Universiteit Leiden

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Peter Bisschop

Professor of Sanskrit and Ancient Cultures of South Asia

Prof.dr. P.C. Bisschop
+31 71 527 2980


Peter Bisschop's research is concerned with the historical development and spread of classical Hinduism, in particular Śaivism, through philological study of Sanskrit texts. He is particularly interested in the composition and transmission of the anonymous Purāṇa literature, and the historical, religious and social contexts of Purāṇic mythology. He is a member of the international research team preparing a critical edition of the Skandapurāṇa. He also studies other forms of Sanskrit literature such as Kāvya, Śāstra and Tantra, and specializes in sacred topography.


  • 1993-1998: MA Philosophy and Indology at the University of Groningen.
  • 2000-2004: Research Assistant at the University of Groningen. PhD Early Saivism and the Skandapurara: Sects and Centres.
  • 2004-2005: Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford.
  • 2005-2010: Lecturer in Sanskrit Studies, University of Edinburgh.
  • 2010: Professor in Sanskrit and Ancient Cultures of South Asia, Leiden University.


  • BA and MA courses Sanskrit.
  • BA courses on the history and culture of South Asia.

Selected Publications

  • The Skandapurāṇa. Volume IIB. Adhyāyas 31-52. The Vāhana and Naraka Cycles. Critical Edition with an Introduction and Annotated English Synopsis by Hans T. Bakker, Peter C. Bisschop and Y. Yokochi, in cooperation with Nina Mirnig and Judit Törzsök. Leiden: Brill, 2014.

  • “Two Pre-Chandella Inscriptions from Kālañjara.” Indo-Iranian Journal, 56.3-4 (2013): 279-294.

  • Once Again on the Identity of Caṇḍeśvara in Early Śaivism: A rare Caṇḍeśvara in the British Museum? Indo-Iranian Journal, 53.3 (2010), pp. 233-249.

  • Śaivism in the Gupta-Vākāṭaka Age. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 20.4 (2010), pp. 477-488.

  • Śiva. In: Jacobsen, K.A. (Ed.), Brill's Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Volume 1: Regions, Pilgrimage, Deities. Leiden: Brill, 2009, pp. 741-754.

  • Early Śaivism and the Skandapurāṇa: Sects and Centres. Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 2006.

Ancillary positions

  • Editor-in-Chief of Indo-Iranian Journal

  • Editor-in-Chief of the Gonda Indological Studies 

Professor of Sanskrit and Ancient Cultures of South Asia

  • Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • SAS India en Tibet

Work address

Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 3
2311 BZ Leiden
Room number 0.04a



  • Brill Publishers editor in chief Indo-Iranian Journal
  • general editor Gonda Indological Studies