By Dimitrios Vassiliadis

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The First Years
Demetrios Galanos, the ‘Athenian,’ is the first and most eloquent Greek scholar in modern times to have widely contributed to the knowledge of India’s literary, philosophical and religious traditions. He was born in 1760 to a middle class family living in Athens, which at the time was a small town under Ottoman rule. Demetrios’ education began in Athens under the guidance of the well-known teacher Ioannis Benizelos. At the age of fourteen he was sent to study in Messolonghion, a commercial center on the West coast of Greece which had close ties to Greek merchants in Venice. In Messolonghion he was able to study with the distinguished grammarian Panagiotes Palamas. After four years Galanos left Messolonghion to continue his studies at the Orthodox Seminary of the Saint John Theologos Monastery on the island of Patmos. There, he studied ancient Greek, philosophy, Latin, oratory and ecclesiastical music for six years. The principal of the school was the renowned philologist Daniel Kerameus. Galanos later acknowledged the gratitude he felt for his early teachers in letters that he wrote while living in Varanasi and hearing of their death, “O Daniel, O Daniel, O Daniel! Extinguished is the lustre of the Hellenic eye!” and offered warm praises for Palamas, “O Palama! … the miracle of the entire Greece!”

Having completed his studies, Galanos went to Constantinople and worked as a tutor to resident Greek children. There he met Madratzoglou, a merchant and agent to the Bengali Greeks in Constantinople. This meeting was to play a decisive role in Galanos’ life. Madratzoglou found him ideal for tutoring the children of the Greek merchants who had settled in Narayanganj (near Dhaka) and Calcutta and offered him a position as a teacher there. Galanos, eager to expand his knowledge, gladly accepted Madratzoglou’s offer and prepared himself for his journey to the East;  “…to carry the torch of the paternal education to the Greeks in India, and to send back from there to Hellas a few sparks of the ‘light of Asia,’” in the words of Gennadios. Galanos of course had no idea then that he would never again return to see his fatherland.

Galanos in India
Galanos travelled overland to Basra where he took a ship for Calcutta. After a journey of six months, Galanos, aged twenty-six, arrived in Bengal in 1786. There he served as a Greek teacher for six years. At that time Bengal was witnessing an influential mix of western and Indian ideas which were later to induce the social and religious reforms of the ‘Brāhmo Samāj’ movement, founded in 1828 by Rāja Rāma Mohan Roy (1772-1833). The Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal had already been founded in 1784 and several western scholars were interested in the study of Sanskrit language and literature. It is quite possible that Galanos met with these intellectuals and began there his personal study of Indian languages and literature. He was fascinated by their colourful and devotional appeal and, having attained sufficient resources, retired from his job to dedicate himself solely to study.

In 1793, Demetrios Galanos departed for the city of Varanasi (Benares). In Benares his counsellor and adviser was the Munśī (administrator) of the king of Benares, Śītal Prasād Sinh. Through Śītal Prasād, Galanos was introduced to the king of Benares (Kāśī Nareśa), Mahārāja Udita Nārāyaṇa Sinh and inspired by his advice and help, he soon became an outstanding master of the ‘language of the gods’ (devabhāsā). His main Sanskrit teachers were Kandardasa (?Candradāsa) of ‘Kāśī, the city of the Brāhmaṇas,’ (whom Galanos mentions in a short note attached to the manuscript of his translation of the Bhagavad Gītā) and Paṇḍit Sue Rām (? Śiva Rāma), (whom he mentions in his last will).

Notable among the few foreigners associated with Galanos was the Russian, Peter Federoff. Bishop Heber writes of him: “There is also a Russian here, who by a natural affinity lives much with the Greek. He is, however, a trader, and has apparently moved in a much humbler rank of society than his friend.” Federoff died in Benares and his tomb was erected by Galanos. The inscription on the tombstone reads: Sacred to the Memory of Peter Federoff Native of Rufsia Who died in the prime of Life on the 4th Jan.y. 1825,” and follows in Greek, “Ο ΞΕΝΟΣ Δ. ΓΑΛΑΝΟΣ ΤΩ ΞΕΝΩ ΠΕΤΡΩ ΤΩ ΡΩΣΣΩ” (The foreigner D. Galanos to the foreigner Peter the Russian.)

Galanos’ character, behaviour and circumstances in Benares are related in Anglican Bishop Heber’s Narrative of a Journey Through the Upper Provinces, written in 1824. He writes about Galanos, without mentioning his name:

“Among them (i.e. the Europeans living in Varanasi) is a Greek, a well-informed and well-mannered man, who has fixed himself here for many years, living on his means, whatever they are, and professing to study the Sanskrit. I heard a good deal of him afterwards in Allahabad, and was much struck by the singularity and mystery of his character and situation. He is a very good scholar in the ancient language of his country and speaks good English, French, and Italian. His manners are those of a gentleman, and he lives like a person at his ease. He has little intercourse with the English, but he is on very friendly terms with the principal Hindu families. He was once an object of suspicion to Government, but after watching him for a long time they saw nothing in his conduct to confirm their suspicions, and during Lord Hastings’ first Pindaree war, he voluntarily gave, on different occasions, information of much importance. So few Europeans, however, who can help it, reside in India, that it seems strange that any man should prefer it as a residence, without some stronger motive than a fondness for Sanskrit literature, more particularly since he does not appear to meditate any work on the subject.”

Later, some of his compatriots questioned whether he had become a Hindu, because he had adopted Indian dress, befriended Brāhmaṇas and had a passionate interest in Sanskrit language and literature. In support of these suspicions, there is a curious remark in the biographical section of the Indikon Metaphraseon Prodromos which states that Galanos became a Brāhmaṇa and was honored as a scholar and saint by Indians and Europeans alike. This statement (that he became a Brāhmaṇa) is probably not true, because a person is a Brāhmaṇa only by birth.

Evidence that Galanos continued to retain his Christian faith throughout his life is found in his correspondence with Greek priests in Calcutta, and Greece.  Further, his last will starts out with the standard Christian formula, “In the Name of God. Amen” and contains precise directions to be buried in a Christian cemetery. The majority of Hindus are cremated.

Nicholas Kephalas, a Greek captain from Zanta (island of Zakynthos), who visited Galanos in Varanasi, thought that the reason the wise Athenian studied and adopted Brahmanic customs was to thoroughly understand and learn the noble and moral way of life of the Brāhmaṇas. He also said that in spite of all these things, Galanos remained a devout Christian and pointed out the fact that the Hindus do not accept apostates. The ease with which this extraordinary and well educated stranger was moving in Indian society, however, could be seen as an indication that his vision was fixed beyond ideological boundaries.

Kephalas succeeded in gaining the trust of Galanos, who gave him his manuscript of the translation of Cāṇakya, to be delivered to the Greek authorities in Peloponnese. Kephalas, instead, gave that Sanskrit text to the Vatican Library; he then initiated, in 1825 its first European publication, combining the Greek translation with an Italian one under his own name. In the introduction of the text Kephalas presents himself as a brave traveler who, in his long journeys, met with Brāhmaṇas from whom he received Sanskrit texts of great value. He does not forget, however, to mention the ‘help’ Galanos extended to him:

“I found myself in this city and conversing with the wisest and most profound men; I happened to encounter a famous Brahmin, Gajanoung, who presented me with a little book entitled, Sommaria di sentenze morali del filosofo indiano Sanakea. This philosopher is the most respected among the Indians, and some believe that he flourished at the time of the Rama-Pritarà dynasty, which dates back to the year 2641 BCE. The said book is written in the sacred Sanskrit dialect …. But it was my good fortune to find the Greek philosopher Demetrios Galanos from Athens, who had been living in India for 35 years. A man outstanding in sciences and literatures, and in addition to Greek, in Latin, English, and other European and Oriental languages also most erudite in the Sanskrit dialect and in the secrets of the Indians, honored widely by Brahmins and travelers for his wisdom no less than for his righteousness. [This gentleman] I asked to assist me in translating [the book] into our mother tongue and he, good compatriot that he was, consented, since Sanakea (Cāṇakya) was not yet known in any European language.”

Kephalas himself, published one more book about India under the long title, ‘Description of the City of Benares in India, of Indian Polytheism, its Cult, and the Customs of those People written by Captain Nikolo Kephalas a Greek from Zanta During his Journey at the Year 1824. Published by Himself and Illustrated with a Geographical Map of India of his own Design.’  In this book, the author speaks once again with favorable words for Galanos:

“In the research which I made at Benares in regard to the Indian religion, I was greatly assisted by the philosopher D. Galanos … a most respectable and capable man, who, following in the footsteps of Pythagoras and Plato, had initiated himself into all the Indian Mysteries, and who will one day enrich Europe through his profound knowledge and discoveries.”

Kephalas’ mischief, which incidentally made Cāṇakya known in Europe, was short-lived, as a few years later the manuscripts of Galanos arrived in Greece and his usurpation was discovered. In the manuscript of Cāṇakya (Ms. No. 1855) now kept in the National Library of Greece, there is a letter that reads (in translation): “D. Galanos, the Athenian, requested by the honorable Captain Nikolaos Kephalas, sends through his hands this short work with the original Sanskrit text which he will deliver to the Greek authorities in the Peloponnese. From India, in December 1823.”

In 1831, Galanos again attempted to send one of his manuscripts (the Bhāminī-Vilāsa), “for the benefit of the young philologists of the Greek race,” to the first President and ruler of the newly established Greek state through his relative the Archbishop of Athens, Neophytos. Ioannis Kapodistrias was assassinated that same year and the text never reached him.

Galanos kept regular communication with his relatives in Greece and got news about the Greek revolution from the English newspapers. He probably visited his friends in Calcutta and Dhaka in the year of the commencement of the Greek revolution, as the Greek inscription on Alexander Paniotys’ tombstone records that it was composed by Galanos.  In his last letter (dated Dec. 14, 1832) which is addressed to his nephew, Pandoleon, he questions him with great anxiety about the situation of his country and family:

“And about the fatherland. Do write to me how our country is faring now. Is it happy since it has become free, or was it happier before when it was under the yoke and in servitude? Let me know the names of the leaders and statesmen of the Athenians. Write to me how your father’s house is doing and how many brothers and sisters you have, and what your mother’s name is and whose daughter she is. Write to me how my sister Karyia’s family is doing and of which illness Panages died. Write to me, if you know whether or not Panages has given 1300 rupees (Calc.) to the Society of Fine Arts. Did he give your father 500 rupees or not?”

In an earlier letter (dated December 1829) sent to his nephew, Pandoleon, Galanos quotes Isocrates and the wise Indians to testify that those who desire to acquire wisdom and wealth must undergo many hardships, forsake their houses, their relatives, and their friends and travel to foreign lands:

“If you are a reasonable and broadminded man, then come to me. If you are unreasonable, narrow-minded, and fainthearted, with the mind of a slave, stay there. Be a barbarian, a lowly oil-vendor or wine-dealer, or sell rice and beans. Since you bear the name of my father, that great and good man, and have, as I have heard, a keen mind, therefore I want you to come to me. I have written to the fathers of Mount Sinai about your requisites if you come. Take along what you have in books, lexica, and grammars. Because if you do not come, another will, and he will become the heir of my knowledge and my fortune …. But you, although you see all these good things at hand, you do not want to undergo a little hardship, but you are unconcerned and lazy as if in slumber from a magic potion. Sober up, man and know yourself; be a Prometheus, not an Epimetheus.”

He then expresses his love towards those who educate themselves; “the one I love is he who studies and educates himself.” In the same letter, he expresses his longing to return to Greece along with his nephew after the completion of his studies in India, “…then you would be envied, celebrated, and praised [in Greece] and they would point at you in admiration.”

Pandoleon finally decided to come to India and arrived in Bengal towards the end of 1832. But instead of asking him to come directly to Varanasi, his uncle advised him to study Greek and English with Father Ananias in Calcutta. In the same letter, which was probably the last of his life, Galanos expressed a deep regard for his old friends in Calcutta: “… all the respect you show to me, show as much and more to my very good friend Constantinos Pantazes, for he is my alter ego,” and “…go to the house of my other friend, Manolakes Athanasiou to greet him and kiss his right hand.”  Soon Galanos became seriously ill and died on the third of May, 1833, (twenty days before the arrival of Pandoleon in Varanasi). The Asiatic Journal announced  under ‘Deaths,’ May 3: “At Benares, Mr. Demetrios Galanos, aged 74. This gentleman was a native of Greece, and for many years he has devoted himself with singular assiduity to the study of the sacred language and literature of the Hindus. He is understood to have left numerous translations from Sanskrit into Greek.”

No cause of death is given. Schulz  has suggested that he might had fallen victim to cholera which, according to the Recollections of Northern India (London, 1848) written by Rev. William Buyers, was raging in the city of Varanasi at the time and carrying away thousands. He was buried by A. Hammond, district chaplain, in the Christian cemetery of the city that had offered him hospitality for more than half his life.  On the tombstone there is the following epitaph:

(followed by two lines in Phārsī)

The meaning of the Phārsī (official language at the time) lines allegedly composed by Munśī Śītal Sinh, (a wise Brahmin, a friend and teacher) is more or less the same as its Greek translation that has been recorded in the Indikon Metaphraseon Prodromos, (p. XXX):

 Which in English reads:

Woe, a hundred times! Demetrios Galanos
has gone away from this world to the eternal abodes.
Woe me! weeping and wailing have I said it. I am out of myself.
Ah, he has gone away, the Plato of this century!

Galanos’ last will stated that half of his considerable property should be donated to his nephew Pandoleon and the other half to the Principal Academy of Athens. “I order that all my just debts, legacies, funeral expenses and charges of providing this my will be in the first place fully paid and satisfied and after payment thereof and every part thereof I give and bequeath to my nephew Pandoleon Galanos one moiety of the before mentioned property and the other moiety to the Principal Academy at Athens. I also give and bequeath to the Principal Academy at Athens all my Sanskrit books, writings, translations and Meniskeys      [Meniṅski’s] Dictionary in three volumes.” The Principal Academy became the University of Athens in 1837. In its annals, D. Galanos is listed as one of the benefactors.

Galanos did not forget his Sanskrit teacher and servants, for his last will continues, “Also, I give and bequeath to Sue Ram, my pandit, the sum of two hundred rupees, Mooradeen my servant thirty rupees, Nawaze my servant thirty rupees and Buyon likewise a servant of mine twenty rupees.” In regard to the funerary arrangements, “I also will and desire that out of the eight hundred rupees now in the hands of Moonsy Seetul Sing, four hundred be paid to any person or persons, duly authorised to receive the same for a piece of ground in the Church yard, for my burial, the other four hundred I desire may be made over to Mr. James Best for the purpose of erecting a monument over my grave.” 

Galanos’ Work
Galanos worked tirelessly and translated into Greek some of India’s most important texts on religion, philosophy and literature. His manuscripts, bound in twenty volumes (Mss. No. 1836-1855), are kept in the National Library in Athens. Ten of them were published posthumously (1845-1853) in seven volumes.

The first volume, published under the title ‘The Forerunner of the Indian Translations by D. Galanos, (Athens, 1845, ed. G. Typaldos and G. Apostolides, pp. xlviii + 155), contains his short biography together with three hundred and thirty translated verses from Bhartṛhari’s lyric poems Nīti-śataka and Vairāgya-śataka, eighty-six verses from Laghu-cāṇakya and ninety-eight eroto-didactic verses from the first part of Jagannātha Paṇḍitarāja’s Bhāminī-Vilāsa.

The second volume contains the translation of the Bālabhārata of the Jain poet Amaracandra-Sūri (Athens, 1847, ed. G. Typaldos and G. Apostolides, pp. lxvi + 867).

The third volume contains the translation of the Bhagavad Gītā. (Athens, 1848, ed. G. Typaldos and G. Apostolides, pp. lxxxii + 126), In the manuscript there is a note announcing the completion of this translation on November 12, 1802.

The fourth volume contains the translation of Kaglidãsa’s Raghuvaṃśa (Athens, 1850, published by G. Typaldos and G. Apostolidis, pages xcv + 275).

The fifth volume contains the Itihāsa Samuccaya. (Athens, 1851, ed. G. Typaldos and G. Apostolides, pp. xxxvi + 285), In the manuscript there is a note which informs us that Galanos had completed this translation in 1824.

The sixth volume contains stories from the Hitopadeśa, Pañcatantra and Śuka-saptati. (Athels, 1851, ed. G. Typaldos and G. Apostolides, Hitopadeśa or Pañcatantra: a) introduction and text, pages 54, b) text, pages 150, c) text and index, pages 111; Śuka-saptati: text, pages 77).

The seventh volume contains the Devīmāhātmyam, (Athens 1853, ed. G. Typaldos and G. Apostolides, pp. xxxix + 67).

More recently in 2001, nearly 170 years after his death, the Greek Indian Friendship Association published Galanos’ Sanskrit-English-Greek Dictionary in a photographic edition which was edited by Vassilis Vitsaxis and Giannis Manettas and forwards by S.A. Schulz. The same dictionary was edited in printed form by Giannis Manettas and published by Konidari Publications in 2010.

Galanos also translated the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, but the preserved text is incomplete, comprising the translation of the first four books and parts of the fifth and tenth book. The financial situation of George K. Typaldos, Ephore of the National Library of Greece, and G. Apostolides, its Librarian and Keeper of Printed Books, who had invested a considerable portion of their resources on their laborious effort to edit and publish Galanos’ books obliged them to desist from the publication of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa.  

The prolific output of Galanos did not end here, however; he also produced several dictionaries from Persian, Indian (i.e. Sanskrit, Bengali, Hindi) and English to Greek; and a Kośa (Thesaurus) of synonyms entirely in Sanskrit.  These manuscripts are either incomplete or bound in a confusing manner and could not be published easily.

Galanos’ longest Sanskrit manuscript contains part of Kāśīnātha Paṇḍitendra’s Sanskrit lexicon, Śabda Sandarbha Sindhu.  In yet another Sanskrit manuscript there are titles and subtitles of Pañcatantra, plus an identifiable Nītiśāstra (code of conduct), and perhaps three more identifiable texts.

Galanos’ work is mainly concentrated on the translation of didactic stories and devotional poems, and on the preparation of lexicography. The central body of Indian philosophical thought that is contained in the Upaniṣads was, at the time, neither popular nor easily available to foreign scholars.  Galanos used the ‘old fashioned’ Greek which resembles the ecclesiastic language (koine) in which the New Testament and the works of the Fathers of the Greek Orthodox Church were written. This definitely adds to the excellency and beauty of his translations. Typaldos, the Greek editor, commenting on Galanos’ translation said: “There can be no doubt that he treated the work at hand with great insight and translated it with great care and exactness; he adorned it with many definitions and enriched it with most noteworthy interpretations.” 

In the manuscripts and letters of Galanos there are occasional references to classical writers, such as Homer, Orpheus, Plato, Euripides, Aristophanes, Isocrates, Philostratus, and Plotinos; to the early Christian Fathers: Eusebius, Saint Augustine, Ioannis Chryssostomos, Ioannis of Damascos, Basil of Caesarea, Saint Athanasios, Theodoretos, and Clement of Alexandria; and to the Christian theologian Origen. Several books of ancient Greek writers  were also found in the personal library of the deceased scholar, suggesting that he continued to study the spiritual and intellectual treasures of his country throughout his entire life.

Further research might be directed towards Galanos’ awareness regarding the cultural and philosophical affinities of the two nations. Schulz has already mentioned two comparative personal remarks of Galanos: “The Greek language has been corrupted and metamorphosed more by the Romans, than by any other nation, that invaded Greece, as the Indian language by the barbarous Mohammedans;” and “The women of Thessaly were very famous in magic amongst the Greeks, as amongst the Bengalees the men of Pegoó.”

Burgi-Kyriazi explained, in the concluding remarks of her book, that Galanos, who had lived for forty years in an important center of the orthodox Hinduism, could not have been unaware of India’s philosophical traditions; yet he avoided commenting or even writing an introduction about them because he wanted to avoid a potential conflict with the Greek Orthodox Church. The fact that Galanos did not write philosophical ideas makes it difficult to decide whether he was a philosopher or not, yet it is certain that he was neither an ascetic nor a Brahmin. According to Burgi-Kyriazi, Galanos was a well educated Greek who sincerely did his work for his own satisfaction, perhaps with the intention of introducing Indian literature to the educated people of his country.

Works on Galanos
Several articles have been published about Galanos’ life in Greek journals and newspapers. Often they have exaggerated titles, such as The Greek Brahmin or The First European Indologist. Apart from older scholars, such as Constantinos Sathas,  Vassilis Eliades,  N.I. Louvaris,  Anastasios Goudas,  Phanes Michalopoulos,   and others,  Gregorios Ziakas  and Danae Papastratou  have also included a chapter on Galanos in their recent works. An international paper entitled, “Demetrios Galanos, the Greek Indologist”  was read by Ioannis Gennadios, (Greek Ambassador to Great Britain at the time), in the ‘Third International Congress for the History of Religion.’

Another Greek scholar, Maria Burgi-Kyriazi, sponsored by ‘The Swiss National Foundation for Scientific Research,’ undertook an extensive and scholarly research on the life and work of Demetrios Galanos. She published the results of her research in French in a book entitled Démétrios Galanos-Enigme de la Renaissance Orientale.

On the occasion of the 160th anniversary of the death of Galanos, the philologist Sarantos Kargakos published in Greek a small book (pp. 93) entitled (in translation), Demetrios Galanos the Athenian (1760-1833): The First European Indologist.

Lastly, Dimitrios Vassiliadis included a research study on Dimitrios Galanos and his work in his book, The Greeks in India: A Survey in Philosophical Understanding. He also authored the text for the documentary “From Foreigner to Foreigner: Dimitrios Galanos – Benares” Directed by Giannis Tritsibidas in 2001.

Among foreign scholars, Monier Williams, in his monumental Sanskrit-English Dictionary, cited a considerable number of meanings culled from Galanos’ Dictionary;  E. Kuhn and P.E. Pavolini held lectures on Galanos in the XVI Congress of Orientalists (Athens, 1912);  Surendranath Dasgupta quoted the Greek translation of Laghu-cāṇakya in his History of Sanskrit Literature; Moritz Winternitz mentioned the translations of Bālabhārata, Cāṇakya, Bhartṛhari’s śatakas, and Bhāminī-Vilāsa  and Subhadra Jha added a short note on the synonymies’ glossary of Galanos in his English translation of Winternitz’s Geschichte der Indischen Litteratur;  V. Raghavan quoted three editions of Typaldos; Windisch’s Geschiche der Sanskrit-Philologie und indischen Altertumskunde (Strassburg, 1917) devoted almost two pages to Galanos;  and more recently, the Sanskritist, Oscar Pujol, in his short article “Recordando a Galanos”, published in the inaugural issue of the Cuaderno Sociedad De Estudios Índicos Y Orientales, expressed the hope that Galanos may become a symbol of ‘xenophilia’ in the European Society for Oriental Studies.

A pioneering investigation of the actual translations of Galanos and their relationship to the original Sanskrit works was made by Siegfried A. Schulz, who published several papers on the subject.  Schulz gave numerous etymological examples and stressed the importance of Galanos’ work for comparative philology.  He also authored the only available critical study on the Devīmāhātmyam translation. Paṇḍit Baldeva Upādhyāya, a renowned Sanskritist in Varanasi, after reading this paper, said, “From the study of the particulars of the interpretation and description of the Greek translation one comes to know the deep knowledge in Sanskrit that the translator possessed.”

Paṇḍit Baldeva Upādhyāya honored the memory of Galanos on behalf of the Paṇḍits of Benares by incorporating his biography into his historical account, The Tradition of the Paṇḍits of Benares.  In marked contrast to his somehow unjustified generalisation about the motives of British scholars, his appreciation for the work of Galanos is clearly evident. He writes:

“In this way the Greek Scholar studied Sanskrit in Benares and having for the first time translated the Sanskrit books into Greek to enlarge the knowledge of the whole of Europe, he made an unprecedented contribution. At that time English scholars too studied Sanskrit and wrote books, but their primary purpose was politics. For the state of being and fitness of government they loved Sanskrit, but the interest of the Greek Galanos was purely Academic. His main aim was to introduce the Sanskrit language and literature to the European scholars and he continued to flourish in this graceful effort. In this way, for the introduction of the tradition of the Paṇḍits (scholars) of Benares to foreign countries we are always obliged to the Greek scholar Demetrios Galanos and in order to make more known the name and the work of this almost forgotten scholar of Sanskrit this description has been given here.”

More recently, a “Dimitrios Galanos” Chair for Hellenic Studies was established at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India in September 2000. Also, an International Conference titled “Demetrios Galanos and His Legacy: Indo-Greek scholarship 1790-2018” was organized by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and was held in two phases, one – in New Delhi and the other – in Varanasi, in February, 2018. The Embassy of Greece in New Delhi, the India International Centre, the Bharat Adhyayan Kendra of Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, and the Hellenic-Indian Friendship League, were active collaborators in this endeavour.

However, we must mention that Galanos’ genius contributions have not been recognized or appreciated in the measure they deserve. The majority of authors of the standard histories of Sanskrit literature seem to be unaware of his work and do not include his name in their lists of foreign contributors to the study of Sanskrit literature. Also, the absence of a department for Indian studies in the Greek universities has prevented greater recognition of and deeper research into his work – a fact that has been criticized by all who have written about his life and his work.


Burgi-Kyriazi, Maria. 1984. Démétrios Galanos – Enigme de la Renaissance Orientale. Paris: Librairie d’ Amerique et d’ Orient.

Galanos Demetrios, All his books published in 19th century, Indo-Greek Digital Library, INDIKA, Athens: ELINEPA  

Galanos, Demetrios. 2001. Sanskrit – English – Greek Dictionary. Athens: Greek – Indian Association.

Galanos, Demetrios. 2010. Sanskrit – English – Greek Dictionary. Edited by Giannis Manettas. Athens: Konidari Publ.

Γεννάδιος, Ιωάννης. 1930. “Δημήτριος Γαλανός: Ο Έλλην Ινδολόγος,” (reprint), Ελληνισμός, Athens.

Marcos-Dodi, Dione, 2002. A Chronicle of the Greeks in India – 1750-1950. Athens: Dodoni Publications

Heber, Reginald. 1828. Narrative of a Journey Through the Upper Provinces of India – From Calcutta to Bombay, 1824 – 1825, (in two volumes), London: John Murray.

Καργάκος, Σαράντος Ι. 1994. Δημήτριος Γαλανός ο Αθηναίος (1760-1833) – Ο Πρώτος Ευρωπαίος Ινδολόγος, Αθήνα: Guttenberg. 

Norris, Paul Byron. 1992. Ulysses in the Raj, London: BACSA (British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia). 

Schulz, S.A. 1982. “The Devīmāhātmya in Greek: D. Galanos translation,” Purāṇa, vol. XXIV (January, 1982).

Schulz, S.A. 1969. “Demetrios Galanos (1760-1833): A Greek Indologist.” Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 89, No. 2 (Apr. – Jun., 1969), pp. 339–356.

Schulz, S.A. 2004. “The Bhagavad Gita in GreekINDIKA, Athens: ELINEPA  

Τανταλίδης, Ηλίας. 1852. Ινδική Αλληλογραφία, Constantinople,

Tritsibidas, Giannis, 2001. From Foreigner to Foreigner:  Demetrios Galanos-Benares, Documentary, INDIKA, Athens: ELINEPA  

Vassiliades, Demetrios Th. 2000. The Greeks in India: A Survey in Philosophical Understanding. Νew Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 

Vassiliades, Demetrios Th. 2005. “Three Centuries of Hellenic Presence in Bengal,” INDIKA, Athens: ELINEPA

Vassiliades, Demetros Th. 2018. “Demetrios Galanos and His Legacy: Indo-Greek scholarship 1790-2018,” International Conference organized by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, INDIKA, Athens: ELINEPA

Vassiliades, Demetrios Th. 2018. “The echo of the international conference on Dimitrios Galanos“, INDIKA, Athens: ELINEPA

Vassiliades, Demetrios Th. 2020. “Dimitrios Galanos (1760 – 1833) – the forerunner of Greek Indology” INDIKA, Athens: ELINEPA

Upadhyaya, Pandit Baldev. 1994 (1983). Kashi ki Panditya Parampara, Varanasi: Vishvavidyalaya Prakashan.