23rd Gonda Lecture

Richard Salomon: How the Buddha Learned his ABCs: On Teaching Writing in the Ancient World

27 November 2015 from 16:00 to 17:00 hrs
Trippenhuis, Kloveniersburgwal 29, 1011 JV Amsterdam
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Richard Salomon, specialist in Sanskrit, will deliver the 23rd Gonda Lecture on teaching literacy in ancient India and Buddhist Central Asia. At the University of Washington (Seattle, USA), he is William P. and Ruth Gerberding University Professor and also director of the Early Buddhist Manuscripts Project.

Photo: Isao KuritaBuddha in school. Photography: Isao Kurita

Richard Salomon’s lecture will trace the teaching of the art of writing in the ancient scripts of India (Brāhmī, Kharoṣṭhī, and Siddhamātṛkā), beginning with their origins in the pre-Christian era, through their developments and adaptations in Buddhist Central Asia, and finally to their calligraphic and ritual elaborations in the ‘Siddham’ traditions of East Asia.

The methods of teaching literacy used in India and Central Asia will be illustrated with archaeological and textual artefacts, and compared with corresponding materials from other parts of the ancient world.