Obituary | Published:

Dr. Eugen Hultzsch

Nature volume 119, page 286 (19 February 1927) | Download Citation



BY the death at Halle on Jan. 16, in his seven1 tieth year, of Eugen Hultzsch, the study of Indian epigraphy loses one of its most ardent and painstaking followers. Born in Dresden, he was educated at Leipzig and Bonn, studying under Aufrecht, the famous Sanskritist. From 1882 until 1886 he was assistant professor of Sanskrit at Vienna. He was then appointed epigraphist to the Indian Government, remaining in the Service until 1903, when he retired and accepted the chair of Sanskrit at Halle. This he held until his retirement some time after the War. During the greater part of his service in India, Hultzsch edited Epigraphia Indica, to which he contributed many valuable articles. His own researches were very largely devoted to the inscriptions of the Presidency of Madras. His “South Indian Inscriptions,” published between 1890 and 1893, gave in three volumes critical texts and translations of between three and four hundred inscriptions, mostly from the Tamil country. His reports on Sanskrit manuscripts in southern India were published in three massive parts between 1893 and 1905. His reputation as a scholar, however, will rest mainly on his edition of the edicts of Asoka-a subject on which he was the acknowledged authority. The publication of this standard work was delayed by the War, but it has recently been issued by the Indian Government on behalf of the Archeeological Survey. In it the whole of the previous literature of the subject is critically examined, and each text is given in the original with an English translation. Hultzsch was a contributor to the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society and to that Society's prize publications, as well as to other orientalist periodicals, while in recent years he took a prominent part in the work of the German Oriental Society. Orientalists in Britain are particularly indebted to him for, first, the valuable collection of Sanskrit and other manuscripts made during his stay in India which is now in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and, secondly, for his exertions in securing the return to the India Office and the Royal Asiatic Society of the valuable manuscripts and books on loan at the Leipzig exhibition when the War broke out.

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