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Rapson, Edward James, 1861-1937 (numismatist, philologist and Professor of Sanskrit)



  • Existence: 1861 - 1937


Edward James Rapson, the son of a clergyman, was educated at Hereford Cathedral School, and in 1879 entered St. John's College, Cambridge, where he took Firsts in the Classical Tripos (1883) and the Indian Languages Tripos (1885). Between 1887 and 1906 he was an Assistant Keeper in the British Museum's Department of Coins and Medals (becoming an expert in Indian numismatics), and in 1903 was appointed Professor of Sanskrit at University College London in succession to Cecil Bendall, who had moved to Cambridge. Following Bendall's early death in March 1906, Rapson succeeded him in the Cambridge chair, which he was to hold for thirty years. He was the author of several works on Indian history and coinage, editor of the first volume of the Cambridge History of India, and joint decipherer and editor of the Kharosthi texts discovered by Aurel Stein in Central Asia.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


E.J. Rapson, Professor of Sanskrit: Letters

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7601
Scope and Contents

Correspondence mainly covering Rapson's career. Letters are to Rapson unless otherwise specified.

Dates: 1887-1932 (Two-thirds of the letters fall within only a four-year period, from 1906 to 1909)
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (