In memoriam Max Sparreboom

05 September 2016

It is with deep regret that we inform you of the death, on the 30th August 2016, of Professor Max Sparreboom, member of the IIAS board between 2001 and 2006 and director of IIAS between 2006 and 2009. In these years he  consolidated the national and international position of IIAS, and used his contacts with Dutch and European organisations to initiate new programmes in the field of Asian Studies. 

Professor Sparreboom studied Indo-Iranian languages and cultures at Leiden University, and he defended his doctoral thesis in 1983 under Professor Heesterman. The title of his thesis was ‘Chariots in the Veda’. After a position as lecturer at Leiden University, he pursued his career in The Hague and Strassbourg working for the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research and the European Science Foundation. Between 2001 and 2006 he was Dean of the Faculty of History and Arts of the Erasmus University, Rotterdam. From 1999 he was also the director of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation. Next to his managerial tasks, Professor Sparreboom has always been keenly involved in the study of amphibians and reptiles, and published widely on the subject.

Max, I will always remember the classes we shared reading Avestan and Vedic texts together with Professor Heesterman, and our late night talks in your room in Leiden along the Schelpenkade, surrounded by terraria filled with the weirdest of lifestock. You will be missed.

Willem Vogelsang, deputy director IIAS