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JOURNAL

OF THE

ASIATIC SOCIETY OF BENGAL.

Part 1,--HISTORY, LITERATURE, &c.

No. 1.--1903.

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The HISTORY OF NEPAL and surrounding Kingdoms (1000-1600 A.D.)

compiled chiefly from MSS. lately discovered.-By PROFESSOR CECIL BENDALL, M.A. (University College, London). Written as an Historical Introduction to PAŅDIT HARAPRASĀD SÅstri's Catalogue of the Nepal Durbar Library. With chronological Tables and a Plate (facsimiles of MSS.)

The Catalogue to which the present Essay forms an introduction is the result of a joint expedition to Nepal in the cold weather of 1898-99 originally suggested by me, and taken part in by myself and Mahāmahopādhyâya Haraprasad Sāstri, accompanied under the aus. pices of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, by his assistant, Pandit Binodabihāri Bhatýāchāryya. While co-operating with one another throughout, we arranged to divide generally our work so that the archeological and historical part of the task should fall to myself, while the Paņạits dealt with the literary portion.

A great deal of our time was of course taken up by the examination of the Mahārāja's collection of MSS., which, as regards the antiquity of the documents, are surpassed by no Sanskrit Library known to exist. My own necessarily very hurried examination of this remarkable col

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1 I hope to publish my insoriptions with my general Report. J. 1. 1.

lection in 1884 led to the first definite account published. Since then Paņạit Haraprasād visited the Library, and gave some notes on it in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. LXVI, Pt. I (1897), pp. 310 sqq. Some further notes were made by Prof. S. Lévi% of Paris in 1897, giving attention "surtout aux colophons des manuscrits, si importants pour l'histoire." As, however, Monsieur Lévi subsequently informed me that his examination of the Library was far from complete, I felt all the greater pleasure in seeing the more exhaustive examination taken in hand of which the present Catalogue is the result. My own share in it was chiefly in helping the Papļits to decipher the figures and other chronological data with which acquaintance of nearly 25 years with ancient Nepalese MSS. has given me some familiarity. When I was at work in the Library, I requested the Paņdits always to show me colophons of MSS. containing kings' names and dates. A considerable portion, however, of the present Catalogue had to be compiled by the junior Pandit after my departure, and consequently I have been led to adopt another method of verification, which, thanks to the kind cooperation of the Residents in Nepal, Lieutenant-Colonel W. Loch and his successor, Lieutenant-Colonel J. O. Pears, has given excellent results.

This method was to send to the Resident a series of copies made on tracing-paper of all the important colophons containing points, numerals and the like, requiring verification. No clue was of course given to the words or figures expected to be filled in on the blank spaces left; and the fidelity of the tracing was vouched for in each case by the correspondence of palæographic peculiarities with the date assigned.

In my previous attempts to adjust Nepalese chronology by means of MS.-colophons, I always endeavoured, as far as possible, to use and harmonise the data furnished (1) by formal histories and chronicles, and (2) by the historical notices furnished by the scribes of MSS. in their colophons (brief, but valuable as contemporary evidence), and also incidental notices given in the body of works like dramas. Of the latter class a good example is the drama Mudita-Kuvalayāśvanātaka from which copious extracts are given by Dr. Pischel in his Catalogue of the German Oriental Society's MSS., pp. 7-8. The present Catalogue furnishes several more instances of this kind.

I See the present writer's “Journey in Nepal and Northern India," pp. 16-20, where the previous notices by R. Lawrence and D. Wright are referred to.

Rapport, p. 16 [84] (Acad. des Inscrr. Séance du 27 Janr. 1899).

8 Transactions of Fifth Congress Orientalists (Berlin, 1881) Verhandlungen II. Hälfte ii, pp. 189 sqq. (1882); Catalogne of the Buddhist Skt. MSS., Cambridge, 1883 (Historical Introd.); " Journey in Nepal Ibid.,...1886 (Tables) To these last two I hereinafter refer as 'Camb. Cat.' (distinguished froin Cat.', which refers to the new Catalogue) and Journey,' respectively.

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