Correspondence between H. H. Wilson and Hammer-Purgstall: Scholars of Two Empires


  • M. Ikram Chaghatai


The article aims at providing letters shared between two scholars representing their own British and Austro-Hungarian empires. They contributed to promote the orientalism in the first half of the nineteenth century. Horace Hayman Wilson was the greatest Sanskrit scholar of his time, combining a variety of attainments as general linguist, historian, chemist, accountant, numismatist, actor and musician. Hammer-Purgstall was also reputed as the first European Iranist who translated for the first time the complete Diwan-i Hafiz in German. The translation was a major source of inspiration of Goethe’s West-ostlicher that was responded by Allama Iqbal in the form his Persian collection of poetry Payam-i Mashriq. Despite the differences, there was one such domain where the empires were very close with each other and that was a vast range of scholarship in which eminent scientists, orientalist and Indologists maintained the close relationship and exchanged the information about their works.

Keyword: British empire, Austro-Hungarian empire, exchange of scholarship


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