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Sanskrit Manuscripts : Jagat Kautuka Kalpavallī


Sanskrit Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>The manuscript is a collection of mathematical and logic problems, in the original Sanskrit, with an English translation and striking, well-executed illustrations in black and white and in grey-wash. The title is given as Juggut Coutook Culpwallee (also Juggutcowtook Culpvullee), and it dates from 1821. The binding is contemporary Indian binding, in leather, with a floral design. The Sanskrit calligraphy is of a high standard, as are the illustrations. The problems are intriguing, and reflect the work of a serious mathematician. The English is interesting and idiosyncratic, being that probably of the author himself, who presumably had only recently acquired facility in the language. The manuscript notes that its compiler is 'Trevengacharry Shastry inhabitant of Treputtee, now in Poona' (<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(8);return false;'>f. 3v</a>), and 'Trevengunda Charry Shastree in Poona’ (<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(69);return false;'>f. 34r</a>). The English introduction suggests that the work was compiled on behalf of a member of the East India Company. This would have occurred only a few years after the British conquest of Poona (1817). Triveṅgaḍācārya may have intended the work to be the basis for a printed edition, perhaps to be produced by public subscription, as that is how he printed another work on the subject of chess.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The current mathematical manuscript has a twin. Triveṅgaḍācārya produced two versions, alike but not identical. The other copy is in Edinburgh University Library, and came from the library of Lord Elphinstone at Carberry Tower. It has long been misidentified as a printed work in Edinburgh's catalogue, but this merely reflects the high quality of the Sanskrit calligraphy and the professional execution of the drawings. A close comparison of the two works shows that they were produced by the same hand, but there are many variants, both in the detail of the illustrations (different plumage between birds etc.) and in English translation, e.g. '100' vs 'one hundred'. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Purchased with the support of Art Fund, the Arts Council England and the Friends of Cambridge University Library.</p>

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