THE International Congress of Orientalists, which is about to be held in London, from the 14th to the 19th of September, promises fairly to become one of the most striking events of the autumn. This philological parliament is the successor and outcome of a similar Congress held last year in Paris, which inaugurated a movement likely to bear good fruit for a long time to come. The idea of holding once during every year a meeting of this nature in a different city originated with M. Gabriel Mortillet, a distinguished French savant, who proposed an annual International Congress of Prehistoric Archaeology. Of these, the first was held at Neuchàtel, in Switzerland, in 1860. At the Brussels Congress of this body, two monarchs, the Kings of Denmark and Sweden, commissioned agents to represent them on the occasion, and their example was followed by the municipal authorities of Bologna. The French Congress of Orientalists of 1873 was mainly due to the exertions of M. Léon de Rosny, who organised its machinery with the co-operation of MM. Madier de Montjau and Zelinsky. The most prominent considerations of this Congress were directed towards the Japanese Empire, history, and language, and a very large and extremely interesting mass of literary and scientific material was accumulated, and is now in course of publication and distribution among the members of that meeting. This collection of essays is all the more important when we consider how few really accurate channels of knowledge concerning that remote country are available to the European student. Although the French Congress was supported by a greater number of members than the approaching London Congress seems at present likely to enrol, nevertheless it was not well attended; for the principal Orientalists who occupy fauteuils in the Institute held aloof from various motives, while on the other hand the savants of Germany, in consequence of the recent war, were, however willing, yet prevented by the French national feeling from making their appearance in the capital city. Yet by far the larger number of the most eminent professors in Germany enrolled their names on the list of the supporters of the Congress.
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The International Congress of Orientalists . Nature 10, 375–376 (1874). https://doi.org/10.1038/010375a0