Tag Archives: Bawden

Obituary: Charles Roskelly Bawden (1924–2016)

Charles Roskelly Bawden FBA (22 April 1924 – 11 August 2016), Emeritus Professor of Mongolian, University of London, died after short illness, aged 92. He was an outstanding scholar whose research on Mongolia encompassed a broad range of subjects from medieval history to contemporary affairs, both religious and worldly, like “The modern history of Mongolia” (1968, 2nd rev. ed. 1989). He edited and published numerous classical Mongolian texts, like Lomi’s “Mongġol borǰigid oboġ-un teüke” of 1732 (with Walther Heissig, published 1957) and also wrote about philological issues, e.g. “Mongolian in Tibetan Script” (1960). Perhaps his most famous, and most read, yet probably not necessarily most frequently quoted work is the “Mongolian-English Dictionary” (published 1997). Besides these works, he also compiled an anthology of Mongolian traditional literature (2003) and continued to publish until just a few years ago.

A graduate student of Denis Sinor in Cambridge and a personal friend of Walther Heissig, he was an active participant in the early years of the PIAC who participated in virtually every meeting between 1958 and 1966. He was awarded the Indiana University Prize for Altaic Studies in 2012, a late acknowledgement of his lifelong contributions to the broader field of Mongolian and Inner Asian studies.


Oliver Corff, August 19th, 2016.