Ancient Buddhist Scrolls from Gandhara: The British Library Kharosthi Fragments (Gandharan Buddhist Texts)

Salomon, Richard

Published by University of Washington Press, 1999
ISBN 10: 0295977698 / ISBN 13: 9780295977690
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Synopsis: As the Dead Sea scrolls have changed our understanding of Judaism and early Christianity, so a set of twenty-nine scrolls recently acquired by the British Library promise to provide a window into a crucial phase of the history of Buddhism in India. The fragmentary birch bark scrolls, which were found inside one of a set of inscribed clay pots, are written in the Gandhari Prakrit language and in Kharosthi script. Dating from around the beginning of the Christian era, the scrolls are probably the oldest Buddhist manuscripts ever discovered.The manuscripts and pots come from a region known in ancient times as Gandhara, corresponding to modern northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. At the peak of its influence, Gandhara was the capital of a series of wealthy and powerful dynasties and became one of the world's most important centers of Buddhism and the gateway through which Buddhism was transmitted from India to China and other parts of Asia. Gandhara was also a principal point of contact between India and the Western world. Despite abundant archeological evidence of Gandhara's thriving culture, until now there has been virtually no documentary evidence of its literary and religious canon.This volume introduces a groundbreaking project to decipher and interpret the Gandharan texts. It provides a detailed description of the manuscripts and a survey of their contents, along with a preliminary evaluation of their significance. Also included are representative samples of texts and translations.This discovery sheds new light on the regional character of early Indian Buddhist traditions, the process of the formation of standardized written canons, and the transmission of Buddhism into central and east Asia. Ancient Buddhist Scrolls from Gandhara will appeal to a broad audience with interests in Buddhism, comparative religion, and Asian languages.For more information go to the Early Buddhist Manuscript Project web site at http://www.ebmp.org/

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A rare example of a book that appeals equally to the specialist . . . as well as to the general reader interested in archaeology or in Buddhist thought and practice.

--Choice

Professor Salomon has brilliantly illuminated the path to a more historically nuanced approach to the study of Buddhist manuscripts. . . . This volume will serve as a benchmark of clarity, readability, and scholarly precision for anyone attempting to work in similar materials in the future.

--Sino-Platonic Papers

The remarkable success of the rescue and conservation by British Library staff, and of the decipherment and reconstruction by the team in Seattle, hold a promise of yet more revolutionary insights into the construction and meaning of the early Buddhist texts.

--Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Ancient Buddhist Scrolls from Gandhara: The ...
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Collectible - Very Good
Edition: First Edition.

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Salomon, Richard
Published by University of Washington Press (1999)
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Book Description Univ of Washington Pr, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., 1999. Soft Cover. Condition: Very Good. No Jacket. Tall 8vo. Seller Inventory # 29639

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Book Description University of Washington Press, US, 1999. Paperback. Condition: Near Fine. Pages are clean, binding is tight. Text block is clean. Spine is uncreased. Covers are clean and bright with some shelf and edgewear. Seller Inventory # 30469

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Book Description University of Washington Press, Seattle 1999, 1999. 28.0 x 20.0cms, 274pp, b/w & colour illusts, very good paperback & cover The chapters are: Gandhara & Gandaran Buddhism; the contents of the British Library Kharosthi collection; previous discoveris of Kharosthi manuscripts; origin & character of the collection; the scrolls' format, material & construction; paleographic & linguistic features; the date of the manuscripts; preliminary evaluation; inscribed pots & potsherds. Seller Inventory # 153207

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Book Description University of Washington Press, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: No Dust Jacket. Light shelfwear; As the Dead Sea Scrolls have changed our understanding of Judaism and early Christianity, so a set of 29 scroll fragments acquired in 1994 by The British Library promise to improve our knowledge of the history of Buddhism in India. The fragmentary birch bark scrolls were found inside one of set of inscribed clay pots. Written in the Gandhari language, they date from around the beginning of the Christian era, and are probably the oldest Buddhist manuscripts ever discovered. This work provides a detailed description of the manuscripts and a survey of their contents, along with a preliminary evaluation of their significance. Also included are representative samples of texts and translations. An important and surprising feature of the manuscripts is the amount of unfamiliar material in them. Most of the approximately two dozen texts have not so far been identified with previously known texts in other Buddhist languages and traditions. ; 1 x 11 x 7.78 Inches; 273 pages. Seller Inventory # 5135

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