BENTLEY, John. 1756? — Calcutta 4.3.1823 (when 67). British Mathematician and Astronomer. Spent long time in India. While severely criticizing the supposed high antiquity of Indian astronomy, he took himself the other extreme, dating e.g. Varāhamihira around 1000 A.D. His reasons were partly religious as high dates were not in accordance with the traditional Old Testament chronology. Especially he quarreled with Colebrooke.
Publications: “Remarks on the principal Æras and Dates of the ancient Hindus”, As. Res. 5, 1798, R. 1799, 315-343; “On the Antiquity of the Súrya Siddhánta, and the formation of the Astronomical Cycles therein contained”, As. Res. 6, 1800, 537-588; “On the Hindu Systems of Astronomy, and their connections with History in ancient and modern times”, As. Res. 8, 1805, repr. 1808, 195-244.
– A historical view of the Hindu astronomy from the earliest dawn of that science in India to the present time. 320 p. L. 1825 (first Calcutta 1823).
Sources: Brief note in Buckland, Dictionary; not in the Br. Biogr. Archives.
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