Kenneth Zysk zysk at HUM.KU.DK
Sat Feb 8 06:57:47 UTC 2003

Although there is still a long way to go in order to establish a connection between Indian and  Hellenistic medicine, I am pleased that the topic is again being considered, with new material from Buddhist sources. We here are beginning to take a closer look at the medical material preserved through Tocharian documents, so I would greatly appreciate any and all information and/or assumptions that you may have. Please feel free to contact me off the list. Ken
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Stephen Hodge 
  To: INDOLOGY at 
  Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 8:47 PM
  Subject: Re: Garbhavakranti

  Jonathan Silk wrote:

  > There are two Garbhavakrantis in the collection [snip] (The Tibetan
  versions are
  > renderings from Chinese).
  There are, as you know, two in the Chinese RK and two in the Tibetan RK but
  though the colophon to one of the Tibetan versions indicates that it was
  translated by Chos-grub from the Chinese, the other version gives no such
  indication -- so is your suggestion based on a comparison with the other
  Chinese version or just an assumption ?
  Apart from the MS Vinaya connections, has anybody commented on the list of
  "worms" listed in these texts ?  The list has a great resemblance to that
  given in the Vimutti-magga, suggesting perhaps some influence from there.
  Yijing who translated one of the versions in the Chinese RK seems to have
  acquired some of his mss in Sri Lanka so could the Garbhavakranti have some
  S Indian origin or connection ?

  > I might also remark here that I believe that this text is very
  > important in one most interesting respect: it counts pregnancy in
  > weeks.
  Note that the Vimutti-magga also counts the development of the embryo in

  Years ago I did some work on the anatomical descriptions found in these and
  other works and I think there is clear evidence that they are presenting a
  distinct tradition that is unconnected with the Susruta / Caraka lineages --
  e.g. the way of enumerating the bones is different -- so your suggestion of
  a Hellenistic influence looks plausible.

  Best wishes,
  Stephen Hodge

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