ROMER, John. Ancroft, co. Durham 1780 — 18??. British Civil Servant in India. Son of Robert R. and Frances Marshall. In 1816/23 he was Government Agent in Surat. Member of the Council in Bombay, acted as Governor of Bombay for a brief period in January to March 1831. In 1830-31 President of the Asiatic Society there. In 1855 in the U.K. Married 1816 Margaret Stewart Anderson, three sons and two daughters.
In the first article Romer follows a trend then already long abandoned in Europe, deriving the Avestan language from Modern Persian and claiming that “its literature is frivolous and absurd in character”. This is clearly connected with the controversy then abroad between missionaries (J. Wilson, who actually read the paper before the Society) and Parsis in Bombay. In the second, he turns to Zoroastrian Pehlevi which he calls an “artificial jargon” completely different from the true Pehlevi of Sasanians and Firdausī (sic). A note reveals that he is frustrated by the frequency of uzvāresh.
Publications: “Brief Notices of Persian, and of the Language Called Zend”, JBRAS 5:1, 1853, 95-108; “Additional Notes Upon the Zend Language”, JRAS 16, 1855, 313-315.
– Zend: Is it an Original Language? 43 p. L. 1855.
Sources: Scanty notes in Internet; birth and family details in https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk.
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