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A Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Monier Monier-Williams (Author)
Synopsis The present work, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary of Sir Monier Monier-Williams is a milestone in the history of Sanskrit scholarship in general and of the Sanskrit lexicography in particular. This dictionary had only two predecessors. Indian kosa-s, all written in Sanskrit, were but thesauri of synonyms and antonyms, the concept of arranging words in alphabetical order being conspicuously absent. The first Sanskrit dictionary with western system of alphabetical order was the Sanskrit-English Dictionary compiled by Professor Horace Hayman Wilson and published in 1813. Two Indian works, viz. the Sabdakalpadruma, Dev and the Vacaspatya compiled by Pandit Taranatha Tarkavacaspati, followed suit. But the real predecessor of Monier Monier-Williams was the Sanskrit-German Dictionary, Sanskrit-Worterbuch, compiled by Otto Bohtlingk and Rudolph Roth, published from St. Petersburg, in twenty-four years, 1852-1875. Though Monier-Williams acknowledged his indebtedness to the Sanskrit-Worterbuch, he worked for his dictionary on a plan of his own. It contained several features which had not been found in the Worterbuch. One can have an idea of those features from the subtitle of the dictionary, ‘etymologically and philologically arranged, with special reference to cognate Indo-European languages.’ The first edition of the Dictionary was published in 1872 and the author, as soon as he became aware of the likelihood of his volume becoming out of print, set about preparations for a new, improved and enlarged edition. He revised his original work in view of the criticisms which the first since the publication of the first edition. The second edition contains words and derivatives culled from more than four hundred Sanskrit text. The author, while recording different shades of meaning of the words, has taken the meanings given by Indian lexicographers Kosa-karas and also the contents of actual places of occurrence in the texts into consideration. The developments of meanings have been shown in chronological order. T he author has also utilized the results of the research in Comparative Philology as available in his time. It is unfortunate that the author did not survive to see the publication of the revised edition of his dictionary which was published posthumously, after a few weeks of his death of 1899. The Dictionary is still useful to the researchers and students of Sanskrit.
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About the author

Monier Monier-Williams

Sir M. Monier Williams, the Sanskrit Lexicographer and Indologist of international repute was born at Bombay in 1819. He was LL.D. of Calcutta, a D.C.L. of Oxford and Ph.D. of Gottingen. He was a pupil of the illustrious Prof. H.H.Wilson and was awarded the Boden Scholarship in 1843. In 1844 he was appointed the professor of Sanskrit, Bengali and Telugu at the East India Company's College at Haileybury, was elected the Boden Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford, in 1860, a post which he held till his death in 1899. During his tenure, he was able to set up the Indian Institute at Oxford in 1896 and also undertook three journeys to India in 1875, 1876 and 1883. His collection of Oriental Mss. and books numbering about 3000 was presented by him to the Institute. He died at Cannes in April 1899. Among the prominent Sanskrit texts and works edited and written by him are Kalidasa's Vikramorvasi, Sakuntala and The Story of Nala. Besides his famous Sanskrit-English Dictionary, English Sanskrit Grammar, A Sanskrit Manual, Indian Epic Poetry, An Easy Introduction to the Study of Hindustani, Practical Hindustani Grammar, Oriental Papers Illustrating the History of the Application of the Roman Alphabet to the Languages of India, The Study of Sanskrit in Relation to Missionary work in India, Indian Wisdom, Hinduism, Modern India and the Indians and Buddhism are some of his important publications.

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Bibliographic information

Title A Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8188934267
length xxxiv+1333p., 31cm.