Fwd: [INDOLOGY] Are diacritics NOW irrelevant ? (Re: [INDOLOGY] the koti

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 30 22:38:55 UTC 2010

Thank you, Richard, I didn't know this book and I'll check it out asap.


On 30 November 2010 20:49, Richard Salomon <rsalomon at u.washington.edu>wrote:

> In this general connection, please see Stephen Chrisomalis' new  "Numerical
> Notation: A Comparative History" (Cambridge, 2010), which (though not a
> collarorative effort as suggested) is intended to supersede Ifrah. My
> impression is that it will. The chapter on "South Asian Systems", at least,
> is very well done (although it does not address the issue of words for large
> numbers which started this thread, if memory serves), and the whole book is
> a very impressive performance.
> Rich Salomon
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Dominic Goodall" <
> dominic.goodall at GMAIL.COM>
> To: <INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk>
> Sent: Friday, November 26, 2010 4:19 AM
> Subject: [INDOLOGY] Fwd: [INDOLOGY] Are diacritics NOW irrelevant ? (Re:
> [INDOLOGY] the koti
> This must be intended for everyone, rather than just for me:
> Begin forwarded message:
>  From: <mkapstei at uchicago.edu>
>> Date: 26 November 2010 4:34:36 PM GMT+05:30
>> To: "Dominic Goodall" <dominic.goodall at GMAIL.COM>
>> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Are diacritics NOW irrelevant ? (Re: [INDOLOGY]
>> the koti
>> Ifrah's book suffers from the flaws of many large
>> synthetic works -- the author cannot be (and cannot
>> be expected to be!) -- a specialist in all the domains
>> treated.
>> One might of course object: well then why not organize
>> a collaborative work by specialists? In response, I
>> offer the lopsided and barely coherent collection
>> of articles one finds in the Oxford Handbook of the
>> History of Mathematics (though many of the
>> articles, taken individually are useful and interesting). Multi-authored
>> works seldom attain
>> to the sort of synthesis that a work by a
>> single author may aspire to, even if flawed.
>> It's certainly good to be aware of the shortcomings as
>> detailed in Dauben's review, and thanks to Dominic
>> for circulating it.
>> But I don't think the case has been made yet to
>> abandon Ifrah's work like the plague. It's a work of
>> first reference, not of last recourse.
>> Matthew T. Kapstein
>> Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies
>> The University of Chicago Divinity School
>> Directeur d'études
>> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris

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