The Presidential Addresses of Sir William Jones: The Asiatick Society of Bengal and the ISCSC

Diogenes 55 (2):103 - 115 (2008)
The Asiatick Society of Bengal, founded by Sir William Jones in Calcutta in 1784, blazed the trails and mapped them for subsequent travellers in the discipline now called the comparative study of civilizations. This paper analyzes Jones' Presidential addresses to show how the founding of the Asiatick Society reflected and at the same time influenced a new conception of human history, whose cultural and political manifestations had to encompass much more than the Greco-Roman and Judaeo- Christian world. This essay brings Jones' works to our attention and should make us more aware of the importance of his work for the comparative study of civilizations and cultures
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