a public event
The Senior Scrolls: A New Collection of Gandharan Manuscripts of the Second Century A.D.
Center for Buddhist Studies Colloquium Series with RICHARD SALOMOM
Friday, January 16, 2004
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
243 Royce Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Department of Asian Languages and Literature, University of Washington
Among the several groups of early Buddhist manuscripts in the Gandhari language and Kharosthi script which have been discovered in Afghanistan in recent years, one of the most important groups is the Senior collection. This consists of twenty-four birch bark scrolls, which are datable to the early second century A.D. on the basis of dated inscriptions on the clay pot in which they were ritually buried, perhaps as part of a funeral ceremony. Unlike the other main groups of Gandharan manuscripts in the British Library and the Schoyen collection in Norway, the Senior scrolls comprise a unified set of sutra and similar texts written by a single scribe. The scrolls seem to be intended as an anthology of fundamental or representative texts, apparently entitled "Three-fold Presentation of the Dharma" (trikhadao dharma-paiao), of a type which is apparently comparable to similar sutra anthologies preserved in early Chinese translations.
Richard Salomon teaches Sanskrit and Buddhist Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature, University of Washington. He is the director of the British Library / University of Washington Early Buddhist Manuscripts Project, which is studying and publishing several collections of Gandharan manuscripts of the first to third centuries A.D. He is the author of numerous books and articles in Indology and Buddhist Studies, including Indian Epigraphy (1998) and Ancient Buddhist Scrolls from Gandhara (1999), and is general editor of the Gandharan Buddhist Texts series.
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