the oldest buddhist text found

mrabe at mrabe at
Wed Jul 31 23:38:32 UTC 1996

In response to the query of Halina Marlewicz, I've been awaiting further
details too, since seeing this item in the Chicago Tribune, Thursday, June
27, 1996:

_England: Ancient Buddhist scrolls acquired_

[Around the world, compiled by Richard Bashor, W513]

LONDON -- The British Library has acquired ancient bark scrolls believed to
be the oldest surviving Buddhist manuscripts -- dating to within five or
six centuries of Buddha himself.

Although virtually nothing is known about their origin, the library said
Wednesday the scroll's authenticity has been confirmed by Richard Salomon,
a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Salomon, a top scholar of the ancient Indian script that is used in the
scrolls, is leading a project to study them.

He said the scrolls are are much older than anything previously discovered.
The library said they date from the end of the 1st Century or early 2nd

They _will allow scholars to get nearer to what Buddha said than ever
before,_ said Graham Shaw, deputy director of the library's Oriental and
India Office Collections.

The 60 fragments of about 25 texts from various parts of the Buddhist canon
include Buddha's sermons, poems and treatises on the psychology of
perception, the library said.

The library bought them 18 months ago from a British dealer for an
undisclosed sum believed to be in the tens of thousands of dollars, with
help from an anonymous donor.

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