The Bakhshālī Manuscript

An Ancient Indian Mathematical Treatise


Takao Hayashi

The Bakhshālī Manuscript is an old birch-bark manuscript which treats mathematics in Sanskrit. It was unearthed by a farmer in AD 1881 at the small village of Bakhshālī, about eighty kilometers north-east of Peshawar, one of the important trading centers of the ancient Gandhāra district (now Pakistan).

It was studied by eminent Indologists and historians of mathematics of the time, yet a number of mathematical rules and examples in it were either left undeciphered or misunderstood due to the fragmentary nature of the manuscript, the irregularities of the language, and the fact that the study of the history of Indian mathematics was in an early stage. The dating of the manuscript as well as of the work in it has also been long a matter of controversy. The dates estimated range from the early centuries of the Christian era to the twelfth century.

The situation has been much improved, however, by quite a few studies on Indian mathematics that appeared after those pioneering works, and by the publication of two Sanskrit works, Bhāskara’s commentary on the Aryabhaṭīya and Srīdhara’s Paṭīgaṇita with an old commentary, which have greatly enhanced our knowledge of Indian mathematics of the seventh and eighth centuries.

This book offers a fresh translation of the manuscript, the first English translation of the whole text based on a systematic study of linguistic peculiarities, and a mathematical commentary based on a comparative study of the Bakhshālī work and other Sanskrit mathematical texts, including the two mentioned above. The Introduction attempts to locate the Bakhshālī work properly within the history of Indian mathematics.

The Battle for Junk Ceylon

The Syair Sultan Maulana


C. Skinner

The Battle for Junk Ceylon presents a new scholarly edition of the text of the Malay “ballad” known as the Syair Sultan Maulana, together with an English translation. This long poem was written during the second decade of the 19th century by the secretary to the Lakasamana (Admiral) of the sultanate of Kedah. It gives an eye-witness account if the events which occurred during the early part of the reign of Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin, in particular the part played by the Kedah fleet in helping the Siamese to expel the Burmese form the island of Phuket (“Junk Ceylon”) on the west coast of southern Thailand.
The accuracy and relative lack of bias on the part of the author make this Malay text a primary source of some importance, and accordingly the editor has concentrated his attention on the historical features of the text, in particular the military and naval aspects of the Junk Ceylon campaign, thereby also making use of sources in Thai in order to paint a remarkably clear picture of the course of the events.


The Death of Bhoma


Edited by A. Teeuw and S.O. Robson

The Bhomantaka, or the Death of Bhoma, is a wide-ranging tale of the sweet romance of Samba and Yajñawati, of the defeat of the demon Bhoma by King Kresna and his minions in a truly monumental battle, and many more incidents and descriptions, a product of the sophisticated literary tradition of early Java. The poem is written in Old Javanese (composed by an author who does not mention his name or that of his king), in an idiom that presents many difficulties for the modern reader. This book contains an edition of the text, a translation, and an extensive explanatory introduction—enough to make the work accessible—and was produced by a team of two, both senior scholars of Old Javanese and experienced in producing readable English translations.
It will become apparent in the course of reading that there are still numerous philological problems attaching to the text and its interpretation, but on the other hand it is also a fact that it contains many a passage of delightful poetry, philosophical teaching and other cultural information. As a result we get a glimpse of what Java was like perhaps eight and a half centuries ago, and of the thought-world of the Javanese of that age – a world where legendary, mythological or divine beings do battle, and kings march out to restore the welfare of the realm.
This publication takes its place in a long line, from the author via the copyists, in Java and in Bali, who faithfully and lovingly transmitted the work, down to the first edition of the text in 1852 and then the first translation in 1946. In this way a literary tradition of great value has been preserved for the future, and the KITLV Press now offers this contribution to coming generations of students of Old Javanese and to scholars of comparative literature around the world.

The Gospel of Peter

Introduction, Critical Edition and Commentary


Paul Foster

Since its discovery in 1886/87 there has been no full-scale English-language treatment of the Gospel of Peter. This book rectifies that gap in scholarship by discussing a range of introductory issues and debates in contemporary scholarship, providing a new critical edition of the text and a comprehensive commentary. New arguments are brought forward for the dependence of the Gospel of Peter upon the synoptic gospels. The theological perspectives of the text are seen as reflecting second-century popular Christian thought. This passion account is viewed as a highly significant window into the way later generations of Christians received and rewrote traditions concerning Jesus.


Olaf Waßmuth

Buch 1 und 2 bilden innerhalb der disparaten Sammlung der antiken Sibyllinischen Orakel ein zusammenhängendes Werk: eine historische Apokalypse, die den Bogen von der Schöpfung bis in die eschatologische Goldene Zeit spannt und dabei biblische und heidnische Mythologie harmonisiert. Die vorliegende Studie analysiert das in seiner jetzigen Gestalt klar christliche Doppelbuch. Sie rekonstruiert daraus eine vorchristliche Grundschrift, die als literarisches Zeugnis der jüdisch-heidnischen Symbiose im kaiserzeitlichen Kleinasien gelesen werden kann. In seiner bearbeiteten Form ist das Doppelbuch die vermutlich älteste Sibyllenschrift aus christlicher Hand. Die Studie bietet einen detaillierten Kommentar zu der gesamten Schrift. Dabei untersucht sie auch das umfangreiche Pseudo-Phokylides-Zitat in Buch 2 sowie die Beziehungen der eschatologischen Abschnitte zur Petrusapokalypse.

Within the disparate collection of ancient Sibylline Oracles book 1 and 2 form a historical apocalypse reaching from the creation to the eschatological Golden Age. It is unique in integrating biblical and classical mythology. Although Christian in its present form, its origins have been debated for a long time. This study examines its different parts and tries to reconstruct a pre-Christian document. It interprets the original work as a literary evidence of the Jewish-pagan symbiosis in Asia Minor in the imperial period. Its adaption is probably the earliest Sibylline writing produced by Christians. The study provides a line-by-line commentary. It contains a close examination of the tradition of Pseudo-Phocylides included in the Christian document as well as a comparison with the Apocalypse of Peter.

A Newly Discovered Greek Father

Cassian the Sabaite eclipsed by John Cassian of Marseilles


Panayiotis Tzamalikos

This is a critical edition of texts of Codex 573 (ninth century, Monastery of Metamorphosis, Meteora, Greece), which are published along with the monograph identifying The Real Cassian, in the same series. They cast light on Cassian the Sabaite, a sixth century highly erudite intellectual, whom Medieval forgery replaced with John Cassian. The texts are of high philological, theological, and philosophical value, heavily pregnant with notions characteristic of eminent Greek Fathers, especially Gregory of Nyssa. They are couched in a distinctly technical Greek language, which has a meaningful record in Eastern patrimony, but mostly makes no sense in Latin, which is impossible to have been their original language. The Latin texts currently attributed to John Cassian, the Scythian of Marseilles, are heavily interpolated translations of this Greek original by Cassian the Sabaite, native of Scythopolis, who is identified with Pseudo-Caesarius and the author of Pseudo Didymus' De Trinitate. Codex 573, entitled The Book of Monk Cassian, preserves also the sole extant manuscript of the Scholia in Apocalypsin, the chain of comments that were falsely attributed to Origen a century ago. A critical edition of these Scholia has been published in a separate edition volume, with commentary and an English translation (Cambridge).


Jewel of Malay Muslim Culture


Julian Millie

The sly wit and silky eroticism of the verse genre known as romantic syair were staple dishes on the Southeast Asian cultural menu, especially in the Malay, Islamic regional centres. Yet very few examples are available in translation for the many readers interested in the genre, and attempts by academics to account for their powers of attraction are even rarer. This book is the author’s effort to convey the seductive qualities of the sexiest of the romantic syair, the ‘Poem of Bidasari’. Few Malay works have been loved and disseminated to the extent the Syair Bidasari has. It was translated in other languages of the region like Makassarese and Maranao and adapted for the Malay theatre and cinema.
Three tasks are attempted in the book: a transliteration into Roman characters of one of the surviving Malay manuscripts of the poem, a translation of that manuscript into English, and an inquiry into the poem’s virtues. The intertexts drawn upon in the analysis reveal the author’s conviction that understanding of traditions of kesenian rakyat (popular arts) such as pantun and the Malay theatre provides the background that allows the text to signify most powerfully.

Arnold Geulincx Ethics

With Samuel Beckett's Notes


Edited by Han van Ruler, Anthony Uhlmann and Martin A. Wilson

Arnold Geulincx (1624-1669) is a key figure in the history of ideas, whose concepts have been seen as precursors to those developed by Spinoza, Malebranche, Leibniz and Kant.
His Ethics presents a treatment of virtue from the standpoint of occasionalist metaphysics. The great Irish writer Samuel Beckett stated that Geulincx, with his emphasis on the powerlessness and ignorance of the human condition, was a key influence on his works. This is the first complete version of the text to appear in a modern language. It includes the full text of the Ethics and Beckett’s notes to his reading of Geulincx.
Shedding new light on important moments of intellectual history, it is a major event for students of philosophy and literature.

Brill's Texts and Sources in Intellectual History, vol. 1

Johannes Hoornbeeck (1617-1666), On the Conversion of Indians and Heathens

An Annotated Translation of De conversione Indorum et gentilium (1669)


Ineke Loots, Joke Spaans and Johannes Hoornbeeck

Exploration, trade and conquest expanded and upset traditional worldviews of early modern Europeans. Christians saw themselves confronted with a largely heathen world. In the wake of Iberian colonization, Jesuits successfully christianized heathen populations overseas. In his De conversione Indorum et gentilium, Johannes Hoornbeeck presents a systematic overview of every aspect of the missionary imperative from a Reformed Protestant perspective. The most attractive part of his book may be the global survey it offers of the various types of heathens, an early example of comparative religion. Of equal interest, however, is his critical approach to mission. Hoornbeeck rejects ecclesiastical hierarchy and top-down imposition of Christianity. In this he is perfectly orthodox, and at the same time startlingly original and a harbinger of modern missions. His practical recommendations offer a flexible framework for missionaries, to fit a wide variety of circumstances.
Classic Arabic Texts Online (CATO) offers approx. 19,000 pages of classic Brill editions of Arabic texts in a full-text searchable format and accessible from one single point of entry.

CATO includes the following titles:
Bibliotheca Geographorum Arabicorum (with indices and glossaries!) edited by M.J. de Goeje and J.H. Kramers
• De Goeje’s edition of al-Ṭabarī’s Taʾrīkh al-rusul wa l-mulūk
• De Goeje’s edition of al-Balādhūrī’s Kitāb Futūḥ al-buldān
Origins of the Islamic State by Murgotten and Hitti, the English translation of al-Balādhūrī’s Kitāb Futūḥ al-buldān

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