenhuis, Dattilam).
Sources: G. Gren-Eklund, AO 56, 1995, 25-27; E. Kahrs (ed.): Kalyanamitraraganam. Essays in honour of Nils Simonsson. 325 p. Oslo 1986, with bibliography; Uppsala Univ. Matrikel 1951–60; Vem är det? 1995; Swedish Wikipedia.