Friedrich Schlegel, The Sanskrit Language, And The Beginnings Of Comparative Philology

The great antiquity and depth of Indian civilization had been known to Europe and the Middle East for many centuries; yet the precise contours of Indian advances in mathematics, literature, and philosophy were hidden behind the veils of preconception and confusion.  We know that the caliph Harun Al-Rashid, in Baghdad in the 9th century A.D., commissioned translations of some prominent works of Indian literature, but such knowledge remained in the hands of scholars and was not widely diffused.  Things began to change gradually with the advancement in geographic, scientific, and commercial knowledge in the 17th and 18th centuries.

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