Damodar Dharmananda Kosambi

Indian mathematician (*1907 - †1966)

Damodar Dharmananda Kosambi (31 July 1907 – 29 June 1966) was an Indian polymath with interests in mathematics, statistics, philology, history, and genetics. He contributed to genetics by introducing the Kosambi map function. In statistics, he was the first person to develop orthogonal infinite series expressions for stochastic processes via the Kosambi–Karhunen–Loève theorem. He is also well known for his work in numismatics and for compiling critical editions of ancient Sanskrit texts. His father, Dharmananda Damodar Kosambi, had studied ancient Indian texts with a particular emphasis on Buddhism and its literature in the Pali language. Damodar Kosambi emulated him by developing a keen interest in his country's ancient history. He was also a Marxist historian specialising in ancient India who employed the historical materialist approach in his work. He is particularly known for his classic work An Introduction to the Study of Indian History.

Damodar Dharmananda Kosambi

He is described as "the patriarch of the Marxist school of Indian historiography". Kosambi was critical of the policies of then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, which, according to him, promoted capitalism in the guise of democratic socialism. He was an enthusiast of the Chinese revolution and its ideals, and, in addition, a leading activist in the World Peace Movement.


  • Archaeologically, this period is still blank… There is no special Aryan pottery… no particular Aryan or Indo-Aryan technique is to be identified by the archaeologists even at the close of the second millennium.
    • About the Aryan invasions. The Culture and Civilization of Ancient India in Historical Outline by D.D. Kosambi, Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd, Delhi-Bombay-Bangalore-Kanpur, 1975 (first printed 1970). Quoted in Talageri, S. (2000). The Rigveda: A historical analysis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.

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