[INDOLOGY] rubrication in Indian mss.

Dipak Bhattacharya dipak.d2004 at gmail.com
Sun Nov 22 12:14:34 UTC 2015

The oldest Indian manuscripts discovered in India are, perhaps, the ones
from Gilgit. I have some images which do not give indication of
rubrication. But they are available for checking.
The difficulty lies in the paucity of old manuscripts. I may assure that
from 14th century we get Odiya palmleaf mansucripts with engravings of
symbols (e.g. fish) or of deities or humans as artistic presentation. The
main body sometimes has symbols with colophon statements. Some of them were
xeroxed in an OCE (Venlo) machine. Xeroxing then was not as developed as
today; the copies on special paper became fade.
Alice Boner's mss on the Sun Temple are known. My remarks were published in
1882 not with decisive hope. Arlo Griffiths seemed to disagree with me. I
have not changed my view.
A twelfth century Bhagavata ms was displayed in Delhi in 1964. I have not
the description with me at present. Perhaps there were some paintings in
These also should be available for checking.

On Sun, Nov 22, 2015 at 1:59 PM, Matthew Kapstein <mkapstei at uchicago.edu>

> Thanks, Dan,
> I am quite aware of Chinese, Tibetan and medieval Western rubrication, as
> well as late Indian materials.
> My query, though, specifically concerns early examples in Indian
> manuscripts.
> thanks anyway,
> Matthew
> Matthew Kapstein
> Directeur d'études,
> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
> Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
> The University of Chicago
> ________________________________________
> From: Dan Lusthaus [yogacara at gmail.com]
> Sent: Sunday, November 22, 2015 2:18 AM
> To: Matthew Kapstein
> Cc: Indology
> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] rubrication in Indian mss.
> 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.
> best,
> Dan
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Matthew Kapstein<mailto:mkapstei at uchicago.edu>
> 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
> Matthew Kapstein
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