Sir William Jones

(364 words)

Born 28 September, 1746 Sir William Jones was among the first British scholars to take a serious interest in Oriental cultures. Educated at Harrow and University of Oxford, he studied Classics and Semitic languages (Arabic and Hebrew) and became interested in Persian. He published a Grammar of the Persian Language in 1771 and to support himself trained for the law, being called to the bar in 1774. He published his translation of seven Arabic odes, the Moallakât in 1782 and was given knighthood and joined the East India Company Civil Service as a supreme court judge in 1783. Once in Calcutta he formed the Asiatic Society of Bengal to foster scholarly interest in Muslim and Hindu cultures. He published the Muhammedan …

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Clark, Robert. "Sir William Jones". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 December 2007
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]