Collection ID: 0002 | Metadata type: TEI

Ms. Codex 811 Fragmens de L'Ezour-Vedam

Title

Fragmens de L'Ezour-Vedam

Call number

Ms. Codex 811
(Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Alternate identifiers

Publisher

The University of Pennsylvania Libraries

Origin

Probably written in Madras, late 18th century.
Date
1775-1799
Place
Madras

Summary

Contains 42 pen and ink illustrations of the cycle of the Ezour-Vedam, a Hindu work concerning the cycles of creation of the world by Brahman and his later incarnations, with a partial commentary in French. The French text does not correspond to that of L'Ezour-Vedam ou Ancien Commentaire du Vedam, a pseudo-Veda purporting to be a translation of the Yajur-veda that was later found to be a fabrication by French Jesuit missionaries of Pondicherry, published in 1778 in France and attributed to Jean Calmette. It rather corresponds to the description given of another text brought to Europe under the name of the Yajur-veda, published in 1742 in the Report of Danish Missions in the East Indies, printed at Halle, which contained an account of the main content of the Yajur-veda supplied to missionaries by a Brahmin called Krishna, resident in Tranquebar. Moreover, the illustrations here do not correspond one-for-one with the excerpts from the Ezour-Vedam. Commentary is written on pages 1-16 and continues on the leaves of the first six drawings in the volume, some of these leaves are folded at the bottom. The remaining 36 drawings in the cycle have no commentary.

Notes

Extent

54 leaves : 314 x 263 mm. bound to 320 x 275 mm

Foliation

Paper, ii (contemporary paper) + 54 + ii (contemporary paper); [ii], 1-16, [17-106]; contemporary pagination in ink, modern pagination in pencil, upper outer corners.

Support

Paper

Binding

19th-century half-leather.

Decoration

Forty-two illustrations, approximately 9.5 x 12.5 cm, in ink line drawing with pencil shading in the style of Madras influenced by the techniques of the Company School are skillfully executed and of the highest quality. Three additional drawings, 19.5 x 15.5 cm, in ink line and wash, and from a different hand, are tipped onto the final three leaves. Each of the three depicts a couple taking fruit from a tree entwined with a snake, suggesting a parallel with the temptation of Adam and Eve, but on the verso of each is a note "Tiré du pagoda de Sandoli [or Sandole]" suggesting that these images were found in the murals of non-Christian temples.

Script

  • Written in a cursive script.
  • Provenance

    Genres

    Licenses

    Decorations

    Images


    Front cover
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    Inside front cover
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