By Thomas R. Trautmann

This compelling and thoroughly researched reassessment of colonial ethnology, British Orientalism and the Aryan proposal, demanding situations many ideologies in regards to the id and ancient origins of Indians that are trendy at the present time.

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I shall be examining it under three rubrics: the Mosaic ethnology, its past and its future; time; and ancient wisdom. 2011 18:58:14] cover The Mosaic ethnology, of course, is not an invention of the eighteenth century. It is the common heritage of Jews, Christians, page_52 Page 53 and Muslimsthe Peoples of the Book, so to sayand it figures regularly in universal histories as a starting point for the classification of peoples. Its source is the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis in the Bible, in which the nations are accounted for by a genealogy of the descent of Noah and of his three sons subsequent to the flood, when they were scattered across the earth following the confusion of their languages after they had built the Tower of Babel against God's wishes.

V. India) page_61 Page 62 Chapter 3 British Indomania By 1875, when Sir Henry Maine gave the Rede Lecture on "The effects of observation of India upon European thought," the dullness of Indian subjects to Britons had become proverbial and the greater enthusiasm for India on the European Continent had long since been evident. It is surely a paradox that British imperial rule should have rendered India dull to those back home, while European enthusiasm for India raged. How did this strange state of affairs come aboutor need we even trouble ourselves to ask?

Taking a different tack, one perhaps might wish to say that an enthusiasm for India was a predictable feature of early colonial rule, when everything Indian had the aspect of novelty, and that Indophobia, equally, is the predictable face of late colonialism. There is something in this view: The mere fact of conquest pressed more heavily with the passage of time, and as it appeared to become a permanent and immovable fact it bred contempt for Indians and their civilization. But this datum is too crude; it explains nothing of the actual content either of British enthusiasm for India or opposition to it.

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