Chinese in India

Sun Aug 18 02:27:42 UTC 2002

Jan Nattier wrote:

> have been coined during this period, unless we assume that the Sanskrit
> was based on an intermediary language in which the name "Qin" had
> already been borrowed during that time, which is of course a real
> possibility.
One of my sideline interests is early Indian toponyns and in connection with
that I have noted that there are extensive country lists in various Buddhist
sutras.  In this respect, the Tathaagata-guhyaka-suutra and the
Candragarbha-suutra are interesting.  The first is surely of Indic
provenance though the latter is probably Central Asian in origin.  The last
block of countries given in the TGS runs "Agni, Charchen, Kinnara, Ciina,
Lala (all given phonetically), and the Land of Wu" -- the placing of Ciina
suggests it is not referring to China proper but possibly somewhere in the
Gansu Corridor which is not too removed from the heartland of the ancient
Qin.  The CGS has a shorter list but has Kashmir, *Ambulima, Ciina and
Hence your suggestion of an intermediary language seems likely.

Best wishes,
Stephen Hodge

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