GANDHARI LEGAL SETTLEMENT

MS 4579/1
MS Short Title GANDHARI LEGAL SETTLEMENT
Text SETTLEMENT OF LEGAL MATTERS CONCERNING THE AGREEMENT REACHED BETWEEN KALA RUTRA AND ASCARA LPIMIMKREYA CONCERNING 2 WOMEN SUHAPRIYAE AND COGAROAE WITH THE FINAL CLAUSES: " WHOEVER, AT A LATER TIME WISHES TO MAKE THIS AGREEMENT OTHERWISE, HIS REPRESENTATION AT THE ROYAL GATE (COURT) SHALL BE WITHOUT AUTHORITY, AND WILL BE PUNISHED. IF THE AGREEMENT IS BROKEN THE PUNISHMENT WILL BE 70 BLOWS." DATED "IN THE 25TH YEAR OF HIS MAJESTY THE GREAT (KING) JITUGHA MAYIRI, SON OF HEAVEN, IN THE 4TH MONTH AND THE 25TH DAY IN HIS REIGN"
Description MS in Gandhari language (Kroraina prakrit) on wood, Niya, Sinkiang, China, ca. 250, 1 rectangular double tablet (kilamudra), 8x22x1 cm, 9 lines, and central cover: 8x16x1 cm, 7+1+2 lines, in Karosthi documentary script.
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Provenance 1. Sam Fogg Rare Books Ltd., London.
Commentary The Gandhara language is a Prakrit or vernacular version of Indo-Aryan, which developed parallel to Sanskrit. It is thought to have been a very conservative language, preserving many of the features found in Vedic or Sanskrit but lost in other Prakrits. At this time it was written in Karosthi characters, an adaptation of Iranian Pehlevi script which was used throughout the Persian Empire. Karosthi is written from right to left. Buddhist merchants and missionaries spread the use of Gandhara language and Karosthi script into Central Asia and Chinese Turkestan (Sinkiang) where it was used for business, administration and religious purposes alongside Pehlevi, Bactrian, Khotanese and Chinese. The present MS is very much part of the culture as the 700 texts collected from Niya at the beginning of the 20th c. by Sir Aurel Stein. (Karosthi Inscriptions Discovered by Sir Aurel Stein in Chinese Turkestan, Part I-III; ed. Boyer, Rapson & Senart. Oxford 1920-1929.) The king (Jitugha) is Mayiri (Mahiri or Masiri), the 4th king of Shan-shan, a kingdom also known as Lou-lan. The records of his reign contain many cases concerning relations with the neighbouring kingdom of Khotan.
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Boxing
See also MS 4579/2, Document, China, ca 315
Place of origin China
Dates ca 250 AD

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