Re: [INDOLOGY] Origin of Mahācīna

Michael Slouber Michael.Slouber at
Thu Mar 10 20:36:03 UTC 2016

Thomas Trautmann cites the mention of silk as “China cloth”---cīnapaṭṭāś ca cīnabhūmijā (2.11.114) in Kautilya’s Artha Shastra.  Cited in his *India: Brief History of a Civilization* (OUP, 2011: 131).

Michael Slouber
Assistant Professor of South Asia
Department of Liberal Studies
Western Washington University

On २०१६ मार्च १०, at ११:४८ पूर्वाह्न, Deven Patel <deven.m.patel at<mailto:deven.m.patel at>> wrote:

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  Sinologists do not seem to know, or at least do not cite, sources for this attribution.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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