Whispering of Inscriptions: South Indian Epigraphy and Art History

Murugaiyan, Appasamy & Parlier-Renault, Édith (forthcoming) (Eds) Whispering of Inscriptions: South Indian Epigraphy and Art History: Papers from an International Symposium in memory of Professor Noboru Karashima (Paris, 12–13 October 2017). Oxford: Indica et Buddhica. (2 vols)

This collection contains 22 original research papers demonstrating the richness and diversity of contemporary research on South Indian temple inscriptions and copper plate charts as well as on art history and archaeology. During the last decade, the field of South Indian epigraphy and archaeology has come up with important findings which brought in unprecedented data shedding new light in the area of historical studies, particularly of South India, but also of the whole of South Asia. This volume attempts to bring in some of these discoveries and to update the epigraphical and archaeological resource materials available for historical studies.

The essays are intended to stimulate discussion and analysis of inscriptional and archaeological data from a multidisciplinary approach, through new and divergent theoretical and methodological approaches, and to broaden our perception of early and medieval South Indian societies. Each contribution is original in its approach in interpreting South Indian inscriptions, monuments and images as resource material for the study of many areas of South Indian history.

The research papers cover epigraphy and art history, two major areas of South Indian historical studies closely linked to each other. The inscriptional studies relate to different domains: dynastic and social history (Subbarayalu, Francis, Gillet, Estienne), literature and bhakti (Sylvain Brocquet, Utthaya Vellupillai, Vasu Renganathan), numismatics (O. Bopearachchi), palaeography (Rajavelu), economy and technics (Athiyaman, Divien, Selvakumar), linguistics (Murugaiyan). The archaeological contributions focus on various aspects of South Indian art from the earliest prehistorical times (K. Rajan), to the Pallava (Olivier, Parlier-Renault), Cola (Schmid, Ladrech), Pandya (Gillet) and Vijayanagara kingdoms (Davrinche, Le Sauce-Carnis, Loizeau).

Y. Subbarayalu presents a comprehensive account of Professor Karashima’s contributions to the study of South Indian history and his innovative research methodology in the analysis and interpretation of South Indian inscriptions.

See also: Epigraphie et histoire de l’art de l’Inde méridionale: Colloque international en mémoire du professeur Noboru Karashima, l’Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA), Paris, 12 – 13 octobre 2017.

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