However, Stevenson was better known not for writing about India, but translating India and introducing one of its languages, and its rich religious and cultural heritage through literature to the Western World. During his long residence in India (only returning to Scotland in 1854 upon his retirement), the Reverend Stevenson became an accomplished Sanskritist and grammarian of the Marathi language. A prominent orientalist and ethnographer, Stevenson was also president of the Bombay branch of the Royal Asiatic Society and was one of the earliest translators of the Vedas, which are the four holiest books of the Hindu religion, written in Sanskrit and believed to be one of the oldest books ever made. The University Library holds a copy of Translation of the Sanhitá of the Sáma Veda (London : Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland, 1842).
Stevenson died on 11 August 1858. However his linguistic ability stayed in the family and his nephew William Barron Stevenson became Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages at the University from 1907 to 1937.
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