Kingship in Kasmir (AD 1148-1459), from the Pen of Jonaraja, Court Pandit to Sultan Zayn al-'Abidin, Critically Edited with Annotated Translation, Indexes and Maps.

Author:Nemec, John
Position:Book review
 
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Kingship in Kasmir (AD 1148-1459), from the Pen of Jonaraja, Court Pandit to Sultan Zayn al-'Abidin, Critically Edited with Annotated Translation, Indexes and Maps. By WALTER SLAJE. Studia Indologica Universitatis Halensis, vol. 7. Halle an der Saale: UNIVERSITATSVERLAG HALLE-WITTENBERG, 2014. Pp. 326, 1 pl, maps. [euro]78.

This thorough, well-executed volume offers a definitive treatment of Jonaraja's famed--but regrettably understudied--Rajatarangini (JRT). Included in the book, which was first slated to appear in the now-defunct Clay Sanskrit Library, are a critical edition and translation of the text, a detailed bibliography, four useful maps, an Index of Names and Terms, and a comprehensive Toponymical Index. More than 750 notes to the translation--almost one per verse--explain the cultural and other implications of particular passages of the text, etymologies of particular terms used, and the known biographical particulars of various figures mentioned; they also offer details regarding the places in and around the Valley to which Jonaraja refers and explain some of the author's translation choices.

The critical edition builds on that of Srikanth Kaul, which was published in 1967 in Hoshiarpur (Vishveshvaranand Institute Publication 432 = Woolner Indological Series 7). Slaje collates the readings of five manuscripts and adds them to those of the six collated by Kaul, and his positive apparatus includes the readings of Kaul's edition, which is "converted from its original negative to the inferred positive shape" (p. 47). Slaje also follows Kaul in helpfully distinguishing between two principal recensions of the text, differentiating Jonaraja's Rajatarangini from that of a Pseudo-Jonaraja (Ps-JRT), the latter found in evidence in only one devanagari manuscript ("D") that is housed at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute and, prior to Kaul's revisions, was first edited by P. Peterson in 1896 (Bombay Sanskrit Series 54). Pseudo-Jonaraja adds some 358 verses to the 976 of the JRT (itself preserved in nine saradd manuscripts)--additions that, as Slaje argues, are historically reliable (see p. 42 n. 56) and fill out the narrative in occasionally significant ways (e.g., Ps-JRT B1029-1033ab).

The critical apparatus was carefully prepared and is easy to use. Variants are helpfully recorded in italics (with lemmas in a regular font), so that one can scan the readings with relative ease. Glosses found in various manuscripts are duly noted...

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