Hermann Jacobi

German indologist (1850-1937)

Hermann Georg Jacobi (11 February 1850 – 19 October 1937) was an eminent German Indologist.

Quotes edit

  • Without weighty grounds, we must not push aside unanimous Indian tradition; else one practises scepticism, not criticism.
    • Quoted in R.P. Kangle, The Kautiliya Arthasastra, Part III - A Study; 1965, University of Bombay.
  • It is easy to see that this estimate [i.e., two hundred years] is far below the minimum of the possible period, during which in India a department of literature could take its rise, reach perfection, become obsolete and die out, to give place finally to a thoroughly new departure. For a Brahmana, for example, could only be widely spread by being learned by heart by a gradually extending circle of Brahmanas, and with the size of the country this would certainly demand a long time. Every man, who learned such a work, became, so to say, a copy of it. ... But several of such works must successively take the place of their predecessors, before the entire class of works in question becomes obsolete. I maintain that a minimum of a thousand years must rather be taken for such a process, which in the conditions that prevailed in ancient India was of necessity a very slow one, especially when we take into consideration that in historical times die literature of the classical period remained for more than a thousand years unaltered.
    • Jacobi (1884) in Bryant, E. F. (2001). The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture : the Indo-Aryan migration debate. Oxford University Press. chapter 12

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