[INDOLOGY] Indian printed books

rajam rajam at earthlink.net
Mon Apr 20 19:13:01 EDT 2015

Dear Manu,

Thank you so much for the information!!

The book you’ve found (From Conversion to Subversion: 250 years of the printed book in India) contains a wealth of information; but unfortunately, as usually done by many Indologists, leaves out South India where indeed the first European contact happened through the Portuguese and the art of printing originated for whatever reasons.

I’d like to write more about it when I can, but quickly I would like to point out the following facts about first-printed books in Tamil/South India:

1. Cartilha: pp.38, Germano Galhardo, Lisbon, 11th February, 1554 … is the first book about prayer in Tamil, but expressed in Portuguese script and printed in Lisbon.

2. Doctrina Christam en Lingua Tamul, Colligio do Saluador, Quilon, 20 February, 1577.

3. Doctrina Christam, Collegio da madre de Deos, Cochin, 14 November, 1579.

	You can check out the face of this book at the following links:

	Second Printed Book in Tamil: http://viruntu.blogspot.com/2010/09/second-printed-book-in-tamil.html <http://viruntu.blogspot.com/2010/09/second-printed-book-in-tamil.html>

	http://viruntu.blogspot.com/2010/09/doctrina-christam-1579-cochin.html <http://viruntu.blogspot.com/2010/09/doctrina-christam-1579-cochin.html>

4. Flos Sanctorum o Libro de las di algunos santos trasladas en lengua malabar, 1586.


And … there’s this first ever handwritten manuscript by Fr. Henrique Henriques who described the Tamil language in Portuguese for the sake of his missionary colleagues in 1549 (Arte da Lingua Malabar). 

Jeanne Hein and I have translated and provided historical references and grammatical annotations to this manuscript in a book form which was published in the Harvard Oriental Series (http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674727236&content=bios), thanks to Professor Witzel.


Anyone interested in understanding and researching in the areas of scribing and expressing concepts should begin with these documents produced by the missionaries.

Just a simple example … 

Can you imagine what the earliest missionaries to South India would have done in order to make the locals to believe in “immaculate conception?” And, how did they come up with a local translation for “immaculate conception.”

Well … there’s more!



> On Apr 20, 2015, at 1:52 PM, Manu Francis <manufrancis at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear Colleagues,
> For those interested in the history of printing in India, I have just found this on the www by chance:
> https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.booksofasia.com/PDFs/From%2520Conversion%2520to%2520Subversion%2520-%2520250%2520years%2520of%2520the%2520printed%2520book%2520in%2520India%2520_%2520030814B.pdf&sa=U&ei=j2Q1VbOtBs32O5jtgOgL&ved=0CAQQFjAA&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNEp7lvmvFjo7T7xLn8MCgDjus9r3Q <https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.booksofasia.com/PDFs/From%2520Conversion%2520to%2520Subversion%2520-%2520250%2520years%2520of%2520the%2520printed%2520book%2520in%2520India%2520_%2520030814B.pdf&sa=U&ei=j2Q1VbOtBs32O5jtgOgL&ved=0CAQQFjAA&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNEp7lvmvFjo7T7xLn8MCgDjus9r3Q>
> [[I hope the link will work]]
> With best wishes.
> --
> Emmanuel Francis
> Chargé de recherche CNRS, Centre d'étude de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud (UMR 8564, EHESS-CNRS, Paris)
> http://ceias.ehess.fr/ <http://ceias.ehess.fr/>
> http://ceias.ehess.fr/index.php?1725 <http://ceias.ehess.fr/index.php?1725>
> http://rcsi.hypotheses.org/ <http://rcsi.hypotheses.org/>
> Associate member, Centre for the Study of Manuscript Culture (SFB 950, Universität Hamburg)
> http://www.manuscript-cultures.uni-hamburg.de/index_e.html <http://www.manuscript-cultures.uni-hamburg.de/index_e.html>
> https://cnrs.academia.edu/emmanuelfrancis <https://cnrs.academia.edu/emmanuelfrancis>
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