[INDOLOGY] Who in Bonn in 1914 would have wanted to see this manuscript?

Elliot Stern emstern at verizon.net
Tue Nov 15 16:51:22 UTC 2016

Dear list members:

I inquired about a manuscript in the reading room of Sarasvatī Bhavan in Varanasi early in my work on nyāyakaṇikā. This manuscript appeared in the earliest published catalogue (ca. 1888). The catalogue description of the manuscript: (page 358)}:

 (103) nyāyakaṇikā| pa. 3-274 paṃ. 10 ślo. 5000 likā. ?| prā. śu. ga.  saṃpūrṇakalpā |

I interpret this to mean by comparison with other entries to mean:  (103) nyāyakaṇikā~| pattrāṇi 3-274 paṅktayaḥ 10 ślokāḥ 5000 lipikālaḥ ?~| prācīnam śuddham ga. sampūrṇakalpā~| In English: folia 3-274 10 lines extent 5000 ślokāḥ time of copying ?~| early correct ga. (interpretation unknown) nearly complete.}\\

The manuscript reading room librarian or supervisor found a copy of this first catalogue near his desk, and reported to me that it contained a handwritten notation showing that the library sent the manuscript to Bonn in 1914, and that a  request for return of the manuscrIpt, last made around 1930, yielded no reply. 

Several copies of this manuscript found in libraries in India and Nepal were made after the catalogue appeared.  The editio princeps published in the Pandit refers to this now lost manuscript as 1 pu. I have used two of the copies in my edition. I consider it likely that the manuscript traveled on a ship  that sank under attack in the Mediterranean Sea early in World War I.

The question I put forward to fellow list members is this. Who in Bonn in 1914 would have had interest in this manuscript? Hermann Jacobi traveled in India in 1913 and 1914. I doubt, however, that he would have had a particular interest in this manuscript. It is possible that a junior colleague or a student at Bonn had some interest it, but I do not know who were colleagues or students at Bonn at that time.

Wilhelm Rau suggested during my visit to Marburg July through November 1982 that I write to Walter Ruben. Ruben was a student at Bonn in the 1920s. I did not follow through on this suggestion, in part for lack of a specific address. Many years later, I learned that Ruben died in November 1982. 

Elliot M. Stern
552 South 48th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143-2029
United States of America
telephone: 215-747-6204
mobile: 267-240-8418
emstern at verizon.net

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list