Radjatarangini: Histoire des rois du Kachmir [Rajatarangini: History of the Kings of Kashmir]
Paris: Imprimerie royale (volume 3: Imprimerie nationale), 1840-1852. The first Western and second-ever publication of the great Kashmiri historical epic, the Rajatarangini, written by the Brahmin Kalhana in the middle of the 12th century. A very scarce and attractive complete set of the first printing of this edition. Three volumes: [vi] xxiv, 584; [iv] 640; [iv] xvi, 723. Published as part of the series Memoires; textes orientaux et traductions publies par la Societe asiatique de Paris. Individual volume titles as follow: Volume 1. Texte sanscrit des six premiers livres et notes [Sanskrit text and notes on the first six books]. Volume 2. Traduction; esquisse geographique et ethnographique du Kachmir ancien et moderne; examen critique des six primiers livres [Translation with geographic and ethnographic sketch of ancient and modern Kashmir, with a critique of the first six books]. Volume 3: Traduction, e claircissements historiques et chronologiques relatifs aux septieme et huitieme livres [Translation and historical and chronological explanation of the seventh and eighth books]. The northern Indian realm of Kashmir was an important center of Hinduism and later of Buddhism, and both subjects are treated in the Rajatarangini, making it an important source for the study of the history of the two religions. The original text of the Rajatarangini consists of eight books. The first three books trace the history of Kashmir from the legendary the times of the Hindu deity Krishna to the ninth century. In the remaining five books, Kalhana recounts the history from the Utpala dynasty (beginning in 855 a.d.) to Kalhana's own time. As an innovative historian, Kalhana drew upon written records, oral histories of the royal courts, and historical inscriptions carved on temples and statues. In the mid-1830s, the Calcutta Baptist Mission Press undertook a project to print the ancient Sanskrit epics for the first time, including an edition of the first six books of the Rajatarangini. Anthony Troyer, a British captain with a talent for languages, acquired a copy of the Calcutta edition and returned with it to Europe in 1835. Over the next five years, he corrected that edition and then reprinted it in Sanskrit with copious notes in French, which were published as volume one of this edition. Troyer's second volume included a translation of the first six books into French (apparently the first European translation of Kalhana's history). He had planned to provide a translation of books seven and eight at the same time, but the manuscript he requested from India went missing and other events conspired to delay publication until 1852. Volume three, which, due to the delay, is often missing from the set, is entirely devoted to a French translation of the final two books of Kalhana's text. ISBN: B00404S3OW.
Very good in half morocco and marbled paper-covered boards. Spine in six compartments with gilt titles. Wear to bottom edges; old paper shelf label on spines, and stamp of an Arabic or Persian library on title pages. Minor foxing to pages, but generally clean and bright. [JSP02]