[INDOLOGY] Request

Benjamin Fleming fleming_b4 at hotmail.com
Mon May 2 17:06:23 UTC 2016

I know that some Burmese copies of the Kammavaacaa have used letters (and specifically vowels I believe) instead of numbers as a  means of foliating manuscripts, though have no sense of the intentionality of this practice (i.e., whether to obscure from "infidels" etc.). 
I know also I have come across two non-Buddhists works in the Penn collection using letters instead of numbers. 
Similarly I regularly come across manuscripts with confusing and multiple foliation schema, some times explained away by suggesting a given manuscript was part of a larger work and was foliated for both the individual text and the larger work, but this explanation does not always  suffice to explain such examples, especially in the case of three sequences of foliation across a single manuscript. 
This is not something I have taken stock of, but have simply observed in passing through my work the last five years or so going through thousands of manuscripts. Again, as to the intentionality of such examples, I cannot attest, but note it as a curiosity that occurs once in a while.
I would also note that I have found two or three examples of dating manuscripts where the date was written in code and not with numbers in Bangladesh.
I am happy to try and dig up some of these instances, if anyone is interested. I would note that the examples I refer to are recent, within the last 200 or 300 hundred years and nothing so old as the 11th or 12th centuries.
Best Wishes,Benjamin
Benjamin Fleming, Visiting Scholar, Dept. of Religious Studies; University of Pennsylvania 249 S. 36th Street, 
201 Claudia Cohen Hall
Cataloger of Indic Manuscripts, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts;
Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. 
Telephone - 215-900-5744http://www.sas.upenn.edu/religious_studies/faculty/fleming
http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~bfleming https://twitter.com/Indic_MSS> From: Johannes.Bronkhorst at unil.ch
> To: indology at list.indology.info
> Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 16:51:39 +0000
> Subject: [INDOLOGY] Request
> CC: amy.heller at bluewin.ch
> Dear friends and colleagues,
> A friend asked me to post the following question:
> From Amy Heller (tibetologist):  I am currently studying a 408 page
> 11th-12th century Tibetan Prajnaparamita from Tholing whose page numbering
> does not conform to the specifics of W Tibetan manuscripts - there are many
> "small" aberrant details , although the numbering is on the whole legible. A
> colleague suggested to me that this is a reflection, perhaps,  of an Indian
> tradition to conceal accurate numbering from the eyes of infidels,
> presumably in vigor in N India, ca 10th-12th c (in Hindu and Buddhist
> circles) to conceal from potential Muslim eyes??  I asked an Indian friend
> (curator in an art museum) who  did not know of this tradition at all, nor
> was I aware of it. Is this spurious or genuine? Feedback would be most
> appreciated, thanks!
> Johannes Bronkhorst
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