Bengaluru, Feb 28: Historian S. Shettar, 85, breathed his last early on February 28 in Bengaluru. He was suffering from respiratory problems and was hospitalised for over a week.
Shettar was known for his multi-disciplinary work, encompassing linguistics, epigraphy, anthropology, the study of religions and art history. He had extensively worked on the Jain practice of ritual death in Karnataka and Asoka edicts. He had studied and compiled early edicts in Kannada and worked extensively on the growth of Kannada language down the ages.
Born in 1935 at Hampasagara, Ballari district, he went on to study at Cambridge University and started his career as a Professor of History at Karnatak University, Dharwad, his alma mater. He later headed the National Museum Institute of the History of Art, Conservation and Museology in 1978 and Indian Council for Historical Research in 1996. He was also a visiting professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru.
He was a bilingual historian who wrote in English for most of his career, but started writing in Kannada in later years. In the last two decades, he developed a keen interest in linguistics and wrote multiple books on classical Kannada and Prakrit. His 2007 book “Shangam Tamilagam” is considered a seminal work in the study of the early period of Dravidian languages. It won him Bhasha Samman from Central Sahitya Akademi. He later wrote two works on Halegannada, classical Kannada. His most recent work was “Prakrita Jagadvalaya” in 2018.
Eminent Historian Shadakshari Shettar passes away at 85