Who pulled the string? - Tracking southern Indian astronomical manuscripts in their bundles and traces of practitioners therein
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While Sanskrit astronomical texts have been copiously published today, little is known about the actual performances surrounding these texts, notably how they were used in actual situations. The main source, which in southern India are palm leaf manuscripts, show little traces of actors when examined alone. The popularity of a text may be analyzed on the basis of its number of copies and its distribution, but this is insufficient to learn how they were used. Focusing on the main actor alone fails to depict the whole act. Thus in this preliminary study I focus on the co-actors - other texts in the same bundle. If a versified treatise is bundled with its commentary rather than being left isolated, we can expect that there had been more intention to understand and use that treatise. If two texts are frequently found in the same bundle, it is likely that they were studied together. A bundle could even represent a school curriculum. I would like to explore the possibility of viewing such bundles as mobile tools whose ownerships could change, and not still objects that would lie in the same household. On the other hand, we sometimes find astronomical texts piled up with manuscripts of very different genres, such as religion or poetry. What might this tell us? Palm leaf manuscripts have holes for a string or code to bundle them together. The ultimate goal of this study is to find out who had pulled that string to put different texts together, and who had pulled them again to perform with these manuscripts. Show more
Organisational unit09591 - Wagner, Roy / Wagner, Roy
NotesConference lecture on May 23, 2019.
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