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Old 07-07-2013, 03:33 PM   #1
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Müller, F. Max: My Autobiography. V1. 07-Jul-2013

Friedrich Max Müller (1823-1900) was an Anglo-German orientalist and comparative philologist. He was a theologian who also wrote and translated books about the religions and sacred texts of the Far East, such as Buddhism and Confucianism. In 1898 he received the high honor of being made a Privy Councillor.

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My father’s object in writing his Autobiography was twofold: firstly, to show what he considered to have been his mission in life, to lay bare the thread that connected all his labours; and secondly, to encourage young struggling scholars by letting them see how it had been possible for one of themselves, without fortune, a stranger in a strange land, to arrive at the position to which he attained, without ever sacrificing his independence, or abandoning the unprofitable and not very popular subjects to which he had determined to devote his life.
Unfortunately the last chapter takes us but little beyond the threshold of his career. There is enough, however, to enable us to see how from his earliest student days his leanings were philosophical and religious rather than classical; how the study of Herbart’s philosophy encouraged him in the work in which he was engaged as a mere student, the Science of Language and Etymology; how his desire to know something special, that no other philosopher would know, led him to explore the virgin fields of Oriental literature and religions. With this motive he began the study of Arabic, Persian, and finally Sanskrit, devoting himself more especially to the latter under Brockhaus and Rückert, and subsequently under Burnouf, who persuaded him to undertake the colossal work of editing the Rig-veda.
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