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Mary F. Linda

(b Greifswald, Dec 6, 1890; d New York, March 20, 1943).

German art historian. He was trained in Sanskrit philology and comparative linguistics at the University of Berlin, graduating in 1913, and his interests embraced Hindu mythology and philosophy in both literary and visual forms. He taught at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Universität, Greifswald (1920–24), and he held the Chair of Indian philology at Heidelberg (1924–38), from which he was dismissed in 1938 for his anti-Nazi convictions. In 1942, after briefly teaching at Balliol College (1939–40), Oxford, Zimmer became Visiting Lecturer in Philosophy at Columbia University (1942–3) in New York, where he died a year later. Many of his most important writings were edited and published posthumously by Joseph Campbell.

Following the Romantic and transcendental traditions of Indian scholarship, Zimmer sought to interpret the contributions of India in philosophy, medicine, art and the history of religion to the development of human civilization, and to assimilate the ‘truths’ found therein with Western thought. His observations were based on Puranic and Tantric texts, sources which until that time were underutilized in Indic studies. His ...