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Third-party-funded project

Otto von Böhtlingk: Letters on the Petersburg Dictionary. Sources and Studies of a large-scale 19th century Indological Project

Project management at the University of Würzburg:

Participating scientists:

This research project studies one of the most significant ventures of 19th century European Indology : The most comprehensive Sanskrit and German dictionary, published between 1855 and 1875. It was conceived and initiated by Otto von Böhtlingk, member of the Petersburg Academy of Sciences and financed by the Academy. Böhtlingk invited numerous scholars, mainly Europeans, to collaborate with him, most importantly his co-editor Rudolf von Roth at Tübingen (1821-1895), one of the leading Sanskritists and Vedic scholar of his time, as well as Albrecht Weber at Berlin.

Taking almost 500 letters, written by Böhtlingk to Roth, between 1852 and 1885, as our starting point and major source, we want to analyse the methods organisation principals and structures of communication that made the dictionary a success

The sources contain comments on other scholars and contemporary matters that help to study the formation of rival indological schools and the attitudes towards other projects.
They permit a look into 19th century scholarly workshops and throw new light on the published results. On a longer scale, they permit to analyse an important aspect of the constitution of the dominant historic-philological discourse in 19th century Europe.

Key words:

Projekt period: since 03.2007

Funding institution:
DFG ,Granting date: 10.11.2006