Final Workshop, Hamburg, June 2022

TST Final Workshop

CSMC, Hamburg

23-25 June 2022


Thursday afternoon: live

1.30-2.00 pm ― Eva Wilden: Welcome and coffee

2.00-2.40 pm ― Jérôme Petit: Some colophons of the Charles d’Ochoa collection

2.40-3.20 pm ― Charles Li: On some hyperreal manuscripts of the 19th century

3.20-4.00 pm ― Giovanni Ciotti / Marco Franceschini: Colophonic Highlights from the Palm-Leaf Manuscript Collection of the SUB

4.00-4.30 pm ― coffee break

4.30-5.10 pm ― Cristina Muru: A Portuguese-Dutch missionary grammar of Tamil of the early 17th century: its history, its connections, and its main linguistic features

5.10-5.50 pm ― Anuja Ajotikar: Dvirūpakośa by Śrīharṣa (35-3326)


Friday morning: virtual

9.00-9.40 am ― T. Rajarethinam: Paratextual elements in Shaiva texts with special reference to Periyapurāṇam

9.40-10.20 am ― Indra Manuel: Manuscripts of the Poruḷatikāram of the Tolkāppiyam in the UVS Library – A Survey

10.20-10.50 am ― coffee break

10.50-11.30 am ― S. Saravanan: Paratextual Elements in Tolkāppiyam – Collatikāram Manuscripts

11.30-12.10 pm ― K. Nachimuthu: Critical edition of Tolkāppiyam Collatikāram with Teyvaccilaiyār commentary: Manuscripts and Print Editions: Some observations

12.10-2.00 pm ― lunch break


Friday afternoon: live

2.00-2.40 pm ― Emmanuel Francis: Blessings in Tamil Manuscripts

2.40-3.20 pm ― Suganya Anandakichenin: Salutations to Hayagrīva!: A Look at the Śrīvaiṣṇava manuscripts of the Stabi collection

3.20-3.50 pm ― coffee break

3.50-4.30 pm ― Torsten Tschacher: “I commenced to praise Ampalam’s fame”: Authorial prefaces in Tamil narrative literature, 12th-19th c.

4.30-5.30 pm ― Jean-Luc Chevillard / Margherita Trento: Fishing for pearls across the network of Tamil dictionaries & co. in the BnF: Navigating the divides between native and non-native, practical and poetical lexicography.


Saturday morning: live

9.00-9.40 am ― Victor D’Avella: Depictions of Citttirakavi in Tamil Manuscripts

9.40-10.20 am ― Eva Wilden: Satellite Stanzas or not: Kuṟaḷ, Nālaṭiyār, and Paḻamoḻi

10.20-10.50 am ― coffee break

10.50-11.30 am ― Ilona Kedzia: Selected Tamil BnF manuscripts on medicine, alchemy, and yoga and their paratexts

11.30-12.30 pm ― Eva Wilden & Emmanuel Francis: TST Final reports and discussion





Some colophons of the Charles d’Ochoa collection

Jérôme Petit (BnF, Paris)

A young romantic man, fond of modern languages and poetry, Charles d’Ochoa (1816-1846) had attended Garcin de Tassy’s Hindustani courses in Paris and asked the Minister of Public Instruction, Abel Villemain, for an allocation  to carry out a mission in central India. The main purpose of this mission was to collect works, both manuscripts and lithographs, to be used in writing a history of Indian literature. His untimely death prevented him from leading his plans, but he brought back from his mission to Maharashtra a collection of three hundred works in different languages, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Marathi, Hindustani/Urdu, or Persian, that is held in the National Library of France. In his research project, Ochoa wanted to go deeper into certain areas in particular. The study of Jainism, a religion about which little was known at the time, was one of his priorities. His taste for modern poetry also led him to take an interest in the tradition of the Sant, the poets who from the 13th century onwards sang their devotion to Vitthala, the god of Pandharpur. The analysis of some of the colophons of the manuscripts gives a closer look at the network of go-betweens, scribes, and scholars in which he was involved.


On some hyperreal manuscripts of the 19th century

Charles Li (CNRS)

In what sense can a manuscript be authentic or fake? This paper will tackle a number of forgeries, imitations, and other assorted fakery in the manuscripts at the BnF to try to determine what makes a manuscript a fraud. In particular, we will discuss some very unique manuscripts created in the 19th century — created through a chain of very particular circumstances — that defy our expectations and confound our carefully-constructed taxonomies.


Colophonic Highlights from the Palm-Leaf Manuscript Collection of the SUB

Giovanni Ciotti (CSMC Hamburg)/Marco Franceschini (Bologna University)

In our paper we will illustrate how the information retrieved from the study of colophons found in palm-leaf manuscripts belonging to the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek contributes to our ongoing collaborative research on colophons found in palm-leaf manuscripts hailing from Tamil Nadu. The corpus we have built in the course of our research currently amounts to over nine hundred colophons, borrowing/lending statements and ownership statements, written in both Tamil and/or Tamilian Grantha scripts, and composed in both Tamil and/or Sanskrit languages.

Through the presentation of some case studies, we will illustrate aspects concerning the investigation of colophons that our research has contributed to clarify and some which still remain (at least partly) unclear.
The colophons that will be discussed are found in manuscripts that have been selected for material analysis within the scope of the activities of the ‘Palm-leaf Manuscript Profiling Initiative’. Analytical methods include DNA analysis, proteomics, metabolomics, spectroscopy (x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy) and microscopy (atomic force microscopy).


A Portuguese-Dutch missionary grammar of Tamil of the early 17th century: its history, its connections, and its main linguistic features

Cristina Muru (University of Tuscia – Italy)

This presentation has a twofold aim: 1. to describe in detail the Portuguese-Dutch manuscript Cod. Orient. 283 giving an account of its history and 2. to compare its linguistic contents, as well as its metalanguage, with other contemporaneous missionary grammars of Tamil. The purpose is to figure out similarities and differences both in terms of the linguistic object described and the way its description occurred.

To do that, this presentation turns around three sections.

  1. The first one provides information about the physical characteristic along with the paratexts of Cod. Orient. 283, the collection to which it belongs, as well as its ‘history of composition’ since it highlights its connection with other similar missionary texts.
  2. The second section provides a detailed account of the linguistic data that it contains along with the metalanguage used for describing the Tamil language.
  3. The last section compares the data from Cod.Orient. 283 with those taken from other similar and contemporaneous missionary texts.

The conclusion discusses the possibility of identifying the main linguistic features of the Tamil variety that missionaries described and/or used.


Dvirūpakośa a lexicon of words having various spellings

Anuja Ajotikar (University of Hamburg)

Lexicographical works in India are mostly divided into two groups: one is synonymic (ekārthavācaka) and the other is homonymic (anekārtha or nānārtha). This distinction is not always clear-cut. Very often a synonymic lexicon will have a chapter or a section devoted to homonymic words. For instance, the Amarakośa has a section titled nānārthavarga in the third chapter, Sāmānyakāṇḍa.  Along with the aforementioned two types, there are also general dictionaries which include a varied range of Sanskrit words. This proves that Indian lexicography is a rich branch of knowledge. General dictionaries are not only related to certain groups of words, but they are also arranged subject-wise. For instance, the Rājanighaṇṭu and the Aṣṭāṅganighaṇṭu deal exclusively with ayurvedic vocabulary. Among general dictionaries we also find texts such as the Ekākṣarakośa which includes monosyllabic nouns or particles, and texts with mystical letters such as the Bījakośa, famously edited by Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe). Similarly, there are dictionaries which list words that present various spellings. Some of these dictionaries are known under the titles Śabdabhedakośa, Rūpabhedaprakāśa or Dvirūpakośa.There are two texts titled Dvirūpakośa and they are written by two different authors.

The Dvirūpakośa by Puruṣottamadeva and the Dvirūpakośa by Śrīharṣa. The textwritten by Śrīharṣa is found in the Sanskrit manuscript collection at the University of Hamburg and at the BnF, Paris.  My presentation focuses on the topic of a work called Śrīharṣa’s Dvirūpakośa. This is a preliminary study of this manuscript recording words which have multiple spellings. While searching the information about this text it has become obvious that it is understudied. According to the information found in the New Catalogus Catalogorum, vol. 9, p. 210, the author of the Dvirūpakośa is different from Śrīharṣa, author of the Naiṣadhīyacaritam. The colophon of the Hamburg manuscript, however, seems to support that this Śrīharṣa is indeed the author of the Naiṣadhīyacaritam. Therefore, the study of this manuscript adds important details in the history of Sanskrit lexicographical literature. This paper analyzes the structure of the text and discusses some examples by comparing the Dvirūpakośa manuscripts from Hamburg and Paris (BnF).


Paratextual elements in Shaiva texts with special reference to Periyapurāṇam

Rajarethinam (EFEO Pondy)

There are many manuscripts of Tamil Saiva literary works available in the collection of BnF, Paris. In my presentation, I will discuss a Saiva Tamil manuscript from BnF library, namely Periyapurāṇam (Indien 506, Indien 531). The paratextual elements of Periyapurāṇam (i.e, colophons, prefaces and satellite stanzas) may help to reconstruct the history of transmission of Saiva manuscripts.  Though there are a few attempts have been done to write the history of Tamil Saiva Sastra and literature (சைவ சித்தாந்த சாத்திர வரலாறு; சைவ இலக்கிய வரலாறு) the Transmission History of Tamil Saiva Manuscripts is not written yet. The case study of this presentation will help in writing the History of the Transmission of Tamil Saiva Manuscripts.


Manuscripts of the Porulatikaram of the Tolkappiyam in the UVS Library A Survey

Indra Manuel (EFEO Pondy)

Tolkāppiyam is the earliest treatise of grammar in Tamil. Its third book, namely, Poruḷatikāram deals with the theory of literature. It has been annotated by three commentators, Iampūraṇar Pērāciriyar and Nacciṉārkkiṉiyar. This paper attempts to make a study of the manuscripts of Poruḷatikāram preserved in the U.Vē. Cāmiṉātaiyar Library, Chennai. The para-textual elements will be given importance.


Paratextual Elements in Tolkāppiyam Collatikāram Manuscripts

Saravanan (EFEO Pondy)

This study tries to show Paratextual Elements which are exclusions of the main text compiled by original author such as Invocation, Colophon, Foliation, Pratika and other remarks from the manuscripts of Tolkāppiyam – Collatikāram from various libraries. In these manuscripts, except main invocations appeared in front of the main text, some invocations are simply given at the end of the sub-chapters. In addition to this, some disagreements fall on the names of sub-chapters in the beginning and ending. Foliation is fully in Tamil in all the manuscripts. Colophon is scribed in detail in some of the palm-leaf and paper manuscripts. Certain paper manuscripts have some connecting phrases scribed by later scribes in order to enable the readers to understand easily. These are elaborately shown in this study. And for this study, more or less thirty palm-leaf and paper manuscripts of this text are carefully studied.


Critical edition of Tolkāppiyam Collatikāram with Teyvaccilaiyār commentary: Manuscripts and  Print Editions: Some observations

K. Nachimuthu (EFEO Pondy) 

Teyvaccilaiyār’s commentary to Tolkāppiyam Collatikāram ,one of  the last among the six medieval commentaries on it and plausibly dated between 16th to 18th CE. has  only two-palm leaf and two paper manuscripts  extant now. The work has not been noticed by scholars till it was first published by R.Venkatachalam Pillai based on one palm leaf (SI) and one paper copy  (S2) in 1926 found in the Saraswati Mahal Library,Thanjavur . The editor later consulted a palm leaf Manuscript (C1) found in the UVS Library Chennai and a damaged palm leaf manuscript in a private collection, which is now not traceable. The name of the commentator, which was earlier attributed to Pērāciriyar or Āttiraiyaṉār was identified and confirmed as Teyvaccilaiyār  from the references found in the paratext of CI  manuscript of UVS Library. The first printed edition was improved hurriedly by the editor in the midway of printing with notes and addendum based on the second palm leaf manuscript (CI). Among the four printed editions, that one which came in 1989/2017 is mostly based on the single palm leaf (SI) and paper copy (S2) of Saraswati Mahal Library. The other remaining three printed editions and its presentations in different compilations appear with many emendations by the editors without manuscript evidences. Therefore, the conflated vulgate edition need to be critically edited with the available manuscript evidences.

The commentary of Teyvaccilaiyār has distinct features and it constitutes a lone representative of a school of thought in Tamil grammatical literature. The commentator sometimes rearranges the text and brings in different interpretations and illustrations, which are sometimes remarkably refreshing. This is the only commentary on grammar which follows the method of indicating the size of the commentary by   measuring the granthas  (which consists of 32 syllables-vowel and syllabic vowel excluding the pure consonants) as we find in Vaisnava  Manipravala commentaries . Another remarkable thing  of the colophon is the  transition of usage in describing the composition of the text from ‘composing/telling/doing (iyaṟṟutal/uraitta/ceyta)’ to ‘writing (eḻututal)’.


Blessings in Tamil Manuscripts

Emmanuel Francis (CNRS, CEIAS UMR 8564, EHESS & CNRS, Paris)

Blessings are prose formulaic expressions ― for instance, the ubiquitous hari ōm or kuru vāḻka ― which are found in various places in a Tamil manuscript (in the left margin header, at the end of a chapter) and are normally linked to the copyist of the manuscript. Blessings are defined by contrast to benedictions, which are non-formulaic, and to invocations which are in verse.

From a collection of more than 1500 Tamil blessings ― harvested thanks to the TEI markup of the TST online catalogue descriptions ― and from a search on the NETamil catalogue, I will present a preliminary survey of blessings and make a first assessment of their types (auspicious beginning, expressing reverence, credo), of their obedience (Śaiva, Vaiṣṇava, Muslim, Christian), and of their location on the manuscript page layout.


Salutations to Hayagrīva!: A Look at the Śrīvaiṣṇava manuscripts of the Stabi collection

Suganya Anandakichenin (AAI Hamburg University)

The Stabi collection comprises a number of palm-leaf manuscripts that seem to trace their origins to Śrīvaiṣṇavas in South India. There are those that contain Śrī/vaiṣṇava works ((e.g. the Nālāyira Divya Prabandham, or the more sectarian Rahasyatrayasāram by Vedānta Deśika), and those that contain works of more general interests (logic, poetics and so forth), which most erudite scholars of that time and place would have been learned and engaged with. Among the first group, we find manuscripts that belonged to both the Vaṭakalai and Teṉkalai schools, with their own peculiar signs. Among the second group, there exist a few manuscripts that seem to have originally belonged to a few Śrīvaiṣṇavas located in the Mysore region. Despite the relative diversity of the contents, most of these manuscripts bear distinct signs of their Śrīvaiṣṇava provenance. And in this paper, I am going to deal with those particular signs (invocations, blessings, colophons) in order to learn more about the original owners and their reading practices.


“I commenced to praise Ampalam’s fame”: Authorial prefaces in Tamil narrative literature, 12th-19th c.

Torsten Tschacher (SAI Heidelberg)

Authorial prologues and prefaces belong to the most studied paratexts in many literatures. Amongst scholars of Tamil literature, in contrast, there seems to be a widespread consensus that only few such authorial paratexts actually exist, and those that exist have been treated with a considerable amount of suspicion and frequently been considered ‘later’ than the texts they introduce. In this paper, I will argue that in contrast to received opinion, authorial prefaces formed a common and highly conventionalized element of Tamil narrative poetry, in particular the purāṇam genre, for much of the ‘middle’ period of Tamil literature from the twelfth to the nineteenth century. There are various reasons for the neglect of this important corpus – the general avoidance of purāṇam-poems as literary (in distinction to religious) texts; confusions caused by the existence of different types of ‘specific prefaces’ (ciṟappuppāyiram); and a selective reading of poetological literature, focusing on only one tradition in the theorization of prefaces. In this presentation, I will outline the contents and defining features of Tamil authorial prologues and prefaces across textual communities as well as try to pierce together an account of the historical development of this genre of paratexts by considering both poetological and literary texts. My aim is to highlight the value and importance of authorial prefaces for the history of Tamil literature in the period under consideration.


Fishing for pearls across the network of Tamil dictionaries & co. in the BnF: Navigating the divides between native and non-native, practical and poetical lexicography

Jean-Luc Chevillard (CNRS)/Margherita Trento (EHESS)

 Attempts at learning Tamil by Europeans have been going on for ca. five centuries. The purpose of such attempts has varied across time, and the type of Tamil which they targeted has also varied. Traces of these attempts are visible in several European libraries but one of the richest collection is probably the one in Paris, as as we will show in our inquiry, which is based on the examination of a  subset of Missionary Dictionaries, of Nikaṇṭus (traditional Tamil thesauri) and of literary compositions (both traditional and missionary). The subset comprises, among others, Indien 227, Indien 228-229, Indien  221-222, Indien 232, Indien 233, Indien 240-242, Indien 246, Indien 474-75.

The field being potentially infinite, we decided to follow a “fil rouge / Rote Faden”, namely the topic of pearls, because it neatly illustrates the difference between the navigation of (1) “a world made of everyday  speech” and the navigation of (2) “a world made of poems”. The latter had been for long the restricted domain of generations of traditional Tamil Language Professionals, who had the privilege of creating poetry. The former was explored for the first time by missionaries, acting as  pioneers. Both practices were bound to meet at some point, and one of the most significant monuments of this encounter is the Caturakarāti, composed by C.J. Beschi, who is also known in Tamil Nadu as Vīramāmuṉivar.
Another goal of this presentation (falling under the label “experiments in Digital Humanities”) is to show how one could really make use of these sources, which are in fact not well-known nowadays. This includes  notably an attempt at digitally resurrecting Proença’s Vocabulario, which was the earlier reference word, but is in fact nowadays forgotten, illustrating that frequent situation where “La tradition est oubli des origines”.


Depictions of Citttirakavi in Tamil Manuscripts

Victor D’Avella (Oxford University)

 My presentation will focus on the representation of poetic figures known as cittirakavi (Sanskrit citrakāvya) in a BnF manuscript of the Taṇṭiyalaṅkāram, Indien 206. By way of introduction to this genre of poetry, which is largely borrowed from Sanskrit, I will discuss attitudes toward the “language of the north” as found in the Taṇṭiyalaṅkāram as well as the commentaries to the Tolkāppiyam. These passages shed light on the linguistic classification of literary languages at the start of the second millennium CE and justify the incorporation of Sanskrit poetics into Tamil ilakkaṇam (“grammar”) including the genre of citrakāvya. The diagrams from the manuscript will be shown to have influenced the presentation of these poetic figures in printed editions although in the present manuscript the scribe did not always execute their construction accurately. I will end with a more detailed discussion of the nākapantam (“snake diagram”, Sanskrit nāgabandha), a particularly difficult figure that seems to have its origin in South India.


Satellite Stanzas or Not: Kuṟaḷ, Nālaṭiyār, and Paḻamoḻi

Eva Wilden (SCMC Hamburg)

While satellite stanzas as such are a phenomenon ubiquitous in Tamil manuscripts, their number and distribution is fairly unpredictable. In order to demonstrate the range of variety, this presentation will report the findings on three didactic anthologies from the Patiṉeṇkīḻkkaṇakku that have a particularly broad transmission, namely the Kuṟaḷ, the Nālaṭiyār and the Paḻamoḻi, testifying to their ongoing popularity in the late premodern era. Of course for the former two many more manuscripts could be found, but the NETamil collection of immages contains at the moment 29 Kuṟaḷ, 12 Nālaṭiyār, and, perhaps closer to the absolute figure, 14 Paḻamoḻi. While the Kuṟaḷ does not appear to have satellite stanzas of its own, but only some quotations from the Tiruvaḷḷuvamālai and at least one free-floating verse of a broader tradition, the Nālaṭiyār boasts 17, a figure currently topped only by the Tirumurukāṟṟuppaṭai. The Paḻamoḻi come with a single stanza, namely a kaṭavuḷ vāḻttu verse which is glossed in the old commentary but without mūlam, and its text is transmitted exclusively in an addition to one of the late paper manuscripts, from where it made it into the modern print version.


Selected Tamil BnF manuscripts on alchemy, medicine, and yoga and their paratexts

Ilona Kędzia (Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland)

In my presentation I will discuss several Tamil manuscripts from BnF library, that I was working on for the TST project, namely: Indien 101 (Akattiyar Aintu, “Five [works] of Akattiyar”), Indien 122 (Vayittiyam mūṉṟu, “Three [texts] on medicine”), Indien 134 (Cāsttiram Aintu, “The five treatises”), Indien 135 (Cāsttiram Aintu, “The five treatises”), and Indien 136 (Cāstiram – 12, “12 Treatises”). These manuscripts according to the Vinson-Feer catalogue belong to the category “Alchemy, medicine and natural history” (Alchimie, médecine et histoire naturelle). However, on the grounds of the preliminary research of their content, judging from the titles, headings, and the preliminary reading of the selected fragments, it can be assumed that they contain texts not only on traditional medicine and alchemy, but also on yoga and religious practices. Therefore, the spectrum of the subjects referred to by the texts resonates well with the writings of the Tamil Siddha tradition, especially of kāyasiddha stream, i.e. a category of Tamil Siddha authors, distinguished by R. Venkataraman (1990), who strive for physical immortality, rejuvenation and acquisition of extraordinary occult powers through practices of i.a. yoga, alchemy, magic, and medicine. In my presentation I will discuss general characteristics and paratexts found in the examined manuscripts. I will also attempt to highlight their specific features, which may be associated with their practical character.


TST and beyond

Emmanuel Francis (CNRS, CEIAS UMR 8564, EHESS & CNRS, Paris)

 As the TST project nears its end in September 2022, this presentation will focus on the main outputs of the project (the online TST catalogue, the TST encoding guide, the OA storage of the TEI XML files, the TST digitisation of BnF manuscripts, the repository of digital images on Didomena, diplomatic editions of manuscripts series, forthcoming TST volume) and will envision the continuation of the project after September 2022.

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