[INDOLOGY] rubrication in Indian mss.

Dan Lusthaus yogacara at gmail.com
Sun Nov 22 08:18:27 UTC 2015

Dear Matthew,

Red writing mixed in with ordinary black ink passages already is found in Chinese mss. in Dunhuang, some perhaps dating from as early as the fifth or sixth century (though not necessarily to mark headings -- its function and purpose is a bit more mysterious). The Dunhuang ms. site http://idp.bl.uk/ has online facsimiles of some, but I haven't time now to locate specific examples (and usually the urls are temporary so they are useless in emails -- one would have to identify text numbers, etc. and do a search text by text; perhaps someone who has that corpus closer to their fingertips than I do can guide you where to look). While I don't recall offhand any Indian texts there with similar features, it is likely that the practice was being transferred across cultures.

Someone who had been very interested in this is Toru Funayama. I don't recall if he ever published anything on it.

If you can't find any of those, let me know, and I will try to find some time to do a red-ink hunt on the Dunhuang site. Somewhere I may have notes compiled from years ago.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Matthew Kapstein 
  Subject: [INDOLOGY] rubrication in Indian mss.

  Dear colleagues,

  When do we first see rubrication in Indian manuscripts? And can you send me any links to
  images of early examples? Of course, vermilion was known and used in many contexts,
  but here I am particularly interested in its use in writing.

  with thanks in advance,

  Matthew Kapstein

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