Survey of the Pāli Milindapañha Manuscripts kept at the National Library of Thailand

A Brief Catalogue

  • Eng Jin Ooi Mahidol University, Bangkok

Abstract

Several catalogues of Pāli palm-leaf manuscript collections, preserved at the National Library of Thailand, have been published. These catalogues, however, are mere lists of titles and they do not record the number of physical manuscripts under each title. For instance, the Milindapañha (Questions of King Milinda) appears as a single entry in these catalogues, but, in fact, the library holds seventy copies. These seventy manuscripts, though not all are complete, are not necessarily direct copies of each other or of a single original exemplar: they are, rather, distinct recensions that were copied in different periods of Thai history. Therefore, they serve as a valuable repository for the study of the text’s diverse textual traditions to elucidate the background of its transmission. Moreover, there are other related works, like the Milindapañha-ṭīkā, the Milindapañha Saṅkhepa, and the Milindapañhagāthā, which is embedded in the Vaṃsamālinī. The last two are yet to be found outside Thailand. Thus, this short article aims to present a concise listing of them in the hope that they will facilitate further research into these texts.

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References

Primary Texts:

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Published
2021-05-14
Section
Articles