The Sanskrit Studies Podcast

12. Andrew Ollett | Beyond Sanskrit

September 01, 2022
The Sanskrit Studies Podcast
12. Andrew Ollett | Beyond Sanskrit
Show Notes

My guest this month is Mr Prakrit, Andrew Ollett, who teaches at the University of Chicago  Perhaps his most well-known publication is the book 'Language of the Snakes', which you can download for free here.

Among his teachers were Eleanor DickeyGary Tubb and Sheldon Pollock (whose book 'The Language of the Gods in the World of Men' Andrew mentions)

He talks about his work comparing the language of Theocritus with that of Prakrit poetry, about the work of Mātṛceṭa and Aśvaghoṣa , about the rock inscription of Rudradāman, and the influence that the Sātavāhana courts had on Prakrit.

Among the languages and language forms he mentions are Vedic, Pali, Apabhraṃśa, Gāndhārī and Old Gujarati or Rajasthāni .  Among the Prakrit texts he talks about are the Gaha Sattasai (and its recent translation by Khoroche and Tieken), the Setubandha, the works of Kundakunda, the Rasikaprakāśana by Vairocana,  the Jain niryuktis ascribed to Bhadrabāhu, and the use of Prakrit in Sanskrit plays.

You can find out a little more about Madhav Deshpande's book Sanskrit and Prakrit: Sociolinguistic Issues here.

For his Sanskrit Studies Podcast Research Grant Project, Andrew will work on Kannada.

He recommends A. K. Ramanujan's Speaking of Śiva, the Daśakumāracarita in Isabelle Onians' translation,  Tamil Sangam poetry and especially the Kuruntokai, and suggests you go read Bhavabūti's Uttararāmacarita right now. 

(And I apologize for the sounds of my cat beating up his toys in the background!)