Wales Professor of Sanskrit

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The position of Wales Professorship of Sanskrit in Harvard University is the first endowed chair for Sanskrit studies established in the United States.[1]

Henry Ware Wales (1818–1856; Harvard, 1838)[citation needed] by a will dated April 24, 1849, provided for the endowment of the Professorship. The chair was established in January 26, 1903 with Charles Rockwell Lanman elected as the inaugural holder of the chair in March 23, 1903. The current holder, Michael Witzel, was appointed in 1987 and is the fourth Wales professor.


The inaugural Wales Professor of Sanskrit Charles Rockwell Lanman started his career in Johns Hopkins University in 1876 where a department of Sanskrit was established under him. In 1880 Lanman accepted professorship at Harvard under request by the then Harvard President Charles William Eliot.[2]

List of professors[edit]


  1. ^ "Sanskrit An occasional language of instruction at Yale". Yale University. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ Ziad Elmarsafy; Anna Bernard; David Attwell (June 13, 2013). Debating Orientalism. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 82–86. ISBN 978-1-137-34111-2. Retrieved September 28, 2013.