ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK
Wed Oct 10 15:43:35 UTC 2007
In Asoka's 7th pillar edict, Delhi-Topra, he says "... udupaanaani
khaanaapaapitaani ni.msi[.dha]yaa ca kaalaapitaa ...", "wells were caused
to be dug by me, and flights of steps (for descending into the water) were
caused to be built." (Hultzsch)
On the word ni.msi[.dha]yaa, Hultzsch refers to to Bühler's reading of
ni.msi[.dhi]yaa and his association of the word through ni.sidiyaa to Skt
ni.siidati, which gives rise to Bühler's Asokan "rest houses", which have
become a wide-spread interpretation. Hultzsch prefers "steps"
following a suggestion of Lüders (Ardham. se.dhi = Skt *"sli.s.ti
synonymous with "sre.ni). notes that historical
phonology would properly give a Skt *ni"sli.s.takaa, which doesn't give
either a rest-house or a step-well.
Hultzsch doesn't refer to Skt. ni.sadyaa, "small bed," or "shopping mall"
:-), though others have done.
Is there more recent scholarship on this word anywhere?
Dr Dominik Wujastyk
Senior Research Fellow
University College London
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