Marcus (Max) Sparreboom

1951 – 2016
Indology, Sanskrit
natural history of amphibians and reptiles

Curriculum vitae

1951born in Utrecht on 18 January
1975-1977student assistant (ed. ABIA), Leiden University
1977MA Indo-Iranian languages and cultures, Leiden University
1977-1983researcher and lecturer Leiden University
1983PhD under the supervision of J.C. Heesterman, Leiden University
1983-1985postdoc research fellow (ZWO, WOTRO), Leiden University
1985-1986researcher (a.o. Veda project), Leiden University
1986-1990member of staff, council for the humanties, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
1990-1995secretary to the Standing Committee for the Humanities at the European Science Foundation (ESF), Strassbourg, France
1994-1999secretary to the ESF’s Asia Committee (Strasbourg) (0.2 part time)
1995-1999deputy director/secretary of the Humanities Council of NWO
1999-2001member of staff of the Humanities Council of NWO (0.6 part time)
1999-presentdirector of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation (0.4 part time) in Amsterdam
2001-2006member of the Board of Governors of the International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS); dean of the Faculty of History and Arts, Professor in Management of the Humanities, Erasmus University Rotterdam (0.6 part time)
2006-2009director of the IIAS (0.6 part time), Leiden and Amsterdam
2006-2009professor in scientific relations between Asia and Europe, Leiden University
2009-2016research associate Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden
2016passed away in De Bilt on August 30

Special activities and positions

  • Researcher on Sanskrit manuscripts and Vedic text traditions in South-India, 1984-1985
  • Collector of materials for the Ethnological museum in Leiden, 1984-1985
  • Fund raiser and networking missions to Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, US, Korea, (in connection with ESF activities), 1994-1999
  • Travels in Europe, Asia and US in connection with ESF activities, 1994-1999
  • Herpetological and biological fieldwork in many countreis, since 1986


Max Sparreboom wrote many publications on amphibians and reptiles. His Indological works are:
1983 Chariots in the Veda, [Meppel]. – PhD thesis Leiden University.
1985 Chariots in the Veda, Leiden: Brill (Memoirs of the Kern Institute 3), 168 p.
Vadhulasrautasutra I: Agnyadheya, text, trsl. and excerpts of the commentary, Leiden: Brill.
1989 & J.C. Heesterman (eds), The ritual of setting up the sacrificial fires according to the Vādhūla school (Vādhūlaśrautasūtra 1.1-1.4), with transl. and notes]; with assist. of A. De Leeuw van Weenen, Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 145 p.
2002 Geesteswetenschappen: beleid en organisatie, Rotterdam: Faculteit der Historische en Kunstwetenschappen, Erasmus Universiteit, 33 p. – Inaugurele rede Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
2008 “The International Institute for Asian Studies: a hub of research on modern India.” In: [Neelam D. Sabharwal, ambassador of India, ed.], Changing images: lasting visions: India and the Netherlands [collection of 35 essays published on the occasion of 400 years of Indo-Dutch relations]. Amsterdam: Nieuw Amsterdam, p. 173.