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[KALHANA.]

Râdjataranginî.

Histoire des rois de Kachmîr. Traduite et commentée par M. A. Troyer et publiée aux frais de la Société asiatique.

Paris, Imprimerie Royale [vol. 3, Nationale] 1840-1852 Stock Code: 113705
£750.00

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Notes

First edition in any European language, and the first procurable edition of the original Sanskrit, of the work identified by Sir Aurel Stein as "practically the sole extent product of Sanskrit literature possessing the character of a true chronicle" (cited after Mirsky, Sir Aurel Stein: Archaeological Explorer, p. 23). The 12-year interval between the publication of the first two volumes and the third means that complete sets are far from common: we trace seven complete sets in British and Irish institutional libraries.
The Rajatarangini ("river of kings") was completed in 1148. A narrative poem in eight books, it recounts the history of Kashmir from the legendary period through the Utpala era (855-1003 CE) to the author's present day, and is a "valuable work for the political and social history of Kashmir, as well as the topography of that land" (Banerji). Little is known of the author's life, though he likely belonged the Brahmin caste, and expresses a certain affinity for Buddhism in his work, which was continued by several later chroniclers up to the Mughal conquest of Kashmir in the mid-sixteenth century. The editio princeps of the Rajatarangini, printed in Calcutta in 1835 from a manuscript discovered by English explorer William Moorcroft (1767-1825), is institutionally scarce (four copies in UK libraries, 16 world-wide), and untraced in commerce.
Troyer was at the time principal of the Government Sanskrit College, Calcutta. His French translation and commentary is accompanied by the Sanskrit text of the first six books, which he revised by collating the Moorcroft manuscript with two copies in the library of the East India Company in London. The Rajatarangini did not become available in English until Stein's own translation in 1900.

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Description

3 volumes, octavo (230 x 146 mm). Contemporary red quarter cloth, marbled sides, titles and floral device to spines gilt, fore and bottom edges untrimmed, marbled endpapers.

Illustrations

Devanagari types.

Condition

Extremities rubbed, vol. 1 with slightly chipped headcap to no loss of lettering and small abrasion to rear board, fore edges lightly soiled, contents toned, scattered foxing. A very good copy, largely unopened.

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