CAAS is organising a Leibniz Lecture by Prof. Beatrice Gruendler

Event From Date: 
Tuesday, 13 February 2018
Event End Date: 
Tuesday, 13 February 2018
Event Title: 
CAAS is organising a Leibniz Lecture by Prof. Beatrice Gruendler
Event Details: 


Centre of Arabic and African Studies, SLL&CS, JNU


German Research Foundation

Cordially invite you to the Leibniz Lecture
Prof. Beatrice Gruendler
Freie Universität Berlin (Germany)

“Indian Wisdom in Kalīla wa-Dimna”

Venue: JNU Convention Centre, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi
Date: 13/02/2018, Tuesday, at 3pm


It will be inaugurated by the Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Prof M. Jagadesh Kumar

Abstract:  Much Indian material was received into classical Arabic literature. The classic of Arabic-Islamic statecraft Kalīla wa-Dimna, translated and expanded by Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ (executed 756 CE), famously reuses parts from the two Indian works, the Mahābhārata and the Pañcatantra. Despite its later popularity, the work’s early textual history — before the first textual witnesses from the 13th century in Arabic and the medieval translations into Syriac, Greek, Persan, Hebrew, Castilian, and Latin — remains in the dark. But an indirect transmission of the Buddhist tale of “King Shādram and the Wise Bilād” (or Bilār), survives in a treatise on wisdom sayings, the Jāvīdān Khirad of Ibn Miskawayh (d. 1030 CE). However, this early witness to the original shape of the Arabic translation poses two problems; it selects only the (copious) wisdom sayings from the tale and presents these in different wording. I will compare the two versions in as far as they overlap to investigate how their divergencies may have occurred and to observe how the Arabic reception reengineered the Indian literature on practical wisdom (niti) to fit within the Arabic corpus of applied knowledge (adab).