Arts and Culture
In our papers we will illustrate the results of our five-years long collaborative research on the colophons which are found in palm-leaf manuscripts hailing from Tamil Nadu and on the information contained therein. In the context of our research, a colophon is a short paratext containing information about the production, internal organisation, storage, and circulation of a particular manuscript. Our results are based on the corpus we built in the course of our research, which currently amounts to over six hundred such colophons, written in both Tamil and/or Tamilian Grantha scripts, and composed in both Tamil and/or Sanskrit languages. The information recorded in these colophons typically include the time when the manuscript was written, the person(s) who wrote it (and, sometimes, the names of his ancestors and his religious affiliation), the person(s) who owned it; now and then, other actors are also named, such as sponsors, lenders, borrowers etc. Place names are also mentioned, and usually with reference to the scribe’s place of birth, residence or activity. All this data represents valuable first-hand information for shedding light on the dynamics of production and circulation of palm-leaf manuscripts in Tamil Nadu between the 17th and the 20th centuries.
Marco Franceschini’s paper will focus on the dates and the time-related aspects of manuscript production; Giovanni Ciotti will centre his presentation on the people involved in the processes of manuscript production and circulation, and on places.