Universiteit Leiden

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Agniśauca: a Mediaeval Eurasian Cultural Meme

  • Péter-Dániel Szántó
Thursday 24 March 2016

IIAS, Conference Room, Rapenburg 59 Leiden

A Buddhist Studies Lecture by Péter-Dániel Szántó (All Souls College, Oxford).

Q & A after the lecture till about 17:15.
Drinks afterwards till 18:00 / 18:30

Please register if you would like to attend by sending an email to h.m.van.der.minne@iias.nl.

The lecture
This talk by Péter-Dániel Szántó is centred on elucidating the meaning of the Sanskrit word agniśauca ("cleansed in/by fire"), which is sometimes used to denote a kind of cloth and sometimes a kind of small animal. Szántó will argue that the meanings provided by our dictionaries are not accurate, and one cannot identify the true referent by relying on Indian sources alone. However, if we look beyond the Subcontinent, to China, Inner Asia, and Mediaeval Europe, a remarkable shared belief, a cultural meme, emerges: the cloth cleansed in fire and the fur of small animals are actually one and the same thing.

Péter-Dániel Szántó (b. 1980) started his studies in Tibetology and Indology at ELTE, Budapest. He wrote his doctoral thesis on a late esoteric Buddhist work, the Catuṣpīṭhatantra. He was a Junior Research Fellow at Merton College, Oxford and a Nachwuchsinitiative stipend-holder at Hamburg University. He is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford.

Ms. Heleen van der Minne, h.m.van.der.minne@iias.nl

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