Juridical treatises constitute one of the most representative literary genres of Indian thought and have propagated far beyond the boundaries of the Subcontinent, exerting their influence on the cultures of Central Asia and chiefly of South-East Asia. The knowledge of this outstanding cultural, social and religious heritage is absolutely essential in order to go into the ancient traditions and the contemporary reality of both India and Indianized Countries. The scientific-editorial project of the Corpus Iuris Sanscriticum, founded by Prof. Oscar Botto, aims at contributing to the knowledge and analysis of this extraordinary cultural heritage
The project is the n. 43 of the Union Académique Internationale .
The last issue is vol. 9.
All volumes are available on-line thanks to the India Embassy of Rome.
- Daksa-smrti, Introduction, Critical edition, Translation and Appendices by Irma Piovano; with a foreword on the Corpus Iuris Sanscriticum by Oscar Botto, Torino, 2002, XVII, 143 pp.
Daksa-smrti, although circumscribed to seven chapters only, consisting of 220 verses in all, proves a sufficiently exhaustive summa of the duties of the Brahman during the various stages of his life. The volume includes a Foreword by Oscar Botto and an Introduction by the editor, Irma Piovano, aiming at analyzing the main characters of the juridical provisions collected in the Sanskrit work and at presenting, with full particulars, the characters of the manuscripts utilized.
- Le Code népalais (AIN) de 1853 par Jean Fezas, Introduction et Texte, 2 Tomes, Torino, 2000, LXV, 842 pp.
The first two tomes of the Code Népalais, edited by Jean Fezas, include the critical edition of the text, realized on the basis of the manuscripts kept in the Nepalese National Archives, Kathmandu. Thanks to the adoption of specific typographic conventions and the recourse to polychromy, the Author gives the proper prominence to the rearrangements of the original text.
- Samvarta Tradition (Samvarta-smrti and Samvarta-dharmasastra), Critically edited with English Translation by K.V. SARMA and S.A.S. SARMA, Torino, 2002, XIV, 161 pp.
The volume includes two different texts, Samvartasmrti and Samvarta-dharmasastra, part of the same juridical tradition, whose edition and translation have been supervised by the distinguished Sanskritist K.V. Sarma, Emeritus Professor of Sanskrit, Adyar Library, Madras, and by Dr. S.A.S. Sarma, Centre d’Indologie of the Ecole Française d’Extréme-Orient, Pondicherry. Samvartasmrti, 233 verses, is one of the oldest Sanskrit juridical texts and describes both religious and civil laws. The second text, Samvarta-dharmasastra, 318 verses, follows very closely the style and content of Samvartasmrti, adding passages from different sources.
- Sankara-smrti (Laghudharmaprakasika), Introduction, Critical edition, Translation and Appendix by N.P. UNNI, Torino, 2003, XI, 396 pp.
Sankarasmrti (also said Laghudharmaprakasika) is of great interest as it expounds, in a detailed and exhaustive way, the provisions adopted in Kerala, a toponym that in the ancient literature designated an area of the Indian Subcontinent by far wider than the current State with the same name. The work is organized in twelve chapters (adhyaya), each of which subdivided in four pada, altogether 1376 verses.
- The Boundaries of Hindu law. Tradition, custom and politics in medieval Kerala, by DONALD R. DAVIS, Jr., Torino, 2004, 186 pp.
The traditional Hindu law has seldom been studied in specific historical contexts due to the lack of information about the judicial regulations in classical or medieval India. In this first monograph to be historically based on Hindu law, Davis researches into the history of Hindu law following a well-balanced method, i.e. taking advantage of both the classical texts of Dharmasastra and the inscriptions and archives. The archives of the temples of Kerala represent the fundamental starting point between 14th and 18th century.
- The price of purity. The religious judge in 19th century Nepal. Containing the Edition and Translation of the Chapters on the Dharmadhikarin in Two (Muluki) Ains, by AXEL MICHAELS, Torino, 2005, 162 pp.
The work by Axel Michaels, University of Heidelberg, virtually resuming the critical edition of the Nepalese Canon edited by J. Fezas (II volume of the Series), examines the role and purpose of Dharmadikarin, the supreme religious judge of the court, in a close correlation with the expiation and conviction in use in 19th century Nepalese society. The research is carried out on a textual basis and presents the edition and translation of the sections focused on the Dharmadikarin in AIN Code.
- The roots of Hindu Jurisprudence. Sources of dharma and interpretation in Mimamsa and Dharmasastra, by DOMENICO FRANCAVILLA, Torino, 2006, 206 pp.
The work by Domenico Francavilla deals with the theory of the sources of dharma worked out in classic Indian thought and embraced by the authors of dharmasastras. Francavilla’s research aims at reconstructing the theory of the sources of dharma through the analysis of Medhatithi’s commentary on Manu II.6-15 and of Smrtipada with proper references to other dharmasastras and works belonging to the Purva Mimamsa. The work also analyzes the problem of antinomies and of the solution to the conflicts that may arise among the different sources through an extended discussion of vikalpa, the option among different patterns of behaviour of identical authoritativeness, where Kumarila, by discussing other authors’ opinions, shows signs of a great originality.
- Kapilasmrti. Critically edited with introduction and notes by S.A.S. SARMA and transalated in collaboration with H.N. BHAT, Torino, 2007, 316 pp.
The Kapilasmrti, a medium-sized work about Hindu social religious law consisting of 1002 verses in the anustubh metre, belongs to the category of later texts in Hindu law. The various references found in this work lead us to conclude that this work is likely to have been composed between A.D. 800 to 1200 and its author probably hailed from the region of Andhra Pradesh in South India. It primarily deals with the social and domestic life which a Vedic Brahmin is instructed to lead in the Kali age while remaining unaffected by his surroundings to preserve his pristine brahminhood.
- Ritualisation and Segregation, The Untouchability Complex in Indian dharma literature with special reference to Parāśaramrti and Parāśaramādhavīya, by MIKAEL AKTOR, Torino 2008 (C.I.S. vol. IX), 241 pp.
This book is the first monographic study of rules of Untouchability (asprśyatva) in the dharmaśāstra. From a limited number of rules in the oldest dharmasūtras the complex gradually proliferated during the literary periods of the metrical smrti works and the medieval commentaries and compendia to become a comprehensive system of precautionary measures against contact with a number of diverse groups and persons. The first part of the book traces this literary development but supplements the discussion with material from other literary genres such as the Vedic and post-Vedic literature, the Buddhist Pāli canon, Ārthaśāstra, the Epics and other narrative literature. The second part is a detailed study of Untouchability rules as recorded in Mādhavācārya’s mid-14th century commentary on the Parāśarasmrti, the Parāśaramādhavīya. Finally, the last part of the book offers an analysis of the total complex, which is seen as an exclusive set of rules demarcating an exclusive number of people and situations that cannot be explained by broader, inclusive notions of impurity alone.
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