The Indian Antiquary Vol – 33 (1904) by John Faithfull Fleet


The Indian Antiquary Vol – 33 (1904) by John Faithfull Fleet PDF

Book – The Indian Antiquary Vol-33,
Author – John Faithfull Fleet,
Book pages – 527,
Book Size- 60 MB,

Indian Paleography by Johann Georg Buhler. (प्राचीन शिलालेखों का अध्ययन – প্রত্নতত্ত্ব-সম্বন্ধীয়)

Professor Buhler’s Indische Palaeographie, consisting of 96 pages of letter-press, with a portfolio of 9 plates of alphabetical characters and numerals and 8 tables of explanatory transliteration of them, was published in 1896 as Part 11 of Yol. I. of Dr. Karl J. Triibner’s “Grrundriss der Indo- Arischen Philologie und Altertumskunde,” or “Encyclopaedia of Indo- Aryan Research”, which was planned and started by Professor Biihler himself, and was superintended by him up to the time of his death, in April, 1898.

There was always the intention of issuing the letter-press of the work in English also. The English version was made by Professor Biihler. And his manuscript of it was on its way to the Press at the time of his death. Steps were taken towards having it printed and published under the direction of Professor Kielhorn, who succeeded to the editorial management of the Grundriss. At that time, however, owing partly to the great interruption of business in India caused by the plague, partly to the manner in which the manuscript was written, and partly to a natural difficulty in the way of doing what had been contemplated, namely, of issuing the English version in such a form as to resemble the German original exactly in type and in arrangement page by page, the preparation for publication could not be taken far, and eventually had to be abandoned.

Feeling, himself, the want of the English version, and knowing that there must be others placed in the same position, in 1902 He made some inquiries and proposals about it. The result, with the consent and help of Professor Kielhorn, was a generous public-spirited response by Dr. Triibner, who, after consultation with Mrs. Buhler, agreed to transfer the copyright of the English version on practically nominal terms, subject to certain conditions as to the method of publication. Dr. Trubner’s terms and conditions were accepted in a similar spirit by Colonel Sir Richard Temple, the proprietor of the “Indian Antiquary.” And thus it came to me to take the work through the Press, and to arrange the issue of it in its present form as an Appendix to the Indian Antiquary, Vol. XXXIII, 1904.

As far as the commencement of the second paragraph of § 16, A, on page 33, the English version has been produced from an advanced proof of 1900, prepared in the circumstances indicated in paragraph 2 above, and revised by Professor Kielhorn. From that point onwards, it has been done from Professor Biihler’s manuscript, written by himself. In order, however, to set the printers fairly at work, it was necessary, because of the very numerous and sometimes rather perplexing abbreviations to which Professor Biihler had had recourse, to furnish them with a fair copy. The copy was, of course, closely compared by me with the original manuscript. And it is hoped that no mistakes have been introduced, in interpreting any of the abbreviations in passages which are not in the German original.

A perusal of a very few pages of the English work, thus issued, will suffice to shew that it is not altogether a literal rendering of the German original. It is, therefore, sent forth as an English version, not as an actual translation. At the same time, the English version does not in any way supersede the German original. In the first place, as the stones were not preserved, it has not been practicable to issue with the English version the plates and tables which form so important a part of the whole work ; however, there is available, for separate purchase, a limited number of copies of the plates and tables, printed off in excess of the number required for issue with the German original. In the second place, in writing his English version. Professor Biihler made here and there certain deviations, sometimes by insertion, sometimes by omission, from the German original. But these deviations, made chiefly in connection with the second edition, published in 1898, of his Indian Studies, No. Ill, on The Origin of the Indian Brahma Alphabet, are in points of detail, and do not in any way amount to a revised edition of his Indische Palaeographie.’ The German original is still the text-book, as much as is the English version. The latter is for the benefit of those, interested in any way whatsoever in the subject, who are not able to utilise the German text.

This work of Professor Biihler has brought to a climax, for the present, the palseographic line of Indian research. And it would be impossible to speak in too high terms of the manner in which he has handled the subject, and of the value of tlie results which he has placed before us. In the palaographic line, however, as also in the historical line, on which it is largely dependent, and, in fact, in every line of Indian research, we are steadily accumulating more facts and better materials, and making substantial progress, every year. I venture, therefore, to draw attention to a few details, which already might now be treated, or at least considered, from other points of view.

A notable point, regarding which I differ from the opinions of Professor Biihler as expressed in this work, is that of both the relative order and also the actual dates of the varieties of the Kharoshthi alphabet, indicated on page 25 under § 10,(3) and (4), which are found in the epigraphic records and on the coins of — (following the order in which, in my opinion, they should properly be placed) — Eanishka and Huvishka, ‘Sudasa-‘Sodasa and Patika, and Gondophernes. Kanishka certainly founded the Malava-Vikrama era, commencing B.C. 58. And in that era there are certainly dated, in addition to records of the times of him and his direct successors, the dated records of the times of ‘Sudasa-‘Sodasa, Patika, and Gondophernes, and of Yasudeva, who was a contemporary of Gondophernes.

A similar remark applies to the order and dates of the varieties of the Brahma or Brahrai alphabet, indicated on page 32, under § 15, (8, 9), from records of the times of Kanishka, Huvishka, ‘Sudasa-‘Sodasa, and Yasudeva.

As regards the nomenclature of those same varieties of the Kharoshthi alphabet, it is now certain that it is erroneous to describe one of them, mentioned there and discussed on page 27f., as a ‘Saka variety. ‘Sudasa-‘Sodasa and Patika were not ‘Sakas, or Sakas, if that should be the correct expression according to the original form of the name. None of the Sakas, ‘Sakas, ever played a leading historical part in Northern India.

In respect of the Eran coin, mentioned first on page 8, which presents a reversed Brahmi legend running from right to left, we must not lose sight of the possibility that the explanation is to be found, as has been suggested by Professor Hultech in the “Indian Antiquary,” Vol. XXVI, p. 336, in a mistake of the engraver of the die, who, like the die-sinker in the case of a certain coin of Holkar of the last century, may have forgotten that he ought to reverse the legend on the die itself. “We have one instance of such remissness in ancient times in a coin of Rajula-Rajuvula, the reverse of which presents a monogram, formed of the Greek letters E and Y, facing in the wrong direction ; see Professor Gardner’s Catalogue of the Coins of the Greek and Scythic Kings of Bactria and India, p. 67, No. 5. And we have another in the legend on a bronze stamp for making seals, where the engraver omitted to reverse the syllable sri; see J.RAS. 1901, 98, plate. No. 9.

On page 67, under § 29, B,(2), there is a statement about the strongly cursive Kararese kh, which is calculated to be misleading, and on the strength of ifhich some erroneous assertions have already been made.

In the plates and tables there are some selections that might have been avoided, and some incorrect details, which are due to two causes partly to the hct, the explanation of which has been indicated in some remarks made by me in the Epigraphia Indica, Vol. VI, p. 80, that, owing to the nature of the only available materials, the plates have sometimes been based upon reproductions of original records which are not actual facsimiles j partly to the fact, vbieli we learn from the Concluding Remarks on page 102, that some of the details of the plates were not selected and filled in by Professor Buhler himself.

And in any revision of the work there would have to be added, in connection with § 20, D, on page 44, a notice of the more recently discovered peculiar variety of the southern alphabet which is illustrated in the Mayidavolu plates of the Pallava king ‘Siva-Skandavarman and the Kondamudi plates of Jayavarman, edited by Professor Hultzsch in the “Epigraphia Indica,” Vol. VI, pp. 84 ff., 315 ff.

It would, however, have been contrary to the spirit of the arrangement with Pr. Triibner, to introduce any comments and additions of my own, either in the text or in footnotes. And I do not find it convenient or appropriate to present them here, beyond the extent of the indications given above. Anything of that kind must b_e left for other occasions.

John Faithfull Fleet’s editorial functions in the issue of this English version of Professor Biihler’s work have thus been confined to details of a formal kind: chiefly in the matter of giving more prominence to the titlings of the sections and the divisions of them; in transferring to a more convenient position, as separated footnotes at the bottom of the pages to which they belong, the notes which in the German original stand massed together at the end of each section f and in marking, by figures in square brackets in thick type, the commencement of each page of the German original, as closely as has been found, convenient. Following, however, an example set by Professor Bilhler himself in his manuscript, I have gone somewhat further still in breaking up some of the very long paragraphs of the original. Following, his lead in another direction also,. 1 have, endeavored to present everywhere the correct spelling, as far as it can be ascertained, of all the place-names which occur in the work; but, in conformity with his practice in this work, without discriminating between the long and the short forms of e and o. And I have corrected a few obvious mistakes ; for instance, under § 29, A, in line 18 on page 66, I have substituted “Badami” for the Aihole (properly Aihole) of the German original and of the manuscript translation.

In § 29, page 65 ff, and anywhere else where the word may occur, He has taken the liberty of substituting the word “Kanarese” for the “Kanara” of the German original and of the manuscript translation; and similarly, on page 46, line 4, and page 51, lines 21, 27f., I have substituted “the Kanarese country ”for the “Kanara” of the original and of the manuscript. The form “Kanara,” with the lingual n, is nothing but an imaginative advance upon the official figment “ Kanara,” with the dental n, for which, itself, there is no basis in the Kanarese language, nor any necessity. I had thought at first of using, like the late Rev, Dr. Kittel and some other writers, the original vernacular word “ Kannada,” — the source of our conventional “Canara, Kanara,”which, however, do not mean the whole of the Kanarese country. And that word, which denotes both the country and its language and also their alphabetical characters, would have been appropriate enough. But I decided eventually on “ Kanarese; ” partly because, though this term, also, is conventional, it is so well-established, familiar, and definitive ; and partly because it was practically used, alongside of the word “Eanara”, by Professor Buhler himself, in the “Kanaresische” and “Altkanaresische” of the original German work {e.g., page 66, lines 4,6), and in the “Canarese” and ‘^Old Canarese” of corresponding passages in his English version.

Except, however, in such details as the above, and in the abolition of the inconvenient abbreviations of which mention has been made on page 2 above, the English version is simply a reproduction of Professor Bxihler’s manuscript.
In bringing this somewhat intricate work to a successful issue, Author has been greatly indebted to the zeal and ability of Mr. J.S. Foghill, the Head Reader of the Bombay Education Society’s Press. But for the extreme care with which he disposed of the first rough proofs before any proof was sent out for revision by me,

Author should certainly not have been able to take the work through, as has actually been done, on only one proof and a revise of it. Readers can collect the book and read it online. Free download, Link below.



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