Sanskrit studies in Leiden: 1817-present

Leiden University was, and still is, the centre of classical Indological studies in the Netherlands. Today, the Sanskrit studies are part of the section India and Tibet of the School of Asian Studies within the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS). The department has a chair in Sanskrit (1865-present), which includes Vedic, Middle-Indo-Aryan, and religious (hinduistic) studies. The department of Sanskrit together with New-Indo-Aryan, Tibetan, Dravidian languages, and (cultural) history and art and archaeology formed the Indological Kern Institute in the period 1925-2010.

Chair in Sanskrit: 1865-present
The academic study of Sanskrit was initiated by the Orientalist Hendrik Hamaker (professor between 1817 and 1835). His successor in teaching Sanskrit, the professor in Hebrew Anthonie Rutgers, was a great advocate for the establishment of a Sanskrit chair in Leiden. His and other people’s efforts were rewarded in 1865, when the chair for Sanskrit, the first in the Netherlands, was founded. This chair was held in succession by Hendrik Kern, Jacob Speijer, Jean-Philippe Vogel, F.B.J. Kuiper, Hans-Peter Schmidt, Michael Witzel, Henk Bodewitz, Arlo Griffiths and, at present, by Peter Bisschop.

1817-1835H.A. Hamaker (professor in Oriental languages, especially Arabic)
1837-1875A. Rutgers (professor in Hebrew, exegesis Old Testament, Hebrew antiquaries and Sanskrit)
1865-1903H.J.C. Kern (professor in Sanskrit and comparative linguistics)
1903-1913J.S. Speijer (professor in Sanskrit and Indian archaeology)
1914-1939J.Ph. Vogel (professor in Sanskrit and Indian antiquities)
1938D.L. Friedman (teacher in Sanskrit, Pali, Indian philosophy and Buddhist studies)
1939-1972F.B.J. Kuiper (professor in Sanskrit and Indian antiquaries)
1948-1963K.S.J.M. de Vreese (private lecturer in Pali)
1969-1975H.J.’t Hart-van den Muyzenberg (lecturer in Sanskrit)
1969-1976H.W. Bodewitz (associate professor in Sanskrit)
1975-1978H.-P. Schmidt (professor in Sanskrit)
1976-2010Herman Tieken (associate professor in Sanskrit and later also in Tamil)
1978-1986M. Witzel (associate professor and, from 1981 onwards, professor in Sanskrit language and literature)
?Jan Schoterman (lecturer)
1980-1987J. Bronkhorst (postgraduate researcher in Indian studies)
1992-2002H.W. Bodewitz (professor in Sanskrit)
1992-1993L.A. van Daalen (lecturer in Sanskrit)
1993-2005N. Bonouvrie (lecturer in Hinduism)
2005-2008A. Griffiths (professor in Sanskrit)
2010-presentP.C. Bisschop (professor in Sanskrit and ancient cultures of South Asia)