K. R. Norman

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K. R. Norman

K. R. Norman (1925–2020).png
Kenneth Roy Norman

(1925-07-21)21 July 1925
Died2020 (aged 95)
TitleProfessor Emeritus of Indian Studies, University of Cambridge
Pamela Raymont
(m. 1953)
Academic background
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Cambridge (1952–1992)
Main interestsPali and other Middle Indo-Aryan languages

Kenneth Roy Norman FBA (1925–2020)[1][2][3] was a British philologist. He was Professor Emeritus of Indian Studies at the University of Cambridge,[4] and was a leading authority on Pali and other Middle Indo-Aryan languages.


Norman was educated at Taunton School in Somerset.[1] After military service in India and Malaya,[citation needed] he was admitted to Downing College, Cambridge, where he studied classics, receiving his M.A. in 1954.[1]

I was trained as a classicist and studied classical philology, in the form which was current in my student days, i.e. the investigation of the relationship between Latin, Greek and Sanskrit in particular, and between other Indo-European languages in general. I went on to study Sanskrit and the dialects associated with Sanskrit—the Prakrits—and was appointed to teach the Prakrits, or Middle Indo-Aryan, as they are sometimes called, lying as they do between Old Indo-Aryan, i.e. Sanskrit, and New Indo-Aryan, i.e. the modern Indo-Aryan languages spoken mainly in North India.[5]

The whole of his academic career was spent at Cambridge. He was appointed Lecturer in Indian Studies in 1955, Reader in 1978, and Professor of Indian Studies in 1990. He retired in 1992.[1]

From 1981 to 1994 he was President of the Pali Text Society,[6] and from January to March 1994 he was the Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai Visiting Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies.[5]

He was made a Foreign Member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters in 1983[1][7] and a Fellow of the British Academy in 1985.[4]

Notable works[edit]


Other books[edit]



  1. ^ Published in paperback as The Rhinoceros Horn and Other Early Buddhist Poems.