Ludwig Alsdorf (1904-1978) was one of the most active and competent exponents of recent German Indology. He has made lasting contributions to various branches of Indian studies-we mention only Jainism, Buddhism and Veda. But he has also studied and described Indian history and civilization as a whole. The greater part of his writings is meant for the specialist. But he was also fully aware of the need to inform a wider public. L. Alsdorf's researches are deeply rooted in the tradition of German scholarship but he was too original a thinker to conform to any established pattern. His range of interests was wide and his activities were manifold.
The numerous articles and reviews from his pen had been published in a great number of European and Indian journals. The concept of this brochure originated in the course of the work on that volume. The basic idea was to give broad information on all the aspects of L. Alsdorf's work both to the learned general public and to cospecialists who had no adequate access to his own writings. Under the circumstances, the present booklet could not be quite uniform in all its parts. Furthermore, it shows here and there the traits of an experiment. The editors are nevertheless confident that it will help to focus attention on a great scholar and at the same time encourage later Indologists to utilize L. Alsdorf's writings to their fullest possible extent.