Author: Gyula Wojtilla
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  • 1 University of Szeged Department of Ancient History Szeged Hungary
  • 2 H-1205 Budapest Pannonia u. 3 Hungary
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KA II, 11, 28–41 is the earliest extant Sanskrit text on ratnaśāstra ‘gemmology’. It is a branch of traditional science and it reflects a great deal of experimental knowledge of jewellers. The present paper analyses the structure of the established text, seeks for an answer why the passages concerning diamond follow the list of the precious stones proper and why emerald is missing. The readings offered by the manuscripts and commentaries have been rechecked and the Kangle’s text has been revised at places. The revised portions of the text have been retranslated and accompanied with the necessary notes. From our investigations it has become clear that the extant text is very loosely edited and highly problematic; the text presents a mixture of vārttāśāstra (textbook of economy) and ratnaśāstra ; there are terminological inconsistencies; it seems that gemmology had existed before the edition of the KA and the place of birth of this science was South India.

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