[INDOLOGY] New book: Bilingual Discourse and Cross-Cultural Fertilisation: Sanskrit and Tamil in Medieval India

Jean-Luc Chevillard jean-luc.chevillard at univ-paris-diderot.fr
Tue Jun 11 12:18:24 UTC 2013

A new book has appeared, in the collection jointly edited by the IFP and 
the EFEO.


-- Jean-Luc Chevillard


Edited by Whitney Cox and Vincenzo Vergiani,
Collection Indologie n˚ 121,
Institut Français de Pondichéry / Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient, 
2013, x, 466 p.

Language: English. 900 Rs (38 €).

ISBN (IFP): 978-81-8470-194-4. ISBN (EFEO): 978-2-85539-129-8.

This collection of essays aims to trace the exchanges, responses, 
affinities and fissures between the worlds of Sanskrit and Tamil 
literary cultures in the medieval period. The literati who produced the 
works in these languages moved freely between domains that earlier 
Indological scholarship has tended to compartmentalise. The eleven 
studies presented in this volume strive to move beyond this narrow 
perspective and thus do justice to the richness and complexity of the 
cultural synthesis that took shape in South India in this period. By 
looking at the articulation of identities, practices, and discourses in 
texts of a range of genres composed in Tamil and Sanskrit (as well as 
Prakrit and Malayalam), these essays supply a picture of South India in 
the medieval period that is unique in its historical depth and 
conceptual complexity and demonstrate innovative ways to investigate and 
problematise cross-cultural phenomena, while suggesting how much work 
yet remains to be done.

Keywords: Sanskrit, Tamil, medieval, cultural and intellectual history, 




Preface by Whitney Cox and Vincenzo Vergiani vii


Introduction by Dominic Goodall 1


I. Literary audience and religious community 13


1. “The contribution of Tamil literature to the Kṛṣṇa figure
of the Sanskrit texts: the case of kaṉṟu in Cilappatikāram 17”
by Charlotte Schmid 15

2. “Is clearing or plowing equal to killing? Tamil culture and the 
spread of Jainism in Tamilnadu” by Takanobu Takahashi 53

3. “Early Tamil poetics between Nāṭyaśāstra and Rāgamālā”
by Herman Tieken 69


II. Regulating language: grammars and literary theories 93


4. “The ten stages of passion (daśa kāmāvasthāḥ) and the
eight types of marriage (aṣṭavivāha) in the Tolkāppiyam”
by Eva Wilden 95

5. “From source-criticism to intellectual history in the
poetics of the medieval Tamil country” by Whitney Cox 115

6. “The adoption of Bhartṛhari’s classification of the
grammatical object in Cēṉāvaraiyar’s commentary on the Tolkāppiyam” by 
Vincenzo Vergiani 161

7. “Caught in translation: Ideologies of literary language in the 
Līlātilakam” by Rich Freeman 199

8. “Enumeration techniques in Tamil metrical treatises
(Studies in Tamil Metrics - 3)” by Jean-Luc Chevillard 241


III. Written in stone? Shifting registers of
inscriptional discourse 323


9. “Words for Worship: Tamil and Sanskrit in medieval temple 
inscriptions” by Leslie C. Orr 325

10. “Praising the king in Tamil during the Pallava period”
by Emmanuel Francis 359

11. “Legal Diglossia: Modeling discursive practices in
premodern Indic law” by Timothy Lubin 411


Contributors 457


Index 461

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