Asoka's "nimsi[dhi]ya

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK
Thu Oct 11 07:50:15 UTC 2007

Thank you, Lance.  I'd forgotten about Janert's studies, and I'll look at 

Bloch appears to be repeating some of Hultzsch's footnote, and these refs. 
to Nagarjuni and Kharavela usage go back to Bühler.  It all sound pretty 
plausible to me.  Hultzsch knew about this line of interpretation, but 
preferred his staircase.

Many thanks again,

On Wed, 10 Oct 2007, L.S. Cousins wrote:

> Dominik,
> Bloch p. 170f. n.13 has:
> . . . Mais *nisidi ou plutôt *nissidi, sans répondant en sanskrit et en pali, 
> est attesté épigraphiquement dans l'Inde orientale, nisidiyaa chez 
> Khaaravela, va.sani.sidiyaaye dans l'inscription de Dasalatha à Nagarjuni (ou 
> .s vaut s comme à Kalsi pour Asoka).
> He translates: 'endroits de repos'.
> There is a study by K.L.Janert from 1959 which I do not have:
> Janert, Klaus Ludwig, Studien zu den A"soka-Inschriften I/II, Vandenhoeck & 
> Ruprecht, Göttingen, 1959.
> I is entitled: Ni.msi(d)iyaa
> There may be more in his:
> Janert, Klaus Ludwig, Abstände und Schlussvokalverzeichnungen in 
> A"soka-Inschriften: mit Editionen und Faksimiles in 107 Lichtdrucktafeln, F. 
> Steiner, Wiesbaden, 1972.
> Hope this is of use,
> Lance
>> 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 
>> " 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?
>> Many thanks,
>> Dominik

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