Concerning the Ancients’ Knowledge of India (1822)


Concerning the Ancients’ Knowledge of India (1822)


Title: An Historical Disquisition Concerning the Knowledge Which the Ancients Had of India and the Progress with That Country Prior to the Discovery of the Passage to It By the Cape of Good Hope. With an Appendix Containing Observations on the Civil Policy – the laws and judicial proceedings-the arts-the sciences- and religious institutions of the Indians.
Author: William Robertson
Publisher: E & E Hosford, 1822. Scarce. First US edition.
Condition: Hardcover, full tree calf. In good condition, some sticker on spine has been removed, leaving behind a mark. Interior is foxed heavily, and the two huge maps are both present and complete (no bits missing), but with tears on both.

SKU: historical-disquisition-ancients-india-1822 Categories: , , , Tag:

About the Author (from wikipedia):

William Robertson FRSE FSA Scot (19 September 1721 – 11 June 1793) was a Scottish historian, minister in the Church of Scotland, and Principal of the University of Edinburgh. “The thirty years during which [he] presided over the University perhaps represent the highest point in its history.”

About the book (from Edinburgh University Press website):

In 1791, the celebrated Scottish historian, William Robertson, published his final work, in which he explored the commercial and cultural connections of India and the West from ancient times to the end of the fifteenth century.

The work was largely directed to preserving the ancient and sophisticated Indian civilisation from Western cultural imperialism.

His history of India would be under-valued in Britain (despite its large sales), in large part because his apology for Hinduism and his critique of Christian missions ran counter to the rising tide of the evangelical revival. However, it had a considerable role in promoting interest in India on the European continent, and it represented one of the more significant achievements of the late Scottish Enlightenment.


Section I
Intercourse with India, from the earliest Times until the Conquest of Egypt by the Romans.

Section II
Intercourse with India, from the Establishment of the Roman Dominion in Egypt, to the Conquest of that Kingdom by the Mahomedans

Section III
Intercourse with India, from the Conquest of Egypt by the Mahomedans, to the Discovery after Passage by the Cape of Good Hope, and the Establishment of the Portuguese Dominion in the East.

Section IV
General Observations

In which he makes some observations upon the genius, the manners, and institutions of the people of India.

Notes and Illustrations