Johannes Gijsbertus (Hans) de Casparis

1916 – 2002
Sanskrit, Old-Javanese
epigraphy, archaeology, history

Curriculum vitae

1916born in Eemnes on May 31
1928-1934gymnasium Amsterdam
1934-1936studied Sanskrit and classical languages, University of Amsterdam
1936-1939studied Malay, Javanese, archaeology and early history of South and Southeast Asia, Leiden University
1937-1939assistant to prof. J.Ph. Vogel
1939-1941epigraphist Archaeological Service (OD) in the Netherlands Indies
1941-1945military service and Japanese P.O.W. camps
1948-1955epigraphist Archaeological Service of Indonesia
1950PhD University of Indonesia, Jakarta
1955-1959professor of history and culture of South and Southeast Asia, Airlangga University of Maland and Surabaya
1959-1961lecturer of the early history of South Asia, SOAS, University of London
1961-1978reader of the history of South and Southeast Asia, SOAS, University of London
1965-1966visiting professor of the early history of Southeast Asia, University of Hawaii, Honolulu
1978-1986professor of early history and archaeology of South and Southeast Asia, the Kern Institute, University of Leiden
1983professor, Burns chair of history, University of Hawaii, Honolulu (Jan.-July)
1986-2002emeritus professor, University of Leiden
2002passed away in Oegstgeest on June 19

Special activities and positions

  • Contributor with about thirty articles concerning Indonesia, including Indonesia (history), Java (history), Bali (history), Sumatra (history), Borneo (history), Celebes (history), Djakarta (history), Bogot, Surabaya, Djogjakarta, Surakarta, Srivijaya etc, to: William D. Halsey and Louis Shores (eds), Collier’s encyclopedia, new edition, 24 vols, New York 1968-1997


  • Hinzler, H.I.R. (ed.), Studies in South and Southeast Asian archaeology: essays offered to Dr. J. G. de Casparis on the occasion of his retirement, presented by colleagues and former students at the archaeological conference held on 2 June 1986 in Leiden, Leiden 1986 (Studies in South and Southeast Asian archaeology [1]).
  • Klokke, M.J., “Curriculum vitae of prof. J.G. de Casparis.” In: Marijke J. Klokke and Karel R. van Kooij (eds), Fruits of inspiration: studies in honour of prof. J.G. de Casparis, Groningen 2001 (Gonda Indological Studies 11), pp. xiii-xiv.
  • Klokke, M.J., “Bibliography of prof. J.G. de Casparis.” In: Marijke J. Klokke and Karel R. van Kooij (eds), Fruits of inspiration: studies in honour of prof. J.G. de Casparis, Groningen 2001 (Gonda Indological Studies 11), pp. xv-xxii.
  • Kolff, Dirk, “In memoriam: Hans de Casparis.” IIAS Newsletter 29 (2002): 2.
  • Gomperts, A. and M.J. Klokke, “In memoriam J.G. de Casparis: 31 May 1916 – 19 June 2002.” BTLV 159,4 (2003): 471-487.
  • Klokke, M.J., “Bibliography of J.G. de Casparis.” BTLV 159,4 (2003): 488-498.


1940  “Oorkonde uit het Singosarische (midden 14e eeuw A.D.).” Inscripties van Nederlandsch-Indië 1: 50-60.
1941  “De dateering der teekens op de tempelsteenen van Tjandi Soemberawan.” Rapporten OD 1938,2 ( De werkzaamheden aan de oudheid te Soemberawan bij Singosari): 35 (bijlage D).
“Nogmaals de Sanskrit-inscriptie op den steen van Dinojo.” TBG 81: 499-513.
1947  “L’importance de la disyllabie en javanais.” In: India antiqua: a volume of oriental studies presented by his friends and pupils to Jean Philippe Vogel C.I.E. on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of his doctorate, Leyden (Kern Institute), pp. 63-76.
1948  “De betekenis van het rijm in de structuur van het Javaans.” TBG 82: 401-537.
1949  Postscript to: B.Ch. Chhabra, Three more yūpa inscriptions of King Mūlavarman from Kutei (East Borneo).” TBG 83: 373-4.
1950  Inscripties uit de Çailendra-tijd, Bandung (Prasasti Indonesia 1). – Also published as PhD thesis Djakarta 1950.
1952  “Penjelidikan prasasti: tugas ahli epigrafi Dinas Purbakala.” Amerta 1: 21-23.
1954  “Sedikit tentang golongan2 di dalam masjarakat Djawa Kuno.” Amerta 2: 44-47.
“Twintig jaar studie van de oudere geschiedenis van Indonesië: 1931-1951.” Oriëntatie: Cultureel Maandblad 46: 626-64.
1955  With R. Soekmono and L.C. Damais, “Kissah perdjalanan ke Sumatra Selatan dan Djambi.” Amerta 3: 1-40.
1956  Selected inscriptions from the seventh to the ninth century A.D., Bandung (Prasasti Indonesia 2).
1958  Short inscriptions from Tjandi Plaosan-Lor, Djakarta (Berita Dinas Purbakala = Bulletin of the Archaeological Service of the Republic of Indonesia 4).
Airlangga, Surabaja. – Pidato diutjapkan pada peresmian penerimaan djabatan Guru Besar dalam mata peladjaran Sedjarah Indonesia Lama dan Bahasa Sanskerta pada perguruan tinggi pendidikan guru Universitas Airlangga di Malang jang diadakan di Malang pada hari Sabtu tgl. 26 April 1958.
“Hubungan luar negeri Indonesia pada zaman lama.” Buku Peringatan Dies Natalis Unair 3. – Opening address of the academic year 1957-1958 of the Universitas Airlangga at Surabaya.
1961  “New evidence on cultural relations between Java and Ceylon in ancient times.” In: A.B. Griswold and Jean Boisselier (eds), Felicitation volume presented to George Coedès on the occasion of his seventy-fifth birthday, Ascona, Special issue: Artibus Asiae 24,3/4: 241-248.
“Historical writing on Indonesia (early period).” In: D.G.E. Hall (ed.), Historians of South East Asia, London (Historical Writings of the Peoples of Asia 2), pp. 121-163.
Review of: R.S. Sharma, Aspects of political ideas and institutions in ancient India, Delhi 1959. JAOS 81,4: 432-434.
Review of: C. Sivaramamurti, Le stupa du Barabudur, trad. de G. Barthel, Paris 1961. JRAS 93: 137-140.
Review of: A.S. Altekar and Vijayakanta Mishra, Report on Kumrahar excavations: 1951-1955, Patna 1959. JRAS 93: 141-142.
Review of: H.L. Hariyappa and M.M. Patkar (eds), Professor P.K. Gode commemoration volume, Poona 1960. JRAS 93: 147-50.
1962  Review of: Chandrika Singh Upasak, The history and palaeography of Mauryan Brahmi script, Nalanda 1960. BSOAS 25: 178-9.
Review of: Romila Thapar, Aśoka and the decline of the Mauryas, Oxford 1961. BSOAS 25: 382-384.
Review of: L.C. Damais (transl.), Lettres de Raden Adjeng Kartini: Java en 1900, Paris 1960. JRAS 94: 92-93.
Review of: R.C. Majumdar, The classical accounts of India, Calcutta 1960. JRAS 94: 152.
1963  Review of: C.C. Berg, Het rijk van de vijfvoudige Buddha, Amsterdam 1962. BSOAS 26: 462-464.
Review of: Bhakat Prasad Mazumdar, Socio-economic history of northern India (1030-1194 A.D.), Calcutta 1960. BSOAS 26: 668-669.
Review of: Allan Dahlquist, Megasthenes and Indian religion: a study in motives and types, Uppsala 1962. JRAS 95: 280-281.
1964  Review of: Ludwig Alsdorf, Beitrage zur Geschichte von Vegetarismus und Rinderverehrung in Indien, Mains 1962. BSOAS 27: 231.
Review of: P. Wheatley, The golden Khersonese: studies in the historical geography of the malay Peninsula before A.D. 1500, [Kuala Lumpur] 1961. Journal of Southeast Asian History 5,1: 222-224.
Review of: Theodore G.Th. Pigeaud, Java in the fourteenth century: a study in cultural history: the Nāgara-kěrtāgama by Rakawi, prapanca of Majapahit A.D. 1365, 5 vols, The Hague 1960-1963. JRAS 96: 143-146.
1966  Review of: G. Coedès, Les états hindouisés d’Indochine et d’Indonésie, nouvelle édition, Paris 1964. BSOAS 29: 649-50.
Review of: H.J. de Graaf, De regering van Sunan Mangku-Rat I Tegal-Wangi, vorst van Mataram, 1646-1677, II: Opstand en ondergang, ’s-Gravenhage 1962. BSOAS 29: 681.
Review of: K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, Sources of Indian history with special reference to South India, Bombay 1964. Asia Major NS 12: 260-1.
1967  “The date of the Grahi Buddha.” JSS 55: 31-40.
Review of: Clifford Geertz, The social history of an Indonesian town, CambridgeMass. 1965. Asia Major NS 13: 239-40.
1968  “Barabuḍur.” In: G.P. Malalasekera (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, vol. 2, fascicle 4, pp. 545-549.
Translation into English from the French by André Maricq: “The date of Kaniṣka: two contributions in favour of A.D. 78.” In: A.L. Basham (ed.), Papers on the date of Kaniṣka submitted to the conference on the date of Kani ṣka, London, 20-22 April, 1960, Leiden (Australian National University, Centre of Oriental Studies, Oriental Monograph Series 4), pp. 179-99.
1969  Review of: Shobhana Laxman Gokhale, Indian numerals, Poona 1966. JRAS 101: 88.
1972  Review of: H. Ulbricht, Wayang purwa: shadows of the past, Kuala Lumpur 1970. Asia Major NS 17:125-6.
1973  “Indonesia, Malesia e Filippine fino agli inizi del Secolo XIV.” Nuova Storia Universale dei Populi e delle Civilta 18: 359-490.
“L’area continentale del Sud-est Asiatico fino al Secolo XV.” Nuova Storia Universale dei Populi e delle Civilta 18: 493-564.
All articles on early South Asian and Indonesian/Malaysian history and civilization in: G.M.D. Howat and A.J.P. Taylor (eds), Dictionary of world history, London, including those on Airlangga, Asoka, Aryavata, Bali, Borobudur, Buddha, Buddhism, caste, Chandragupta, Cholas, Culavamsa, Gupta dynasty, Harshacarita, Harsha(vardhana), Hinduism, Indus Valley civilization, Kadiri, Kaniska, karma, Kertanagara, Mahavamsa, Mahavihara, Mahavira, Mahinda, Maitrakas, Majapahit, Malacca sultanate, Manu, Megasthenes, Pallava dynasty, Polonnaruva, Prambanan, Sindok, Singosari, Sri Vijaya, Tambralinga, Tantrism, Taxila, Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, Upanishads, Vaisali, Vaishnavism, Vaishyas, Vakatakas, Valabhi, Veda, Vedanta, Vyasa, Yadava dynasty (and many shorter, anonymously published articles).
Review of: C.C. Brown with introduction by R. Roolvink, Sëjarah Mëlayu or Malay Annals, Kuala Lumpur 1970 (1st ed. 1953). Asia Major NS 18: 113.
Review of: R. van Niel, A survey of historical source materials in Java and Manila, [Honolulu] 1970. Asia Major NS 18: 237.
Review of: Francisco de Sá De Meneses, The conquest of Malacca, transl. by E.C. Knowlton, Kuala Lumpur 1970. Journal of Asian Studies 32 (1972-1973): 748.
1975  Indonesian palaeography: a history of writing in Indonesia from the beginnings to c. A.D. 1500, Leiden (Handbuch der Orientalistik 3,4,1).
1976  Review of: H.B. Sarkar, Corpus of the inscriptions of Java (Corpus Inscriptionum Javanicarum) (up to 928 A.D.), 2 vols, Calcutta 1971-1972. JRAS 108:177-8.
1978  Indonesian chronology, Leiden (Handbuch der Orientalistik 3,1,1).
1979  Van avonturier tot vorst: een belangrijk aspect van de oudere geschiedenis en geschiedschrijving van Zuid- en Zuidoost-Azie, Leiden. – Rede uitgesproken bij de aanvaarding van het ambt van hoogleraar in de archeologie en oude geschiedenis van Zuid- en Zuidoost-Azië aan de Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden op vrijdag 25 mei 1979.
“Palaeography as an auxiliary discipline in research on early South East Asia.” In: R.B. Smith and W. Watson (eds), Early South East Asia, Oxford, pp. 380- 94.
“Inscriptions and South Asian dynastic traditions.” In: R.J. Moore (ed.), Tradition and politics in South Asia, New Delhi, pp. 103-27.
Review of: F.H. van Naerssen and R.C. de Iongh, The economic and administrative history of early Indonesia. JRAS 111: 85.
1980  “Ahmat Majanu’s tombstone at Pengkalan Kempas and its Kawi inscription.” Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 53,1: 1-22.
1981  “The empire of the Guptas in India.” In: R.J. Moore (ed.), The Hamlyn historical atlas, London, map no. 16 with text.
“Pūtikeśvara.” Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh 24-26 (1979-1981): 237-47.
“Pour une histoire sociale de l’ancienne Java, principalement au Xème siècle.” Archipel 21: 125-151.
“The dual nature of Barabudur.” In: L. Gómez and H.W. Woodward (eds), Barabudur: history and significance of a Buddhist monument, Berkeley, CA (Berkeley Buddhist Studies Series 2), pp. 47-83.
1982  “Some notes on the epigraphic heritage of Sriwijaya.” SPAFA Digest 3,2: 29-34.
1983  India and maritime South East Asia: a lasting relationship, Kuala Lumpur. – Third Sri Lanka Endowment Fund Lecture, 10 August 1983.
“Sïgiri: rotsvesting of godenverblijf?” Verre Naasten Naderbij 17,1: 1-10.
Forword to: Indonesian archaeological photographs on microfich: photo collection of the National Research Centre of Archaeology of the Republic of Indonesia 1901-1956 at the Kern Institute, University of Leiden. Pusat Penelitian Arkeologi Nasional (Indonesia). Zug: IDC. [Title and corporate name varies.]
1984  Postscript to: J.E. van Lohuizen-de Leeuw, “The images from Candi Suko as described by Van der Vlis in 1841.” BTLV 140: 269.
“Oude geschiedenis en archeologie van Zuidoost-Azië: een belangrijk onderdeel der Indonesische studiën in Nederland.” In: J.D. Speckmann (ed.), Indonesische studiën in Nederland, in het bijzonder met betrekking tot de cultuur- en maatschappijwetenschappen: verslag van een symposium gehouden op 18 en 19 april 1983, Wassenaar (NIAS), pp. 85-91.
1985  “Sriwijaya and Malayu.” SPAFA, final report, SEAMEO project in archaeology and fine arts, consultative workshop on archaeological and environmental studies on Sriwijaya. Jakarta, Padang, Prapat and Medan, September 16-30,1985, SPAFA WS/ 85: 245-258.
“Verwerking van vreemde cultuurinvloeden: Hindoeïsme en Boeddhisme.” In: P.E. de Josselin de Jong (red.), Een interdisciplinaire benadering van Indonesië als anthropologisch studieveld, Leiden, pp. 87-118.
1986  “Some aspects of proper names in ancient Java.” In: C.D. Grijns and S.O. Robson (eds), Cultural contact and textual interpretation: papers from the fourth European colloquium on Malay and Indonesian studies, held in Leiden in 1983, Dordrecht-Cinnaminson (KITLV Verhandelingen 115), pp. 8-18.
“Some notes on relations between central and local government in ancient Java.” In: David G. Marr and A.C. Milner (eds), Southeast Asia in the 9th to 14th centuries, Singapore-Canberra, pp. 49-63.
“The evolution of the socio-economic status of the East Javanese village and its inhabitants.” In: S. Kartodirdjo (ed.), Papers of the fourth Indonesian-Dutch history conference, Yogyakarta 24-29 July 1983, vol. 1: Agrarian history, Yogyakarta, pp. 3-24.
“Some notes on the oldest inscriptions of Indonesia.” In: C.M.S. Hellwig and S.O. Robson (eds), A man of Indonesian letters: essays in honour of professor A. Teeuw, Dordrecht-Cinnaminson (KITLV Verhandelingen 121), pp. 242-256.
“Obituary: Prof. J.E. van Lohuizen-de Leeuw and South Asian archaeology.” BTLV 142:191-197.
Review of: A.M. Barrett Jones, Early tenth-century Java from the inscriptions, Dordrecht-Cinnaminson 1984. BTLV 142: 347-351.
Review of: K.R. Hall, Maritime trade and state development in early Southeast Asia, Honolulu 1985. BTLV 142: 477-479.
1987  “Reading Old Javanese inscriptions.” BTLV 143: 545-547.
Review of: J.N. Miksic, Archaeological research on the “Forbidden Hill” of Singapore: excavations at Fort Canning 1984, Singapore 1985. BTLV 143: 376-378.
1988  “Where was Pu Siṇḍok’s capital situated?” In: H.I.R. Hinzler (ed.), Studies in South and Southeast Asian archaeology: essays offered to dr R. Soekmono on the occasion of his retirement as the first occupant of the ‘Wisselleerstoel’ for Indonesian studies in Leiden september 1986 – June 1987, Leiden, pp. 39-52.
“Some notes on words of Middle Indian origin in Indonesian languages (especially Old Javanese).” In: L. Santa Maria, S.F.S. Rivai and A. Sorrentino (eds), Papers from the IIIrd European colloquium on Malay and Indonesian Studies, Naples, 2-4 June 1981, Naples (Series Minor 30), pp. 51-70.
Review of: Wibke Lobo, The Sun-temple at Modhera, München 1982. BO 45: 434-5.
1990  With R. Soekmono and Jacques Dumarcay, Borobudur: prayer in stone, London. – Reprint Singapore 1999.
“Recent interpretations of Borobuḍur: a critical survey.” Ancient Ceylon 7,1: 29-51.
“Love unanswered: Sri Lanka and Kalinga.” Ancient Ceylon 7,1: 57-75.
“Expansion of Buddhism into Southeast Asia (mainly before c. A.D. 1000).” Ancient Ceylon 14:1-23.
Review of: J.N. Miksic, Small finds: ancient Javanese gold, Singapore 1988. BTLV 146: 339-340.
Review of: C. Higham, The archaeology of mainland Southeast Asia: from 10,000 B.C. to the fall of Angkor, Cambridge 1989. BTLV 146: 484-485.
1991  Editor of: Sanskrit outside India, Leiden (Panels of the VIIth world Sanskrit conference, Kern Institute, Leiden: August 23-29, 1987, volume 7).
“Introduction.” In: J.G. de Casparis (ed.), Sanskrit outside India, Leiden (Panels of the VIIth world Sanskrit conference 7), pp. 1-4.
“The use of Sanskrit in inscriptions of Indonesia and Malaysia.” In: J.G. de Casparis (ed.), Sanskrit outside India, Leiden (Panels of the VIIth world Sanskrit conference 7), pp. 29-46.
“Ancient Majapahit: a city?” Paper read at the Seminar “The pre-colonial city” organized by R.A.L.H. Gunawardana, at the Conference of the International Association of Historians of Asia (IAHA), Hong Kong, 24-30 June. – Unpublished; copy in the archives of J.G. de Casparis held in the Institue Kern collections, Leiden University Library.
Review of: P. Lunsingh Scheurleer and M.J. Klokke, Ancient Indonesian bronzes: a catalogue of the exhibition in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam with a general introduction, Leiden 1988. BTLV 147: 349-51.
1992  “Some notes on ancient Indian ritual in Indonesia.” In: A.W. van den Hoek, D.H.A. Kolff and M.S. Oort (eds), Ritual, state, and history in South Asia: essays in honour of J.C. Heesterman, Leiden (Memoirs of the Kern Institute 5), pp. 480-492
With I.W. Mabbett, “Religion and popular beliefs of Southeast Asia before c. 1500.” In: Nicholas Tarling (ed.), The Cambridge history of Southeast Asia, vol. 1, Cambridge, pp. 276-340.
Review of: J. Fontein, The law of cause and effect in ancient Java, Amsterdam 1989. BTLV 148: 148-51.
1994  “Some notes on transfer of capitals in ancient Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.” In: Hasan Muarif Ambary (penanggung jawab), Pertemuan Ilmiah Arkeologi VI, Batu, Malang, 26-29 Juli 1992, Jakarta, pp. 367-386.
1995  “Development of Indonesian scripts,” “Indonesian calendrical systems” and “Early Indonesian inscriptions.” In: John Miksic (volume ed.), Indonesian heritage, vol. 1: Ancient history, Singapore, pp. 14-15, 16-17 and 46-47.
“Peranan Adityawarman, putera Melayu di Asia Tenggara.” In: Ismail Hussein, A.Aziz Deraman, Abd. Rahman Al-Ahmadi (eds), Tamadun Melayu, jilid tiga, Kuala Lumpur, pp. 933-964.
Review of: G. Condominas (dir.), Disciplines croisées: hommage à Bernard Philippe Groslier, Paris 1992. BTLV 151: 141.
1996  “A curious puzzle.” In: Khaisri Sri-Aroon et al. (eds), Studies and reflections on Asian art history and archaeology: essays in honour of H.S.H Professor Subhadradis Diskul, Bangkok, pp. 343-350.
with others, “B. Thematic section: 2. Applied sciences and technology, 3. Nuclear regions and peripheries, 4. Ideologies and the first universal religions, 6. Art and architecture.” In: Joachim Herrmann and Erik Zürcher (eds), History of humanity: scientific and cultural development, vol. 3: From the seventh century BC to the seventh century AD, Paris-London, pp. 25-40, 41-55, 56-70, 89-107.
“C. Regional section: V. South-East Asia, Australasia and the Pacific. Introduction.” In: Joachim Herrmann and Erik Zürcher (eds), History of humanity: scientific and cultural development, vol. 3: From the seventh century BC to the seventh century AD, Paris-London, pp. 403-406.
“Sri Lanka and maritime Southeast Asia in ancient times (Senarat Paranavitana Memorial Lecture).” JRAS Sri Lanka 41 (special number): 229-240.
“Beberapa tokoh besar dalam sejarah Asia Tenggara dari kira-kira 1000-1400 M.” Amerta: Berkala Arkeologi 16 (1995-1996): 38-46.
1997  Editor of: Sanskrit loan-words in Indonesian: an annotated check-list of words from Sanskrit in Indonesian and traditional Malay, Jakarta (NUSA: Linguistic Studies in Indonesian and Languages in Indonesia 41).
“Hindu revival in fifteenth-century Java.” In: Dick van der Meij (ed.), India and beyond: aspects of literature, meaning, ritual and thought: essays in honour of Frits Staal, London etc., pp. 50-54.
“Dīpankara in Sumatra (?).” In: N. Eilenberg, M.C. Subhadradis Diskul and Robert L. Brown (eds), Living a life in accord with dhantma: papers in honor of professor Jean Boisselier on his eightieth birthday, Bangkok, pp. 127-130.
1998  “Some notes on ancient Bima.” Archipel 56 (L’horizon nousantarien: mélanges en hommage à Denys Lombard, vol. 1): 465-468.
“The epigraphic legacy of King Siṇḍok.” In: Marijke J. Klokke and Thomas de Bruijn (eds), Southeast Asian archaeology 1996: proceedings of the 6th international conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists, Leiden, 2-6 September 1996, Huil [Special Issue.], pp. 163-174.
1999  “The early Javanese village: a seductive mirage?” In: A.D. Palongpalong and S.D. Mahiwo (eds), Society and culture: the Asian heritage: festschrift for Juan R. Francisco, Quezon City, pp. 91-98.
With I.W. Mabbett, “Religion and popular beliefs in Southeast Asia before c. 1500.” In: Nicholas Tarling (ed.), The Cambridge history of Southeast Asia, vol. 1: From early times to c. 1500, Cambridge [Paperback edition with additional supplementary material, original hardcover edition 1992.], pp. 276-339.
“Airlangga, the threshold of the second millennium.” UAS Newsletter 18: 30.
2000  Review of: Roy E. Jordaan, The Śailendras in Central Javanese history: a survey of research from 1950 to 1999, Yogyakarta 1999. BTLV 156: 814-816.