Thursday, 26 May 2011

Print editions of the Khristapurana in Lisbon?

I have requested Mr Carlos Fernandes, Curator, Goa Central Library, to inquire from the National Library, Lisbon, about possible print editions of the Khristapurana, as mentioned by Pollard in his article on Thomas Stephens in the Dictionary of National Biography in 1901.

Pollard, A.F. “Stephens or Stevens, Thomas.” Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. Sidney Lee. New York: Macmillan; London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1901. Supplement 3:355-356. [S xxiv. as of 23 May 2011.] On p. 356 he writes:  
Three of his books, all published after his death, are extant in the National Library at Lisbon: 1. 'Doctrina Christa em Lingua Bramana-Canarim,' em Rachol, 1622, 8vo; 2. 'Arte da Lingua Canarin,' em Rachol, 1640, 8vo; a copy of this appears to be also extant at Goa, where it was reprinted in 1857, 8vo; 3. 'Discorso sobre a Vinda de Jesus Christo,' Goa, 1626, 1649, and 1654.

Among authorities cited, Pollard mentions the following which might be relevant: Archivo Universal, Lisbon, January 1861; Indian Antiquary vii, 117; Monier-Williams, in Contemporary Review, April 1878. Foley's Records, iii, 573-589; vii, 738, 1453. Ribadeneira's, Southwell's, and De Backer's Bibl. Jesuit.; Oliver's Collections.

When I mentioned this to Dr Pratap Naik, SJ, Director of the Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendra, this morning, he said it was unlikely that Lisbon had print editions. Teotonio de Souza, former Director of the Xavier Centre for Historical Research, Alto Porvorim, had personally made a search. He said the same about the Jesuit Central Archives, Rome: they had been thoroughly searched. 

Naik was of the opinion that Nelson Falcao had made a gratuitous assumption that the Marsden MS was the original. He mentioned Tadkodkar also in this connection: Tadkodkar also is not at all convinced that the Sanskritized Devanagari version is prior to the Romanized Roman script versions. 

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