[INDOLOGY] Origin of Mahācīna

Deven Patel deven.m.patel at gmail.com
Thu Mar 10 19:48:00 UTC 2016

Dear list members,

A Sinologist colleague of mine has raised the following question to me.
Any thoughts would be appreciated:

Conventional wisdom among certain Sinologists is that the Western name
"China" derives from the Sanskrit Mahācīna, etc.  Sinologists do not seem
to know, or at least do not cite, sources for this attribution.  How old is
the name, and how trustworthy are the texts?

Thank you,

Deven M. Patel
South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania

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