Aspects of Manuscript Culture in South India


Editor: Saraju Rath
This volume, the outcome of a seminar organized at the International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden, marks an important advancement in the study of South Indian Sanskrit manuscripts which are predominantly on palm leaf and rarely older than three to four centuries. Nevertheless, they continued a manuscript culture for around two millennia and had a profound impact on traditions of knowledge and culture. After an introductory essay (by J.E.M. Houben and S. Rath) addressing theoretical and historical issues of text transmission in manuscripts and in India’s remarkably strong oral memory culture, it contains twelve contributions dealing with South Indian manuscript collections in India and Europe (mainly of Vedic and Sanskrit texts) and with problems related to the scripts, the dating of manuscripts and India's literary and intellectual history.
Contributors include: G. Colas, A.A. Esposito, M. Fujii, C. Galewicz, J.E.M. Houben, H. Moser, P. Perumal, K. Plofker, S. Rath, S.R. Sarma, D. Wujastyk, K.G. Zysk
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Biographical Note

Saraju Rath, Ph.D. (1991) in Sanskrit Grammar, Pune University, has extensive research experience in Indian manuscripts since 1987. She has been teaching and lecturing on manuscriptology and on the history and development of ancient Indian scripts in India and Europe.

Table of contents

List of Contributors

1. Introduction: Manuscript Culture and Its Impact in “India”: Contours and Parameters - Jan Houben and Saraju Rath
2. On the Johan van Manen Collection: Its Origin and Background - Saraju Rath
3. A Cultural Encounter in the Early 18th century: the Collection of South Indian Manuscripts by the French Jesuit Fathers of the Carnatic Mission - Gérard Colas
4. The South Indian Drama Manuscripts - Anna Aurelia Esposito
5. The Jaiminīya Sāmaveda Traditions and Manuscripts in South India - Masato Fujii
6. Texts and Communities: The Manuscripts of the Lost Yāmalāsṭakatantra - Cezary Galewicz
7. From Palmleaves to a Multimedia Databank – a Note on the ‘Bhāsa-project’ - Heike Moser
8. The Sanskrit Manuscripts in Tamilnadu - P. Perumal
9. Indian Exact Sciences in Sanskrit Manuscripts and Their Colophons - Kim Plofker
10. Varieties of Grantha Script: the Date and Place of Origin of Manuscripts - Saraju Rath
11. From my Grandfather’s Chest of Palmleaf Books - Sreeramula Rajeswara Sarma
12. Rāmasubrahmaṇya’s Manuscripts: Intellectual Networks in the Kaveri Delta, 1693-1922 - Dominik Wujastyk
13. The Use of Manuscript Catalogues as Sources of Regional Intellectual History in India’s Early Modern Period - Kenneth G. Zysk



This volume will be of interest to indologists, manuscriptologists, paleographists, students of India's and of South Asia's cultural and intellectual history, and students of orality, memory culture and manuscript culture.