Choix d'articles. By GERARD FUSSMAN. Edited by Denis Matringe, Eric Ollivier, and Isabelle Szelagowski. Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient, Reimpressions no. 14. Paris: ECOLE FRANCAISE D'EXTREME-ORIENT, 2014. Pp. 598. [euro]40.
This monumental collection consists of a selection of thirteen out of the author's innumerable articles, chosen by him on the grounds that they "pour des raisons diverses, me paraissent importants ou typiques de ma maniere" (p. 15). This explanation comes in the introductory section entitled "Quelques explications" (pp. 13-27), in which Fussman provides a biographical summary of his professional career, explaining in the process the circumstances under which each of the selected articles came to be written, as well as reminding us that--as all senior scholars know well--"successions de hasards font les carrieres" (p. 15).
The topics of the chosen articles amply demonstrate Fussman's long-established expertise in a variety of subjects, including Indian history ("Quelques problemes asokeens," 1974; "Pouvoir central et regions dans l'Inde ancienne: Le probleme de l'empire maurya," 1982/4; "LTndo-grec Menandre ou Paul Demieville revisite," 1993; "The Riddle of the Ancient Indian Eras Is Not Yet Solved," 2011); the history of religion ("Pour une problematique nouvelle des religions indiennes anciennes," 1977); art history ("Numismatic and Epigraphic Evidence for the Chronology of Early Gandharan Art," 1987); Buddhology ("Symbolisms of the Buddhist Stupa," 1986; "Upaya-kausalya: L'implantation du boud-dhisme au Gandhara," 1994; "La place des Sukhavati-vyuha dans le bouddhisme indien," 1999); and, last but not least, "mes premieres amours" (p. 19), namely archaeology and epigraphy ("Documents epigraphiques kouchanes (III). L'inscription kharosthl de Senavarma, roi d'Odi: Une nouvelle lecture," 1982; "Cours: Les premieres systems d'ecriture en Inde," 1988-89; "L'inscription de Rabatak et l'origine de l'era saka," 1998). The remaining article is an obituary: "Necrologie--Georges Dumezil (4 mars 1898-11 octobre 1986)." A brief section of "Errata et supplements" (pp. 575-83) provides updates on more recent publications relevant to the reprinted articles.
The selection proves--if any proof were needed--the author's wide and deep knowledge of the history, archaeology, literature, and culture of the Indo-Iranian world in general and of the north-western frontier and the adjoining borderlands of the Irano-Afghan world in particular...