Darwin-L Message Log 6:8 (February 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<6:8>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Wed Feb  2 00:06:36 1994

Date: Wed, 02 Feb 1994 01:17:40 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: February 2 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro


1786: SIR WILLIAM JONES, English jurist and student of Oriental languages,
delivers his Third Anniversary Discourse as president of the Asiatick Society
of Bengal.  It will come to be regarded by future generations of scholars as
one of the founding documents of historical linguistics: "The Sanscrit
language, whatever be its antiquity, is a wonderful structure; more perfect
than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than
either; yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of
verbs, and in the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by
accident; so strong, indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three
without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps,
no longer exists.  There is a similar reason for supposing that both the
Gothick and the Celtick, though blended with a very different idiom, had the
same origin with the Sanscrit; and the old Persian might be added to the same
family, if this were the place for discussing any question concerning the
antiquities of Persia."

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