a.passi at ALMA.UNIBO.IT
Fri Jul 19 16:12:42 EDT 2002
The question of Asvaghosa's date is, as Richard Salomon pointed out,
very much up in the air. Johnston's limits are actually between 50
B.C. and 100 A.D., "with a preference for the first half of the first
century A.D." (Introduction to Buddhacarita, p. xvii). My own humble
opinion is along J.'s line; apart from the conservative attitude A.
shows towards Buddhist legend, his style is somewhat archaic
("experimental"?) in comparison to that of other early classic
writers. Sheldon Pollock's study on yati seemed to back up this
position, if I recall correctly, but I am relying on old memories,
and that text is not available to me right now.
But you cannot date an author on style alone. And, thank heavens, not
everyone agrees - in an informal conversation, Ashok Aklujkar once
offered the opinion that A. might actually come after Kalidasa.
Maybe Ashok would like to comment on this?
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