Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jones, William (1746–1794)
Sir William Jones was a British polymath whose scholarly research and vision were critical to both modern linguistics and Indology. In his founding of the Asiatic Society in Calcutta in 1784 and the journal Asiatic Researches , Jones set forth a broad, interdisciplinary program of research in Indian languages, religions, history, law, natural history, medicine, and botany that represent anthropology at its finest, and that deeply challenged colonial attitudes of the times. Jones received a classical education in England, which he supplemented with studies of Arabic and Persian. In his early 20s, he became known for his translations from Persian poets and his grammar of Persian. He did not inherit wealth, so he supported himself as a tutor to the son of the Spencer family, and then studied law. His plan was to obtain a position as a judge in India where he could both conduct scholarly work and save ...