Ancient India; 1809, Fifth Ed.

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Authors: William Robertson
Size(WxDXH): 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
Medium: Antiquarian Book
Year: 1809
Edition: Fifth Edition


‘An Historical Disquisition Concerning the Knowledge which the Ancients had of India; and the progress of trade with that country prior to the discovery of the passage to it by the Cape of Good Hope. With an appendix containing observations on the civil policy - the Laws and Judicial proceedings - the arts - the sciences - and religious institutions of the Indians’. By William Robertson, (1721–1793) a Scottish historian, minister in the Church of Scotland, and Principal of the University of Edinburgh. This is the fifth edition, published in 1809, with two folding maps.

Background History:
“In 1791, the celebrated Scottish historian, William Robertson, published his final work, An Historical Disquisition concerning the Knowledge which the Ancients had of India, in which he explored the commercial and cultural connections of India and the West from ancient times to the end of the fifteenth century…while the work reflected the assumptions and approaches of the British orientalist school, Robertson – sensitive to criticisms that his previous History of America had been too dismissive of Amerindian cultures – went further than many orientalists in his positive portrayal of Indian culture and his opposition to an interventionist imperial policy. Indeed, the work was largely directed to preserving the ancient and sophisticated Indian civilisation from Western cultural imperialism. His history of India would be under-valued in Britain (despite its large sales), in large part because his apology for Hinduism and his critique of Christian missions ran counter to the rising tide of the evangelical revival. However, it had a considerable role in promoting interest in India on the European continent, and it represented one of the more significant achievements of the late Scottish Enlightenment.”

Fair condition. Contemporary half morocco leather bound, joints and corners rubbed. Both maps have tears. Otherwise pages in very good condition; only slightly toned throughout. Bookplate from Manchester Union Club inside front cover. Very faint library stamp on title and first page of chapter 1.