[Q]jyoti.h'saastra - what is "catarchic"?

Birgit Kellner kellner at ipc.hiroshima-u.ac.jp
Fri May 17 16:47:04 UTC 1996

At 12:54 1996-05-17Dominik Wujastyk, you wrote:

>Gary and I were discussing some of David's writing at the weekend, and
>Gary made the very good point that David takes it for granted in much of
>what he writes that the reader is thoroughly familiar with the content of
>Otto Neugebauer's book _The Exact Sciences in Antiquity_.  It's a
>reasonable assumption too, in my view.  If someone is interested in the
>history of Indian astral sciences, it should go without saying that they
>would read generally about the history of astronomy in the ancient world,
>and Neugebauer's book is a classic in this area.  It is also rather short
>(though meaty), which is always nice in a technical book. :-)

If someone writes a "history of Indian literature"-volume, which I take to
be a general survey of the literature of a certain genre, it is very likely
that some people use it to get a first glimpse of a field they are
interested in. I would, for instance, perceive it as rather odd to find
ancient Greek terms of grammar in a history of vyaakara.na-literature -
terms which are not used anymore, and terms which are left unexplained. I
would also perceive it as out of place if an author of a book on the history
of _pramaa.na_-literature made liberal use of technical terms used in
Ancient Greek philosophy (of such terms which have vanished from common
knowledge in the course of history). Certainly, not only astronomers would
be interested in a history of jyoti.h'saastra. (And, wasn't there supposed
to be a difference between astronomy and astrology? :))

Anyway, thank you for the reference. And: Would there, by any chance, be a
Japanese translation of the revered Neugebauer-book? 

Birgit Kellner
Department for Indian Philosophy
University of Hiroshima

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list