The field of bilingual inscription from India is variegated, with many different languages used. In the context of my talk, the combination of Persian and Arabic inscriptions with inscriptions in Indic languages, most of them in Sanskrit, will be looked at. The earliest of these inscriptions dates back to the year 243 of the Hijra. The talk will show different examples of combinations of the two or sometimes three languages, and will ask for the relation between the languages used. In many cases, one text is not simply the translation of the other, but there are significant differences between the texts. These differences may provide information about the addressees of both versions. The placement and the size of the inscriptions also allow to draw conclusions on the target public and the prominence given to the respective versions. Often, the Persian or Arabic is on the top, and the Sanskrit in smaller letters below, but this is not always the case. The lecture will give a general
overview of the material so far explored, with some statistical data, and will discuss a single inscription in detail.
Eva Orthmann is Professor of Iranian Studies at the University of Göttingen. She obtained her MA degree in Islamic and Iranian Studies at the University of Tübingen in 1995, followed by a PhD in 2000 at the University of Halle-Wittenberg. She has been an Assistant Professor in Zurich and spent two years as research fellow in Yale. In 2007, Orthmann was appointed Professor of Islamic Studies in Bonn where she also served as director of the Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies at the University. Since 2018, she has been the director of the Institute of Iranian studies at the University in Göttingen. Eva Orthmann’s research interests are related to the Mughal Empire, occult sciences, especially astrology, and Indo-Persian transfer of knowledge and culture. Two of her co-edited volumes, in English, are The Occult Sciences in Pre-modern Islamic Cultures (Beirut 2017), and Science in the City of Fortune: The Dustūr al-munajjimīn and its World (Berlin 2018).