Nepal: An Historical Study of a Hindu Kingdom


Le Nepal: étude historique d’un royaume hindou (Nepal: An historical study of a Hindu kingdom) is a three-volume work by the eminent French orientalist Sylvain Lévi (1863–1935). Lévi became a lecturer at the school of higher studies in Paris in 1886 and taught Sanskrit at the Sorbonne in 1889–94. He was appointed professor at the Collège de France in 1894. Volume 1 of Lévi’s study provides an introduction to Nepal; an overview of the European, Chinese and Tibetan, and indigenous source documents relating to the country; and chapters on its people, its political, judicial, and economic organization, and the local divinities of the country. Volume 2 contains long chapters devoted to religion and history, and it includes the journal of Lèvi’s two-month stay in Nepal in January–March 1898. Volume 3 contains analyses of 21 stone pillar inscriptions and steles, an appendix dealing with various subjects, and an index to all three volumes. The work contains plates, photographs, and, at the end of Volume 1, several large foldout illustrations. In addition to his study of Nepal, Lèvi is known for his dictionary of Buddhism based on Chinese and Japanese sources, published in 1929, and his pioneering research on the now-extinct Tocharian languages that were spoken in Central Asia from about the third century to the ninth century.

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E. Leroux, Paris


Title in Original Language

Le Népal, étude historique d’un royaume hindou

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Physical Description

3 volumes, frontispiece, illustrations, plates (part folded, in pocket), portraits, maps (1 folded); 25 centimeters

Last updated: September 18, 2015