[INDOLOGY] Pataliputra & Patna

Ashok Aklujkar ashok.aklujkar at gmail.com
Fri Oct 4 05:56:30 UTC 2013

I am deeply grateful to David Drewes, Eli Franco, Nathan M. McGovern and Matthew Kapstein for their responses to my query. Usually, questions of the type 'When was X was first said/used?' are not easy to answer, especially in a field like Indology. I was surprised to get a precise answer to my question so quickly. Once again I realized the value of the Indology forum. 

I reproduce below the response of David Drewes, since it was not copied to the list and has some information not given in the other responses: 
>Mainly, the first was William Jones in his tenth anniversary discourse (1793). Jones certainly speaks of it as his own original idea. But Charles Allen states that James Rennell did so before this in a book entitled _Memoir and Map of Hindoostan_ (1788). See Allen, _The Search for the Buddha_ (alt title: Buddha and the Sahibs), 70f.<

Matthew, I particularly appreciate the trouble you took of copying the relevant sections of the Google Books pdf of James Rennell's book (which, obviously, was written in an age when writing short sentences was a crime). As you rightly observed, it is " a wonderful example of 18th c. geographical scholarship". The effort made is what should earn our admiration. 

Hyphasis is nowadays identified with Beas, not Setlege/Sutlej. Rennell, on the other hand, entertains a distinction between Alexander's position on the Hyphasis and his position on the Beas.

Intriguingly, on pp. 40-42, Rennell writes several lines expressing his preference for identifying Palibothra with Canoge/                   Kinnoge  [= "town of Bar, 40 miles below Patna"? or 'near the conflux of the Calini river with the Ganges"?], not with Patna [= city meant by Pliny]. He does not use the word Paa.taliputra at all. Those who took him as identifying Paa.taliputra with Patna must have (a) decided to ignore the 40 miles distance between Patna and Bar and (b) must have thought of the identification 'Paa.taliputra = Palibothra' as settled. 

The identification in (b) is indeed taken by most modern historians as settled, but does Rennell himself accept it in his book? (Being in Canada, I can consult the Google Books pdf only page by page. I need to know the numbers of the pages on which Rennell refers to Paa.taliputra). 

I suppose Calini is Kaa.lii/Kaali or Kaalindii. What is known about Canoge/Kinnoge or Bar as town names? Rennell seems to use them as if they are common knowledge.


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