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HISTORY AND PURPOSE

The AOS (American Oriental Society) is the oldest learned society in the United States devoted to a particular field of

scholarship. The Society was founded in 1842, preceded only by such distinguished organizations of general scope

as the American Philosophical Society (1743), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1780), and the American

Antiquarian Society (1812). From the beginning its aims have been humanistic. The encouragement of basic research

in the languages and literatures of Asia has always been central in its tradition. This tradition has come to include such

subjects as philology, literary criticism, textual criticism, paleography, epigraphy, linguistics, biography, archaeology, and

the history of the intellectual and imaginative aspects of Oriental civilizations, especially of philosophy, religion, folklore

and art. The scope of the Society’s purpose is not limited by temporal boundaries: All sincere students of man and his

works in Asia, at whatever period of history are welcomed to membership.

PUBLICATIONS

The regular serial publication of the Society, issued quarterly, is JAOS (Journal of the American Oriental Society). The first

volume, published in 1843–49, set the tone for all time in the broad scope of subject matter and the solidity of its

scholarship. It included studies of Arab music, of Persian cuneiform, and of Buddhism in India, and brought to a wide

audience the then novel theories of Pierre E. Du Ponceau, assailing the doctrine of the ‘‘ideographic’’ character of the

Chinese script. From that year to the present day, the Journal has brought to the world of scholarship the results of

the advanced researches of the most distinguished American Orientalists, specialists in the literatures and civilizations of

the Near East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Inner Asia, the Far East and the Islamic World. The pages of

the Journal are always open to original and interesting contributions from scholars. To assure competent and impartial

appraisal of the scholarly level of the material submitted for publication, the editorial staff is composed of recognized

scholars in each of the major areas served by the Society.

The Society also publishes a monograph series, the American Oriental Series. Among the more than 70 volumes published

so far are Frank R. Blake, A Grammar of the Tagalog Language (Vol. 1, 1925); Zellig S. Harris, A Grammar of the

Phoenician Language (Vol. 8, 1936); Millar Burrows, The Basis of Israelite Marriage (Vol. 15, 1938); Roland G. Kent,

Old Persian: grammar, texts, lexicon (Vol. 33, 1953); Jack M. Sasson, ed. Studies in Literature from the Ancient Near East

dedicated to Samuel Noah Kramer (Vol. 65, 1984); Jacob Lassner, Islamic Revolution and Historical Memory (Vol. 66,

1986); Douglas Q. Adams, Tocharian Historical Phonology and Morphology (Vol. 71, 1988); and Sean W. Anthony,

Crucifixion and Death as Spectacle : Umayyad Crucifixion in Its Late Antique Context (Vol. 96, 2014).

In addition, there is the American Oriental Society Essay Series which has published shorter works, such as Betty Shefts,

‘‘Grammatical Method in Panini’’; C. Cohen & D. Sivan, ‘‘The Ugaritic Hippiatric Texts: A Critical Edition’’; and

Hanns-Peter Schmidt (with contributions by W. Lentz and S. Insler), ‘‘Form and Meaning of Yasna 33’’. The Society

also publishes the recently established American Oriental Society Translation Series: Jerrold S. Cooper, Sumerian and

Akkadian Royal Inscriptions (Vol. 1, 1986), Edwin Gerow, The Jewel-Necklace of Argument (The Vadaratnavali of

Visnudasacarya) (Vol. 2, 1990); Habib Borjian, Essays on Three Iranian Language Groups: Taleqani, Biabanaki, Komisenian (Vol. 99, 2022).

All publications of the Society are available to members at a 20% discount, and occasionally special sales of publications

are held at greatly reduced prices. Membership includes an annual subscription to the Journal.

MEMBERSHIP

Membership in the Society is open to all persons interested in Oriental Studies. Anyone wishing to become a member

is invited to write the Secretary, American Oriental Society, Hatcher Graduate Library, University of Michigan, Ann

Arbor, MI 48109-1205 USA.  AOS website and e-mail: (https://www.aos-site.org/ and jrodgers@umich.edu)


Every student, professional or amateur, of the languages and cultures of the Orient will be a valuable addition to the

American Oriental Society. The addition of new members helps to perpetuate the 180+ year humanistic tradition of the

AOS.