"Curry" and its origins?

Geeta Bharathan geeta at LIFE.BIO.SUNYSB.EDU
Thu Feb 5 16:51:12 UTC 1998

Two questions in response to Richard Salomon's question--

1. Would the answer to this depend upon when E. Hultzsch did the
translation?  If after "curry" had become established in the European
context, then I imagine he mightt have equated the two (curry=kaRi) and
come up with the closest approximation to what "suupa" must mean.

I find it interesting that the term "suupa", rather than kaRi, is used
in the edict; this raises the second set of questions--

2. Where was this Asokan edict located? Given that kaRi is of Dravidian
ancestry and therefore its usage prevalent in southern India, then my
guess (sticking my neck out) would be that the edict was located in the
northern region-- is this correct?

If not, and the location is southern, then it seems to me that its date
actually time the spread of the usage of kaRi in that part of
southern India. Is this correct?

Thank you, this is actually getting a little closer to answering the
question that was in my mind when I first posted here.


On Wed, 4 Feb 1998, Richard Salomon wrote:

> As regards the question, in general, of what "curry" implies in indigenous
> and English use: it caught my eye that E. Hultzsch, and others following
> him, translated suupa- in Asokan rock edict 1 as "curry."  This word
> occurs in the context of Asoka's concerns about the number of animals
> (including "peacock' [moraa] and "deer" [mago]) being killed for food
> (suupaathaaya), so evidently  suupa- refers to meat dishes.  Does this
> term then perhaps correspond to Kannada kaRi,  etc? (and was Hultzsch,
> who I think knew Kannada, consciously thinking of
> this in his translation?).

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