• Kingship, Poetry, and Devotion in a Medieval Kāvya from Kashmir: Maṅkha and his Śrīkaṇṭhacarita

    Chiara Livio (see profile)
    Sanskrit literature, Sanskrit poetry, Manuscripts, Sanskrit
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    Sapienza University of Rome
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    The present doctoral thesis examines the court poem (mahākāvya) Śrīkaṇṭhacarita, composed by the poet Maṅkha in the twelfth century, during the reign of Jayasiṃha (1128-1155) in Kashmir. The work has been only partially translated, into German, by Walter Slaje, and deserves a more in-depth study from both an exegetical and philological perspective. The first part of this dissertation consists of an introductory thematic journey on the concepts of kingship, poetry, and devotion that have emerged both from the study of the autobiographical and historical sargas (the second, third, and twenty-fifth) and from the analysis of four other cantos, which have been selected on the basis of their content: in the fourth sarga, the "description of Mount Kailāsa", the mountain is presented as a sovereign-poet; in the fifth sarga, the "description of the Lord", Śiva is the supreme king and object of veneration by Maṅkha; in the sixth sarga, the "description of Spring", Vasanta becomes the king of seasons; finally, in the seventeenth sarga, the "description of the assembly of Śiva and the gods", Śiva assumes royal dignity and his authority is recognized by the other deities through a philosophical hymn. The second part of this dissertation contains the first translation into a European language (in English) of the four cantos previously analyzed, each accompanied by explanatory notes. The third part, finally, is dedicated to the philological study of the text. A detailed description of the printed editions and manuscripts of the Śrīkaṇṭhacarita is followed by the critical edition of the mūla text of the four cantos, while a final section explores the uncertain passages of the only existing commentary, that of Jonarāja from the fifteenth century. More generally, this research aims to renew interest in the study of Sanskrit court poems and the Śrīkaṇṭhacarita in particular, not as standardized and monolithic literary works, but as living and contextual ones.
    Notes and comments (not visible) added by the author after her defense (December 2020).
    Last Updated:
    8 months ago


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