Kathasaritsagara (the Ocean of Story)

by Somadeva | 1924 | 1,023,469 words | ISBN-13: 9789350501351

This is the English translation of the Kathasaritsagara written by Somadeva around 1070. The principle story line revolves around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the Vidhyādharas (‘celestial beings’). The work is one of the adoptations of the now lost Bṛhatkathā, a great Indian epic tale said to have been composed by ...

Appendix 5.1 - The Pañcatantra

The Pañcatantra is, without doubt, one of the world’s most famous books, and has been recited, read and loved by countless generations throughout the ages. It is not to be wondered at, then, that such a work formed part of the Bṛhat-kathā, and so found its way into the Ocean of Story.

To attempt to give here, even in brief, the history of this great collection would be impossible. Firstly, space would not allow, and secondly, the works of the scholars who have specialised in the subject are easily obtainable.

I shall merely endeavour, therefore, to explain shortly the different recensions and the chief opinions held as to the original work itself.

Owing to the kind help of Professor Edgerton, of the University of Pennsylvania, I have been able to include a very full and up-to-date genealogical tree of the Pañcatantra, which is of the greatest value in tracing any particular edition or translation to its source as far as present research allows.

Some idea of the enormous spread of the Pañcatantra can be obtained from the fact that there are known to exist over two hundred different versions in over fifty languages. It reached Europe in the eleventh century, and before 1600 existed in Greek, Latin, Spanish, Italian, German, English, Old Slavonic and Czech.[1]

First of all there are a few general points to be noted.

The meaning of the name given to the collection is “Five Tantras”— i.e. a work consisting of five tantras. Although it cannot be said with absolute certainty what tantra means, it is usually translated as “book” or “section” (of a work).

There has been much difference of opinion with regard to the date of the work. Originally Hertel suggested 200 B.C., but in his Das Pañcatantra brought it down to a.d. 300, following Winternitz and Thomas. Edgerton (op. cit., vol. ii, p. 182) considers it is at present impossible to say more about the date than that it was earlier than the sixth century A.D., in which the Pahlavi translation was made, and later than the beginning of the Christian era.

The home of the Pañcatantra is unknown. Hertel would put it in Kashmir, while Edgerton inclines to favour the south, possibly the south-west of India, though with very little confidence. None of the evidence, however, appears convincing, and I feel that much research remains to be done on the subject before any definite statement can be made.

The work was written in Sanskrit, and was in all probability intended to serve as a kind of political vade mecum —rather like the Secretum Secretorum (see Vol. II, pp. 285-291), but with the additional attraction of appealing to the masses as just a collection of excellent stories. If they were introduced by a maxim or finished with a moral, it would in no way detract from the tale itself.

The original Sanskrit text of the Pañcatantra is lost, and so are many of its immediate descendants. We must also remember that the Bṛhat-kathā is lost. Thus our troubles begin, and we are forced to rely on subsequent versions to form an opinion as to what the original was really like. The latest research on this part of the subject has been carried out by Professor Edgerton, and the translations of those stories omitted by Somadeva given later in this appendix are from his translations of the supposed original text as reconstructed by him from evidence derived from a comparison of the existing recensions. (I have already given a résumé of Professor Edgerton’s work, The Pañcatantra Reconstructed, in Man, November 1925, pp. 182, 183.)

With regard to the number of recensions emanating from the original text, opinions are divided. Hertel believes there are only two: Tantrākhyāyika, and what he calls “K,” archetype of all other versions. He would trace both to Kashmir. Edgerton, on the other hand, thinks it possible to establish four independent streams of Pañcatantra tradition: Tantrākhyāyika, Southern Pañcatantra, the Bṛhat-kathā and the Pahlavi versions.

It is necessary to consider the chief recensions under their several heads:



This is a recension of the utmost importance, as it has been estimated to contain ninety-five per cent, of the original text, besides including a considerable amount of material which was not in the original. It was discovered by Hertel at the beginning of the present century. Full details will be found in his works on the subject.[2] The only MSS. discovered came from Kashmir. The version has two sub-recensions which, in the main, are nearly identical. Hertel would consider this as

“the only version which contains the unabbreviated and not intentionally altered language of the author, which no other Indian Pañcatantra version has preserved....”

As Edgerton has pointed out (op. cit., vol. ii, pp. 14-16), the version is not really entitled to such a privileged position, and

“the difference between the Tantrākhyāyika and other versions, in their relations to the original, is a difference of degree, and not a difference of kind.”


Southern Pañcatantra

This version was also edited by Hertel,[3] and, as its name shows, is characteristic of Southern India. Hertel groups the MSS. in five sub-recensions which differ considerably. Although the version has been described as an abstract of the original, a close study of what Hertel calls sub-recension a will show that its contents compare very favourably with the Tantrākhyāyika, and in some cases probably bears even a closer resemblance to the original.

There are but few interpolations to the Southern Pañcatantra, and only one complete story (i, 12: “The Shepherdess and her Lovers”) is added.

A closely related offshoot of the version is the Nepalese, acquired and edited by Hertel.[4] It contains the verses of a text which, though resembling the Southern Pañcatantra, must have been distinct from it, both, however, having a common archetype. This is evident from the different readings of the same verses found in the two versions.

There is another very important version derived from the same text as the Nepalese—the well-known Hitopadeśa, or “Friendly Advice.” It contains not only Pañcatantra material, but stories from some other work (or perhaps works) of a similar nature. It thus practically constitutes a work by itself, and actually boasts of an author of its own— one Nārāyaṇa, who lived somewhere between 800 and 1393.

In common with the Nepalese version, the Hitopadeśa transposes Books I and II of the Pañcatantra, while the rest of the work has been entirely remodelled and augmented. It contains only four books instead of five. Book III has a frame-story which bears but little resemblance to that in Book III of the Pañcatantra, while that of Book IV is quite new. The frame- and sub-stories of Book V of the Pañcatantra now appear in Books III and IV, besides several others from Books I and III of the Pañcatantra. Several stories are omitted, and others are substituted, taken, it is surmised, from the work or works other than the Pañcatantra used by Nārāyaṇa.

In spite of the extent of these above alterations, the Hitopadeśa preserves over half the entire sub-stories of the Pañcatantra, and follows closely its archetype, which it shares with the Southern Pañcatantra, as already explained.

Although the Hitopadeśa is specially connected with Bengal, where it probably originated, its popularity soon spread throughout India and migrated westwards. Of the numerous editions which appeared in the nineteenth century, the best are those by Schlegel, 1829; Peter Peterson, Bombay, 1887; and Max Müller, London, 1864 and 1865. The work was translated into many European languages, the chief English ones being those by Wilkins, 1797, 1885; Sir W. Jones, 1799; Johnson, 1845; and Sir E. Arnold, 1861. For further details of editions and translations, see Hertel, Das Pañcatantra, p. 39 et seq., and Chauvin, op. cit., ii, p. 47.


The Bṛhat-kathā Versions

As we have already seen (Vol. I, pp. xxxii, xxxiii), there were two works based on the lost Bṛhat-kathā, the Bṛhat-kathā-mañjarī by Kṣemendra and the Kathā-sarit-sāgara of Somadeva. Both contain a version of the Pañcatantra, and, as in other cases, it is Somadeva who retains the more complete work. The fact that both these poets have included the Pañcatantra in their works does not necessarily mean that it existed in the lost original Bṛhat-kathā, and in fact scholars such as Lacôte (see his Essai sur Guṇāḍhya et la Bṛhatkathā, Paris, 1908), Hertel (Tantrākhyāyika, 1909, p. 42) and Edgerton are inclined to the belief that it was a later interpolation. Lacôte considers that although the original Bṛhat-kathā contained no version of the Pañcatantra, it was included in a later recast of the work. This version, like the original, was also in Pāiśācī-Prakrit. Its date is uncertain, but apparently it came from the North-West—possibly Kashmir.

As both the Bṛhat-kathā itself and any subsequent version of it which may have existed are lost, we are entirely dependent on its offshoots, the Bṛhat-kathā-mañjari and the Kathā-sarit-sāgara, for any attempt at its reconstruction.

As the version in both these works lacks the introduction and at least one story, and as both authors worked independently (see Vol. I, p. xxxiii), it seems permissible to assume that the version of the Pañcatantra which both men followed was similarly abbreviated. Then again, most of the verses containing morals and proverbial advice are omitted. As these have nothing to do with the stories proper, this is not to be wondered at when we remember that they were needed merely to enrich a storehouse of tales already collected. They would simply form a stream in the Ocean of Story —its actual source would not matter, nor would any of its tributaries count.

Thus it seems probable that the two versions here considered are the outcome of a double translation. In spite of this and of the fact that both versions were abbreviated and in verse, quite a large portion of the original appears to have been preserved. This is doubtless due to the fact that Pāiśācī-Prakrit is closely allied to Sanskrit, and when retranslated into Sanskrit would have many words exactly corresponding to the lost Sanskrit original.

We will consider Kṣemendra’s work first.

The Bṛhat-kathā-mañjarī was discovered by A. C. Burnell, who gave an account of it in The Academy, 15th September 1871. In the following year G, Bühler wrote an important article in the Indian Antiquary, vol. i, p. 802 et seq., on another MS. of the same work which he had acquired for the Government of Bombay. His judgment about the work agreed with that of Burnell:

“His brevity makes him unintelligible and his style is far from being easy und flowing.”

Several passages were given to show its great inferiority to the Kathā-sarit-sāgara. In 1885 Sylvain Lévi edited the tirst lambaka in the Journal Asiatique, and in the following year the first and second Vetāla talcs appeared in the same paper.

In 18192 Leo von Mankowski published the Pañcatantra portion alone under the title Der Auszug aus dem Pañca-tantra in Kṣernendras Bṛhatkathāmañjarī. Unfortunately Mankowski had but one imperfect MS. identical with one of three used by Lévi. Several other MSS. were subsequently discovered, and in 1901 the whole work was printed in Bombay at the Nirṇayasāgara Press. It was edited by Mahāmahopādhyāya Paṇḍit Śivadatta and Kāśīnāth Pāṇḍurang Parab. The edition (Kāvyamālā, 69) lacks preface, and nothing is said of the MSS. used in its constitution. It is. moreover, full of careless blunders, while little or no use has been made of the portions previously edited. Details will be found in Speyer’s “Studies about the Kathāsaritsāgara,” p. 13 et seq., to which we have referred so often in the present work.

As has already been stated, Kṣemendra's work is a much abbreviated version of the Bṛhat-kathā, and it so happens that when he comes to the Pañcatantra section he seems to have been as brief as possible. Whether it was his personal dislike for fables, or because he thought them too well known to give in full, we cannot tell. The amazing way in which he has castrated the original as compared with Somadeva’s version is clearly shown by Speyer (op. cit., p. 18), who says that the few mūrkhakathās which are given

“are so condensed that they can hardly be understood and have lost all their flavour.”

He refers to another example as a “sapless remnant” of the version given by Somadeva.

At the same time the Bṛhat-kathā-mañjarī contains certain things which the Kathā-sarit-sāgara does not. For instance, several of his descriptions of a woman’s beauty are much longer than as given by Somadeva, and his praise for the bravery and strength of certain princes and the description of the cemetery in the first Vetāla story are also more detailed. Furthermore, Kṣemendra is inclined to dwell on religious matters more than Somadeva. Speyer (op. cit., pp. 19, 20) gives several examples of this. But of greatest importance is the fact that five stories are included which were not in the Bṛhat-kathā. They are, however, found in the Tantrākhyāyika, which, as Hertel has shown, justifies us in believing that if Kṣemendra’s principal archetype was the North-Western Bṛhat-kathā, he must have used also a MS. of the Tantrākhyāyika. Except for the fact, therefore, that Kṣemendra contains a little matter not in Somadeva, his version would be practically valueless.

We now pass on to Somadeva’s version.

As already mentioned in this volume (p. 41n1), our author does not give the Pañcatantra in one continuous whole, but interrupts the sequence of the books by introducing other tales, usually of the “noodle” variety.

Whether this was an idea of Somadeva himself, or whether he was following the plan already adopted by the author of the Bṛhat-kathā text on which he was working, is impossible to say with absolute certainty. Hertel supports the latter view in his monograph, “Ein altindisches Narrenbuch.”[5]

In the first chapter of his work Somadeva says (Vol. I, p. 2):

“This book is precisely on the model of that from which it is taken, there is not even the slightest deviation, only such language is selected as tends to abridge the prolixity of the work; the observance of propriety and natural connection, and the joining together of the portions of the poem so as not to interfere with the spirit of the stories, are as far as possible kept in view: I have not made this attempt through a desire of a reputation for ingenuity, but in order to facilitate the recollection of a multitude of various tales.”

I feel that when he wrote this Somadeva was thinking chiefly of the separate collections he had found in his text, and if the Pañcatantra was abbreviated by him it was because he thought that the lengthy moralising matter was interfering with the “spirit of the stories.” He takes special care to see that nothing is lost in the narrative itself, and his style is graceful and elegant. Edgerton (op. cit., p. 26) estimates that he preserves at least traces of about three-fifths of the original prose, and that his text shows no signs of having been contaminated by the use of any extraneous version.

As we have already seen, Somadeva omits the Introduction to the Pañcatantra. Whether it was he who did this or the author of the North-Western Bṛhat-kathā is impossible to say, but when including such a collection in the “Great Tale” its stories would fit in even better without any separate introduction. I have given this in full on p. 221 et seq. of this appendix. The translations followed in this and the other extracts are those of Professor Edgerton in his Pañcatantra Reconstructed.

The next omission occurs in Book I with the three short tales of self-caused miṣaps and that of “The Crows and the Serpent.” These are given on pp. 223-227.

In Book II the story of “The Deer’s Former Captivity” is wanting, but is really only an incident in the frame-story of Book II, and may have been lost in the process of abbreviating from the original Bṛhat-kathā.

The only other omission is the last two tales of Book V:

“The Brāhman who built Castles-in-the-Air,”

and “The Barber who killed the Monks.” All these are given in full in the present Appendix.

The following table will show at a glance the list of stories in the Pañcatantra. Those not in Somadeva’s version are in italics:—

Book I
  No. of Story in Ocean
Introductory Story—Kathāmukha.  
Ox abandoned in the Forest (Frame-story) 84
Monkey and Wedge 84a
Jackal and Drum 84b
Monk and Swindler ..
Rams and Jackal ..
Weaver and Bawd ..
Crows and Serpent ..
Crane and Makara 84c
Lion and Hare 84d
Louse and Flea 84e
Lion, Panther, Crow and Jackal 84f
Pair of Ṭiṭṭibhas 84g
Tortoise and the Two Swans 84gg
The Three Fish 84ggg
Monkeys, Firefly and Bird 84h
Dharmabuddhi and Duṣṭabuddhi 84i
Crane, Snake and Mungoose 84j
Mice that ate Iron Balance 84k
Book II
Crow, Pigeons, Tortoise and Deer (Frame-story) 97
Mouse and Hermit 97a
Brāhman’s Wife and Sesame-Seeds 97aa
Greedy Jackal 97aaa
Deer's Former Captivity ..
Book III
War of Crows and Owls (Frame-story) 121
Ass in Panther’s Skin 121a
Crow and Owl King 121b
Elephants and Hares 121bb
Bird, Hare and Cat 121bbb
Brāhman, Goat and Rogues 121c
Old Merchant and Young Wife 121d
Brāhman, Thief and Rākṣasa 121e
Carpenter and his Wife 121f
Mouse turned into Maiden 121g
Snake and Frogs 121h
Book IV
Monkey and the Porpoise (Frame-story). 133
Sick Lion, Jackal and Ass 133a
Book V
Brāhman and the Mungoose (Frame-story) 140
Brāhman who built Castles-in-the-Air ..
Barber and the Monks ..

The numbers of the stories given above will show immediately where the interpolations of other tales occur.

Turning to the editions of the Kathā-sarit-sāgara, we are already aware of the fact that it was Professor Brockhaus who first edited the work. His text is as good as Sanskrit scholarship of his day allowed, but it has now been superseded by that printed at the Nirṇayasāgara Press of Bombay and edited by Paṇḍit Durgāprasād and Kāśīnāth Pāṇḍurang Parab, 1889, 2nd edition, 1903. Although this text is a great improvement on that of Brockhaus, it cannot be called a critical edition, as it also contains many inaccuracies. In fact, Speyer says that in places Brockhaus’ text is still preferable. It has, however, been found necessary to compare the two texts, not only in the Pañcatantra section, but throughout the entire work. It will have been noticed that wherever variants of any great importance occur, I have added an explanatory note.


The Jain Version

The Jain versions are two in number, the so-called “Simplicior” and Pūrṇabhadra. They are both important and must be discussed separately.

Textus Simplicior” was the name given to this text by its first editor, Kosegarten (Bonn, 1848). It has now been superseded by that published in the Bombay Sanskrit Series, 1868-1869, edited by G. Bühler and F. Kielhorn. The author is unknown, but was probably a Jain (see Hertel, Pañc., p. 72 et seq.). His date must be somewhere between a.d. 900 and 1199, because the former date is that of Rudraṭa, a stanza of whose work he quotes, and the latter date is that of Pūrṇabhadra, who used the “Simplicior” as one of his main sources.

His version became very popular in Central and Western India and was practically the only one known. It has undergone much change since originally produced, and all the known MSS. show interpolations and the language of the original is considerably altered. Hertel has given full details of the variousMSS.[6] and would divide them into two groups: the Η-class and σ-class. The Bühler-Kielhorn MSS. belong to the former and the Kosegarten MSS. to the latter.

The “Simplicior” version retains the original five books, but has made them of nearly equal length. The stories in Books III and IV are largely transposed and new tales are constantly added. These are chiefly taken from Kāman-daki (see Benfey, op. cit., vol. i, p. xv n 3). Hertel states that “Simplicior” has many features in common with Buddhistic forms of these tales, which deviate from the old Pañcatantra texts.

There are also other alterations. Book V is almost entirely new and has “The Barber who killed the Monks” as its frame-story, with its own original frame-story (“The Brāhman and the Mungoose”) as only a sub-story. “Simplicior” has the same archetype as Tantrākhyāyika, while both form the main sources of the next version to be discussed —Pūrṇabhadra.

Pūrṇabhadra was a Jaina monk who apparently composed his work in a.d. 1199. The condition of the text is good, and Hertel’s version[7] must closely resemble the original.

The text itself is formed mainly from those of the Tantrākhyāyika and “Simplicior,” as can be at,once seen from Hertel’s Parallel Specimens mentioned in the footnote.[7] In fact, as Edgerton has shown (op. cit., vol. ii, p. 71 et seq.), in some cases the work has been done so unskilfully that we sometimes find in Pūrṇabhadra two different versions of the same passage, one copied from the Tantrākhyāyika and the other from the “Simplicior.”

There is some difference of opinion as regards the extent to which each of these versions was drawn upon. Hertel is of the opinion that the author used MSS. from both the “Simplicior” sub-recensions, Η and σ, while Edgerton believes he had access to an older “Simplicior” version altogether. His arguments will be found in vol. ii, p. 31 et seq. of his Pañcatantra Reconstructed; while full details of Hertel’s views are in his works issued by the Harvard Oriental Series.

Speaking roughly, Pūrṇabhadra tends to follow Tantrakhyāyika in the first two books, and “Simplicior” in the last three. But apart from this there is evidence to show that he must have had some other source or sources from which he also drew. Exactly what these sources were we cannot tell, except that they were not any of the other known versions.

The whole question has been discussed by Hertel and Edgerton, and cannot be detailed here.


The Pahlavi Version and its Descendants

The importance of this group is twofold. In the first place the Pahlavi is one of the oldest versions known, and must have been translated from a very ancient Sanskrit text agreeing closely with the first Sanskrit original.

In the second place it is the descendants of this version which have become so familiar to us under such names as The Fables of Pilpay, Kalilah and Dimnah. Lights of Canopus, The Morall Philosophic of Doni, etc.

But first of all we must speak of the Pahlavi version itself. In a.d. 531, at the death of his father, Kobad (Kavadh), Anuṣirwan or Noshirwan became King of Persia. He was known among the Arabs as Kisra, and as Chosroes I by Western writers. He was designated “the Just,” and has been described as the most illustrious figure in the history of Iran. Apart from his military successes and administrative reforms he was deeply interested in literature and philosophy. Whether it was his famous vizier Buzurgmihr who drew the attention of Noshirwan to the importance of Sanskrit MSS. is apparently not known, but the introduction of the game of chess from India is said to have been due to his influence.

However this may be, a Sanskrit MS. of the Pañcatantra (among others) came into the king’s hands and was given to a Court physician named Burzōe or Burzuyeh, with a command to make a translation into Pahlavi, the official language of Persia at the time. Unfortunately both the Sanskrit original and the translation are lost, and our knowledge of them is derived from the Syriac and Arabic translations of the Pahlavi version which have been preserved.

Burzōe called his translation after the two jackals, Karaṭaka and Damanaka, who appear in the first book, whence the Arabic “Kalilah wa Dimnah” and the Syriac “Kalilag wa Damnag.”

For some unknown reason the Introduction is missing, together with three stories (ii, 4: “Deer’s Former Captivity”; iii, 1: “Ass in Panther’s Skin”; and v, 2: “Barber who killed the Monks”), one story is transposed, and a new one (i, 3c: “The Treacherous Bawd”) is added. Apart from these details the Pahlavi version must have been a literal rendering of the Sanskrit, and Edgerton finds evidence that at least some parts of fully eighty per cent, of the original prose sentences and over seventy per cent, of the original verses have been preserved.

As already mentioned, the two important translations of the Pahlavi version were those made into Syriac and Arabic.

The old Syriac version was made by Būd about A.D. 570. It was put into German and edited (with an introduction by Benfey) by G. Bickell in 1876, but this has been superseded by Schulthess’ Kalila und Dimna, Syrisch und Deutsch, 1911 (with additions by Hertel).

The Arabic version was the work of ‘Abdallāh ibn Moqaffa, a convert from Mazdaism to Islam, executed about a.d. 750. Full details will be found in an article by Sprengling, American Journal of Semitic Languages, vol. xl, 1924, p. 81 et seq. This Arabic translation became very popular, and, on the whole, the numerous Arabic MSS., translations and adaptions which soon came into being, can be looked upon as directly descended from Abdallāh’s work. It is impossible to mention them all, and it would, moreover, be mere repetition, owing to the full treatment already given by Hertel, Das Pañcatantra, Leipzig and Berlin, 1914, and Chauvin, op. cit., ii.

The oldest of the versions directly dependent on the Arabic is probably one in Syriac of the tenth century. This was edited by Wright in 1884, and is well known in England owing to Keith-Falconer’s translation at Cambridge in 1885.

There are three other branches of the Arabic descendants requiring particular notice: Greek, Persian and Hebrew. The Greek version was made by Symeon Seth in the eleventh century under the title “Στεφανίτης καὶ’Ιχνηλάτης.” It was edited by Stark in 1697 (2nd edition in 1851), and from it were derived Latin, Italian and Old Slavonic versions. Details of these are given by Chauvin, op. cit., ii, pp. 21-24, which must now be corrected, however, in accordance with Edgerton’s remarks below (pp. 238-289).

The Persian version was made by one Naṣr Allāh in 1121, and its great importance lies in the fact that from it sprung the better-known Persian version, the Anwār-i Suhailī, which was soon translated into numerous European languages, and became known in England as the Lights of Canopus through the translations of Eastwick, 1854, and Wollaston, 1877 and 1894.

The French editions were mostly called Fables de Pilpay, and were constantly translated into English.

The Hebrew version was composed, perhaps[8] by one Rabbi Joel, in the twelfth or thirteenth century, and was edited by J. Derenbourg with a French translation in 1881. Unfortunately the only manuscript known is fragmentary and the entire first book is lost. The value of the Hebrew version is, however, greatly enhanced by the fact that it served as the basis of the famous Latin version of John of Capua— Directorium vitæ humanæ. It was this version which contributed so largely to the spread of Oriental stories in Europe. It proved exceedingly popular in Germany, where it first appeared about 1480 as Buch der Beispiele der alten Weisen, by Anthonius von Pfor or Pforr. From that date to 1860 no less than twenty-one different editions appeared in Germany.

It also proved exceedingly popular in Spain. It was a Spanish translation which formed the basis of Firenzuola’s Discorsi degli Animali (sixteen editions, 1648-1895). Directly based on the Latin version was the work of Doni, which appeared under the title of La Moral Filosophia (three editions), and from this came Sir T. North’s English version, The Morall Philosophic of Doni, in 1570. It was reprinted in 1601, while a recent edition was issued by David Nutt in 1888, with an introduction and useful “Pedigree of the Bidpai Literature” by Joseph Jacobs.

Space will not allow any detailed account of all these different translations and editions. Reference should be made to the genealogical tree at the end of this appendix, where all the branches of Pañcatantra tradition are clearly set out, and many past mistakes rectified.

After thus toucing briefly on the main Pañcatantra versions, I shall close my portion of this appendix by giving translations of the Introduction and all stories omitted by Somadeva.

As already stated, these translations are by Professor Edgerton, who has very kindly given me leave to reproduce them here. They represent translations of the original Pañcatantra, the text having been reconstructed by Professor Edgerton from the chief existing recensions.

In order to understand fully the methods adopted in this reconstruction, reference should be made to his work, The Pañcatantra Reconstructed, 2 vols., New Haven, Conn., 1924.

The stories omitted by Somadeva are as follows:—

  • Introduction—Kathāmukha.
  • The Monk and the Swindler.
  • The Rams and the Foolish Jackal.
  • The Cuckold Weaver and the Bawd.
  • The Crows who tricked the Serpent.
  • The Deer’s Former Captivity.
  • The Brāhman who built Castles-in-the-Air.
  • The Barber who killed the Monks.



To Manu, to Vāchaspati, to Śukra, to Parāśara and his son, and to Chāṇakya the Wise—to these authors of the books of the science of kingship be homage.

Viṣṇuśarman has mastered the cream of all the treatises on the science of polity in the world; and he too has composed a fascinating treatise in these five books.

Thus runs the account of it. There was in the south country a city named Mahilāropya. There dwelt a king named Amaraśakti. He was a Tree-of-Wishes granting the desires of all suppliants. His feet were illumined by a flood of radiant beams from the crown jewels of noble kings who bowed before him. He was completely skilled in all the arts and versed in all the science of polity. And he had three sons, named Vasuśakti, Ugraśakti and Aṅkaśakti, who were utter fools. Now when the king saw that they were ignorant of political science, he called his ministers and took counsel with them:

“Sirs, you know already that these my sons are utter fools. What profit is there in the birth of a son, if he be neither wise nor virtuous? What can a man do with a cow which neither gives milk nor calves?

“Better a miscarriage; better no intercourse whatsoever at the proper seasons; better a stillborn child; nay, better even that a daughter be born; better a barren wife; better to enter upon the homeless mendicant state of life—than a foolish son, though he were handsome, rich, and powerful.

“By what means, then, may their intelligence be awakened?”

At this some of them said:

“Sire, it is well known that the study of grammar requires twelve years; then, if that be in a measure mastered, after it the systematic study of religion, polity and love may be taken up. So this is a sore task even for intelligent folk; how much more for the dull-witted I Now in matters like this there is a Brāhman named Viṣṇuśarman, who knows all the facts of the science of polity, and whose fame is spread abroad by his many pupils. Summon him and let him take charge of the princes.”

This plan was adopted, and a minister summoned Viṣṇuśarman, who came and saluted the king with a benediction after the manner which Brāhmans employ, and took his seat. And when he was comfortably seated the king said to him:

“Brāhman, I beg you to do me the favour of making these ignorant princes second to none in the science of polity, and I will requite you with a sum of money.”

Thus spoke the king; but Viṣṇuśarman arose and said to the king:

“Sire, hear this my lion’s roar! I make this statement not as one covetous of money; and since I am eighty years of age and my senses are all dulled, the time for me to enjoy wealth is over. But in order to help you I will undertake this as a trial of intellectual skill. So let this day be written down! If within the space of six months I do not make your sons completely versed in the science of polity, then, sir, you may show me the door and banish me to a distance of a hundred hastas.”

When the king and his ministers heard this unbelievable promise on the part of the Brāhman, in delight and astonishment he gave over the princes to Viṣṇuśarman with all deference. But the latter began to teach the king’s sons the science of polity under the guise of stories, for which purpose he composed Five Books entitled, The Separation of Friends, The Winning of Friends, The Story of the Crows and the Owls, The Loss of One’s Gettings, and Hasty Action.


The Monk and the Swindler

In a certain region there was a monk named Devaśarman. In the course of time he had gained a large fortune through the acquisition of fine garments of excellence, which various pious people had presented to him. And he trusted no one. Now once upon a time a thief named Āṣāḍhabhūti observed this money, which he carried in his waist-pocket, and meditated:

“How can I steal this money from him?”

And he presented himself to the monk as a pupil, and in time won his confidence. Now once upon a time that monk started on a journey with this same Āṣāḍhabhūti, to make a pilgrimage to holy places. And in the course of the journey in a certain wooded region he left Āṣāḍhabhūti with the money near the bank of a river, and went aside to get water.


The Rams and the Foolish Jackal

And there by the edge of the water he saw a great fight of rams. And as they fought with all their strength and without rest, a great quantity of blood flowed from between their branching horns and fell upon the ground. A certain foolish jackal saw this, and his mind was aroused by the hope of eating it, and in his eagerness for meat he ran up between the two rams as they separated, leaving some distance between them, to get at the blood. And when they came together again he was killed by the shock of their impact.

Then the monk was filled with amazement, and said:

“The jackal by the rams’ fight.”


The Monk and the Swindler

And having purified himself he returned to that place; but as for Āṣāḍhabhūti, he had taken the whole pile of money and run away, and Devaśarman could not find him. But all he saw was a discarded triple staff, firewood, a water-vessel, a sieve, and a toothbrush.

And he reflected:

“Where is that Āṣāḍhabhūti? He must have robbed me.”

And in great distress he said:

“And I by Āṣāḍhabhūti.”


The Cuckold Weaver and the Bawd

Then that monk, having nothing left but his half-skull used as drinking-vessel and the empty knot in his robe in which he had carried the money, went off searching for the rogue’s tracks, and as the sun was setting entered a certain village. As he entered he met a weaver who lived in the edge of the village and asked of him a lodging for the night. And he showed him to quarters in a part of his house, and said to his wife:

“While I am gone to town and am drinking liquor with my friends, until I return, do you carefully tend the house.”

Alter thus instructing her he departed.

Now his wife was unchaste. And when a procuress came and pressed her to go, she donned her adornments and started out to go to her lover. Just then her husband came home, his garments awry, with staggering gait, and so badly under the influence of liquor that he could not speak his words plainly. And when she saw him, with presence of mind, she deftly took off her adornments and put on her ordinary garb as before, and began to wash the feet of the guest, prepare his bed, and the like.

But the weaver entered the house and began to scold her:

“Harlot! My friends have been telling me of your evil actions. All right! I will pay you back richly!”

So saying he beat her with blows of a stick until she was black and blue, and tied her fast with a rope to the post in the middle of the house, and then went to sleep. At this time the procuress, a barber’s wife, when she perceived that the weaver was asleep, came in again, and said:

“That fine fellow is consumed with the fire of longing for you, so that he is like to die. So I will release you and bind myself in your place; do you go thither and console him—you know whom—and come back quickly.”

So the barber’s wife released her from her bonds and sent her off to her lover. After this the weaver awoke, sobered, and began to scold her in the same way as before. But the procuress was frightened, and did not dare speak with her strange voice lest she be recognised, but she held her peace. He, however, kept on saying the same things to her.

And when she gave him no answer, at last he cried out angrily:

“Are you so proud that you will not so much as answer what I say?”

And he arose and cut off her nose with a sharp knife, and said:

“Have that for your decoration! Who will be interested in you now?”

So saying he went to sleep again. Then the weaver’s wife returned and asked the procuress:

“What news with you? What did he say when he woke up? Tell me, tell me!”

But the procuress, who had received the punishment, showed her her nose, and said in an ill humour:

“You can see what the news is! Let me loose and I will go.”

She did so, and she departed, taking her nose with her. The weaver’s wife, however, arranged herself as she had been before, with a semblance of bonds.

But the weaver awoke and began to scold her in the same way as before. Then she said to him angrily and reproachfully:

“Fie, wicked man! Who could dare to disfigure me, a pure and faithful wife? Hear me, ye Rulers of the World-regions! As surely as I know even in my thoughts no strange man, no one other than the husband of my youth, by this truth let my face be undisfigured!”

Having spoken thus, she said to her husband again:

“O most wicked man! Behold my face! It has become just as it was before!”

Then that stupid man’s mind was bewildered by her tricky words. He lighted a lamp, and beheld his wife with her face undisfigured. His eyes bulged, his heart was filled with joy, and kissing her he released her from her bonds, and fell at her feet, and embraced her passionately and carried her to the bed.

But the monk remained on the spot, having seen the whole occurrence from the very beginning.

And that procuress, with her nose in her hands, went home, thinking:

“What can I do now? How can I conceal this great disaster?”

Now her husband, the barber, came back at dawn from another place, and said to his wife:

“Bring me my razor-case, my dear; I have to go to work in the king’s palace.”

And she did not move from the inside of the house, but threw out to him a razor only. And because she did not hand him the whole razor-case, the barber’s heart was filled with wrath, and he threw that same razor at her. Then she raised a loud cry of anguish, and rubbed her nostrils with her hand, and threw her nose dripping with blood on the ground, and said:

“Help! Help! This wicked man has mutilated me, though he has found no fault in me!”

Then the policemen came, and saw that she was obviously mutilated, and beat the barber soundly with blows of their sticks and afterwards bound him firmly, and took him, along with her, to the seat of judgment. And the judges asked him:

“Why did you maltreat your wife thus cruelly?”

And when, in spite of repeated questioning, he made no reply, then the judges ordered that he be impaled upon a stake. Now, as he was being taken to the place of execution, the monk, who had observed the whole course of events, saw him, and went to the court and said to the judges:

“This barber is innocent of wrongdoing; do not have him impaled. For hear these three marvels:

“The jackal by the rams’ fight, and I by Āṣāḍhabhūti, and the procuress by the weaver: these three afflictions were self-caused.”

And when the judges had learned the true facts of the case, they spared the barber.


The Crows who tricked the Serpent

Once upon a time in a certain locality there was a tree, in which dwelt a pair of crows. But when they brought forth young, a cobra was in the habit of crawling up the hollow trunk of the tree and eating the young crows before they learned to fly.

Then they, in despair, asked a close friend of theirs, a jackal who lived at the foot of another tree:

“Friend, what, think you, would it be well for us to do in such a case? Since our young are murdered, it is the same as if we, their parents, were slain.”

Said he:

“Do not despair in this matter. Only by craft can that greedy creature surely be destroyed. After eating many fish, best, worst, and middling, a heron grew too greedy and so at last met his death by seizing a crab.”

Then the male crow said to the jackal:

“What do you think it timely for us to do?”

Said he:

“Get a gold chain that belongs to some rich man, a king or minister or the like, and put it in the snake’s hole. The people who come to get it will kill the snake.”

So speaking the jackal departed. Then the two crows, hearing this, flew up and soared about at random looking for a gold chain. And soon the female crow came to a certain lake, and when she looked, she saw that the members of a king’s harem were playing in the water of the lake, having laid aside near the water their gold chains, pearl necklaces, garments, and other finery. Then the female crow picked up a gold chain and set out through the air to her own home, but slowly, so as not to get out of sight. Thereupon when the chamberlains and eunuchs perceived the theft of the chain, they took their sticks and quickly pursued. But the female crow deposited the gold chain in the snake’s hole, and waited a long way off.

Now when the king’s officers climbed the tree, in the trunk they found the cobra with his hood expanded. And they killed him with blows of their sticks. When they had done this they took the gold chain and departed, going where they would. But the pair of crows from that time forth dwelt in peace.


The Deer’s Former Captivity

Once upon a time I was a six-months’-old foal. And I ran in front of all the rest, and easily going a long distance ahead I would act as guard to the herd. Now we have two kinds of gaits, the upright, hurdling, and the straight-away, running. Of these I was acquainted with the straight-away, but not with the upright gait. Now once upon a time as I ran along I lost sight of the herd of deer. My heart was terrified, and I gazed about in all directions to see where they had gone, and perceived them some distance ahead. For they, employing the upright gait, had all leaped over a snare and gone on ahead, and were waiting and looking for me. And I rushed forward, employing the straight-away gait, because I did not know how to go the upright gait, and was entangled in the net. Thereupon I was caught by the hunter when he came up. And he took me and brought me to the king’s son for him to play with. But the king’s son was greatly delighted at seeing me, and gave a reward to the hunter. And he petted and tended me with dainty food such as I liked, and with other attentions—rubbing me with unguents, bathing and feeding me, and providing me with perfumes and ointments. And the women of the harem and the princes, finding me very interesting, passed me around from one person to another, and annoyed me greatly by pulling at my neck and eyes, hands, feet, and ears, and by the like attentions.

Now once upon a time, during the rainy season, when I was right under the prince’s bed, the longings of my heart were stirred by the sound of the thunder of the clouds and the sight of the lightning, so that my thoughts went back to my own herd, and I spoke as follows:

“When shall it be my lot to follow behind the herd of deer as it runs hither and yon, driven about by the wind and rain?”

Thereupon the prince, who was alone, was astonished, and spoke as follows:

“I am all alone; who was it that spoke these words here?”

His heart was greatly troubled, and he looked all round, and noticed me. And when he saw me he thought:

“It was no human being who said this, but a deer. Therefore this is a portent and I am surely undone.”

So thinking he became greatly agitated. His speech faltered, and with difficulty he ran out of the house, and he fell seriously ill, as if possessed of a mighty demon. Then in the morning, being stricken with a fever, he addressed himself to all the physicians and devil-doctors, stirring their cupidity with a promise of much money:

“Whoever can cure this my disease, to him I will give no mean fee.”

But I was at this time being beaten by the thoughtless crowd with blows of sticks, bricks, and clubs, when a certain saintly man came to my rescue, as my life was not yet spent, and said:

“Why are you killing this poor beast?”

And this noble man, who knew the meaning of all signs, said to the king’s son:

“Sir, all the tribes of animals can speak, though you may not know it—but not in the presence of men; he gave expression to his heart’s fancies in this way only because he did not see you. His longings were stirred by the rainy season, and his thoughts turned to his herd, and so he spoke as he did: ‘When shall it be my lot to follow behind the herd of deer as it runs hither and yon, driven about by the wind and rain?’ So there is no ground for your illness, sir; it is unreasonable.”

And when the king’s son heard this, his feveṛṣ disease left him and he became whole as before. And he led me away and anointed me, and had my body washed with plenty of water, and set men to watch over me, and turned me loose in that same forest. And the men did just as he told them. Thus, though I suffered captivity before, I have now been captured again by the power of Fate.


The Brāhman who built Castles-in-the-Air

There was a certain Brāhman’s son who was plying his studies. He received sacrificial offerings of food in the house of a certain merchant. And when he did not eat there, he received a measure of grits. This he took home and put it in a jar and saved it. And so, in the course of a long time, this jar of his became full of grits.

One time the Brāhman was lying on his bed underneath that jar, which he had hung on a wall-peg, having taken a nap in the daytime and waked up again, and he was meditating thus:

“Very high is the price of grain, and still higher grits, which are food all prepared. So I must have grits worth as much as twenty rupees. And if I sell them I can get as many as ten she-goats worth two rupees apiece. And when they are six months old they will bear young, and their offspring will also bring forth. And after five years they will be very numerous, as many as four hundred. And it is commonly reported that for four she-goats you can get a cow that is young and rich in milk, and that has all the best qualities, and that brings forth live calves. So I shall trade those same she-goats for a hundred cows. And when they calve, some of their offspring will be bullocks, and with them I shall engage in farming and raise plenty of grain. From the sale of the grain I shall get much gold, and I shall build a beautiful mansion of bricks, enclosed by walls. And some worthy Brāhman, when he sees what a great fortune I have, with abundance of men-servants and maid-servants and all sorts of goods, will surely give me his beautiful daughter to wife. And in the course of time I shall beget on her body a boy that shall maintain my line; strengthened by the merit I have acquired, he shall be long-lived and free from disease. And when I have performed for him the birth-rite and other ceremonies in prescribed fashion, I shall give him the name of Somaśarman. And while the boy is running about my wife will be busy with her household duties at the time when the cows come home, and will be very careless and pay no heed to the lad. Then, because my heart is completely mastered by love for the boy, I shall brandish a cudgel and beat my wife with my cudgel.”

So in his reverie he brandished his cudgel and struck that jar, so that it fell down, broken in a hundred pieces all over himself, and the grits were scattered. Then that Brāhman’s body was all whitened by the powdered grits, and he felt as if awakened out of a dream and was greatly abashed, and the people laughed at him.


The Barber who killed the Monks

There was in a certain city a merchant’s son of old, who had lost his wealth, his kinsfolk, and his fortune, and was ground down by poverty. Attended by his old nurse he had lived since childhood in a part of a broken-down dwelling, and he had been brought up by his old nurse, a slave-woman.

Once early in the evening he meditated, sighing a long and earnest sigh:

“Alas, when will there be an end to this my poverty?”

As he pondered thus he fell asleep; and it was night. And towards morning he saw a dream.

Three monks came and woke him and said to him:

“Friend, to-morrow we shall come to visit you in this same form. For we are three heaps of treasure stored away by your forefathers, and when you slay us with a cudgel we shall turn into dīnārs. And you must show no mercy in doing this.”

So in the morning he awoke, still pondering on this dream, and said to the nurse:

“To-day, mother, you must be well prepared all day for a solemn rite. Make the house ceremonially pure by smearing on cow-dung and so forth, and we will feed three Brāhmans to the best of our ability. I for my part am going to get a barber.”

So it was done, and the barber came to trim his beard and nails. When his beard had been trimmed in proper fashion, the figures which he had seen in the dream came in. And as soon as the merchant’s son saw these monks, he dealt with them as he had been commanded. And they became piles of money. And as he took in this mass of wealth, the merchant’s son gave the barber three hundred dīnārs as a fee, and in order to keep the secret. But the barber, having seen him do this, went home and drew a hasty conclusion from what he had seen, and thought:

“I too will kill three monks with a cudgel and turn them into three heaps of treasure.”

So he took a cudgel and stood in readiness; and presently three monks, impelled by their previous deeds, came a-begging. Thereupon the barber smote them with the cudgel and killed them. And he got no treasure. Straightway the king’s officers came and arrested the barber and took him away and impaled him.



It is now my pleasure to introduce Professor Franklin Edgerton of the University of Pennsylvania. This scholar has most liberally and unreservedly given me full advantage of the results of his great research work into the intricacies of Pañcatantra tradition. He has not only adopted my suggestion of preparing a detailed and comprehensive table of the chief MSS., editions, translations, etc., but has supplemented this by an “Explanatory Note,” the value of which will at once be apparent. The work of previous scholars on the subject of Pañcatantra Bibliography (e.g. Chauvin, Hertel, etc.) is of the greatest use and importance, but, especially owing to their ignorance of Slavonic languages and the consequent necessity of using second-and third-hand information, they were led into very serious errors.




prepared by


Professor of Sanskrit in the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.A.



1. Languages are set in CAPITALS.

2. Titles of works are set in italics; except that the titles of certain versions of special historic importance (such as Kalīlah wa-Dimnah, the Directorium Vitæ Humanæ, etc.) are given special prominence by being set in Old Eglish.

3. Modern European translations of antique versions are distinguished from older offshoots by being attached to a horizontal line drawn to the right from the middle of the perpendicular line of descent—at the foot of which are placed the older offshoots.

4. Occasional references are made to:

“Chauvin”==V. Chauvin, Bibliographic des ouvrages arabes..., vol. ii, Liège and Leipzig, 1897.

“Hertel” ==J. Hertel, Das Pañcatantra.. Leipzig and Berlin, 1914.

5. For the numbered footnotes (referred to in the Table by a dagger preceding an Arabic numeral— viz.7) see pp. 236-242.



Modern translations of Sanskrit versions are omitted from the Table.[9] With that exception, the Table undertakes to refer, at least summarily, to all known works which are in whole or in considerable part descendants of the Pañcatantra.

This statement needs some qualification, or at least explanation, as regards the treatment of the late INDIC versions. There are known to exist in India, both in Sanskrit and in the vernaculars, and in Farther India, many relatively late versions of which little is known as yet. Most of them exist only in manuscripts or in uncritical and inaccessible Oriental editions. Virtually all the information about them now available can be found in Hertel’s Pañcatantra (see above). It would be impossible to indicate with any confidence the precise affiliation of most of them. I have therefore contented myself with indicating the three or four groups into which these late Indie versions appear to fall, listing in each case all the languages in which any of them are known to exist.

It will appear from the Table that these groups are as follows:—

1. A primarily South-Western group, centering originally in or near the Marāṭha country, and generally derived from contaminations of offshoots of the Southern Pañcatantra with relatives of Group 2 (see footnote †5)-

2. A West Indie group, centering in Gujerat, mainly by Jain authors, and derived primarily from one or both of the older Jain versions, sometimes with contamination from other versions (see footnote †6).

3. Two groups derived principally from the Southern Pañcatantra: one including primarily versions in South Indie (Dravidian) languages, and the other spreading over Farther India. According to Hertel, the South Indie original of this second group was contaminated with some offshoot of the Jain versions. This theory, while it may be correct, hardly seems to me sufficiently well established to require recognition in the Table.

The descendants of the PAHLAVI version are listed in much greater detail. In a few cases minor Oriental versions are indicated group-wise instead of individually; but even then the number of versions recorded, as well as the language, is always given. In general, each known version receives individual mention.



I. The affiliations of the Older Sanskrit versions are given in accordance with my own conclusions, as stated and defended in my Pañcatantra Reconstructed (New Haven, 1924), vol. 2, passim (Table on p. 48). For Hertel’s radically different views (criticised by me, op. cit., pp. 89-127), see his Pañcatantra, 426 ff. (Anhang II) and references there quoted. As to the later Indie versions, see the last paragraph but one.

II. For the affiliations of the descendants of the Pahlavi, I am mainly indebted to the works of Chauvin and Hertel, mentioned on page 232, to which the reader is referred for details about editions, etc. Hertel’s work, as regards the Pahlavi versions, was almost wholly based on Chauvin, and by means of his indexes, and his references to Chauvin, the source of any of my statements, for which no other authority is given, can easily be found.

I have, however, verified all the statements of my predecessors as far as I could with the bibliographical aids at my disposal. And I have been able to correct or supplement their statements in a considerable number of particulars, notably from the following sources (others will be mentioned in the Notes):—

1. Brockelmann’s article on “Kalīla wa-Dimna” in the Encyclopaedia of Islam.

2. Sprengling’s study on the manuscripts of the Arabic, in American Journal of Semitic Languages, 40, 81 ff. (year 1924).

3. Jacobs’s Table inserted at page lxxx of his reprint of Sir Thomas North’s Morall Philosophic of Doni (London, 1888). Though out of date and very misleading in many respects, this Table records a few versions which escaped the notice of both Chauvin and Hertel, neither of whom seems to have consulted Jacobs.

4. Certain Russian and other Slavonic authorities, known but not consulted by Chauvin and Hertel; by the use of them I have corrected, in particular, the very erroneous statements made by Chauvin and Hertel concerning the Slavonic recensions (see footnotes 16 and 19 on pp. 238, 239). The chief of these authorities are:

(a) Riabinin’s Introduction to Attai’s Russian translation of the Arabic Kalilah wa-Dimnah (Moscow, 1889).

(b) Viktorov’s edition of the Old Slavonic (Moscow, 1881; OLDP. [= Obschestvo Liubitelei Drevnei Pismennosti], vol. lxxviii).

(c) Danicic’s edition of the same (not a Croatian translation! cf. footnote 19, pp. 238, 239) in the journal Starine, Zagreb (Agram), 1870, vol. ii, 261 ff.

(d) A. Rystenko, “On the History of the Story of Stephanites and Ikhnelates in Byzantine and Slavo-Russian Literature,” [in the Russian language] in Annals of the Historical-philological Society of the Imperial New Russian University [at Odessa], x, Byzantino-Slavonic section vii, Odessa, 1902, pp. 237-280. (This last was, of course, not known to Chauvin, being later in date than his work.)

In the footnotes to the Table, which now follow, I furnish the grounds for all the statements in the Table except such as can be easily traced from the preceding general explanation.

More especially I quote the authority for every statement regarding descendants of the Pahlavi which is not in accord with easily located statements in both Chauvin and Hertel.

Where no footnote is given, it may be assumed that what the Table gives regarding the Pahlavi versions (not regarding the Indic versions!) accords with both Chauvin and Hertel.

For brevity. I refer to the authorities named on page 232 by names alone, thus: Chauvin, Hertel, Broekelmann, Sprengling, Jacobs. Kiabinin, etc. In quoting Brockelmann’s article 1 (?) refer to the sections (§) into which it is divided, instead of to pages.



1. First ed. Silvcstrc de Sacy, 1816; based mainly on an inferior MS. Numerous Oriental editions have appeared since; no really critical one, based on a collation of a number of MSS., exists as yet. The best (based on a single MS., but an old and good one) is that of L. Cheikho, Beyrouth, 1905; 2nd edition, 1923. Professor Martin Sprengling, of the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, is making an exhaustive study of the materials, preparatory to a definitive edition. See his article quoted on page 235.

2. On this version (not known to Chauvin and Hertel) see Flügel. Hadji Khalfa, v (1850). p. 238, and Sprengling, op. cit.. especially pp. 85-88, where is found an interesting discussion of the general question of translations of the Pahlavi Kalīlah and Dimnah into Arabic. It should be noted, however (and Sprengling seems not to pay sufficient attention to this point), that all the Arabic MSS. described in his article seem to be derived (at least in part) from al-Moqaffa. For they all contain chapter iii, which was c omposed by al-Moqaffa.

3. This version, also unknown to Chauvin and Hertel, is mentioned by Hadji Khalfa, I.e., in a way which seems to suggest that it was a direct translation from the Pahlavi, rather than a versification of al-Moqaffa or al-Ahwāzī. Yet the language is not clear, and moreover Hadji Khalfa may have been mistaken: so it remains possible that we are dealing with a secondary Arabic versification only, like al-Lāhiqī. etc. Cf. Sprengling, p. 88.

3(?). Gadyātmakaḥ Kathāsaritsāgarah (i.e. “the K.S.S. in prose”). by.Jibananda Vidyasagara, Calcutta, 1883. (Not in Hertel.) I have seen a copy in the Berlin “Staatsbibliothek.” Sanskritists to whom the name of this redactor is only too well known, will not need to be told that the work has no literary or scholarly value.

4(?). I owe to the kindness of Dr O. Stein, of Prague, my information about these two Czech versions, neither of which I have seen. (Jacobs mentions “Trebowsky,” but erroneously derives his version from the German translations of Sahid and Gaulmin’s Pilpay of either 1802 or 1808, see below.) Dr Stein has kindly examined both the works in question for me, and gives their titles as follows: (1) Bájky Bidpajovy (Fables of Bidpai)... od Frantiska Trebovského, part 1, Olomouc (Olmütz), 1846; part 2, Brno (Brünn), 1850. This is a free rendering, with some changes and omissions, of Wolff’s German, made by “Trebovsky,” whose real name was F. M. Klácel.—(2) Bájky Bidpajovy. Praha (Prague) n.d. (circa 1894). The title page mentions no translator, but a postscript states that it is the work of one Eduard Valecka and his father. It is a very literal translation of Wolff’s German. (Both of these are ignored by Chauvin and Hertel.)

4a. La Versione araba de Kalilah e Dimnah... N. Moreno. San Remo, 1910. (So Brockelmann, § 4. Not in Hertel.)

5. Hertel, pp. 250-290, and 307-338.

6. Hertel, chapter 7, pp. 91-249.

7. Hertel, pp. 291-307. The date of Klinkert’s Dutch version is given as 1870 by Chauvin, p. 76; as 1871 by Hertel, p. 294, note 2. Dubois’ FRENCH (Hertel, p. 303) is based on a contamination of Tamil, Telugu, and Canarese texts.

8. Hertel, pp. 339-346. Hertel believes, as stated above, that the original of this group was contaminated with an offshoot of the Jain versions.

9. See Hertel, pp. 363-366, for the close relations between the Old Spanish and this Hebrew version.

10. Editions: (1) Gayaṅgos, Madrid, 1860.—(2) Allen, Macon, 1906.—(3) Alemany, Madrid, 1915.—(4) Solalinde, Madrid, 1917.

11. Doni’s Italian descendant attributes this to a “Rabbi Joel,” of whom nothing else is known; Derenbourg inclines to accept the statement, but Steinschneider (Hebräische Uebersetzungen, pp. 875-876) is extremely sceptical of it, as well as of Derenbourg’s dating of the work (twelfth century). According to Steinschneider, all we know is that the work is older than John of Capua.

12. Full title: Liber Kelilæ et Dimnæ, Directorium, etc. Twice printed about 1480. Modern editions: (1) Puntoni, Pisa, 1884.—(2) Derenbourg, Paris, 1889; with valuable critical and comparative notes.—(3) Hervieux, Paris, 1899.

13. Cf. Hertel, p. 397 f.

14. First printed circa 1480, and often reprinted. Bibliography of MSS. and early editions in Gödeke, Orient und Occident, i, 687 ff., and in Holland’s edition, Das Buck der Beispiele..., Stuttgart, 1860.

15. Exemplario contra los engaños y peligros del mundo; thirteen editions known before end of sixteenth century. Apparently used also the German Buck der Beispiele, besides the Latin; see Benfey, Orient und Occident, i, 170 ff.

16. The date is given by Riabinin, p. lxx; also, long ago, by Grimm, Reinhart Fuchs, p. cclxxvi. The Czech title, quoted by Hertel, p. 400, is a literal translation of the Latin Directorium vitæ humanæ. Chauvin’s statements, pp. 24 (note 2) and 72 (copied by Hertel), are both incomplete and incorrect. There was only one early version in Czech, that recorded here; it is not true that Riabinin quotes a Czech version based on a Slavonic original. For a fuller account of this question, see an article on the Slavonic recensions of the Pañcatantra, which I hope soon to publish.

17. This work, in two parts, includes both Firenzuola and Doni.

18. Ed. Stark, 1697 (reprinted Athens, 1851), without the “Prolegomena” or introductory chapters, which were edited by Aurivillius, 1780. New edition, Puntoni, “Roma —Firenze—Torino” (Chauvin gives Rome alone, Hertel Florence alone), 1889.—Symeon is often said to have been a Jew, but this is an error: Steinschneider, Hebräische Uebersetzungen, p. 873, note 148.—It seems never to have been noticed that the order of the chapters in this version, which is in various points quite individual, agrees exactly with that in the Arabic metrical version of Muhammad b. al-Habbārīya, as quoted (from Houtsma) by Hertel, p. 394. The latter omits two introductory chapters and the final chapter of Symeon; otherwise they agree absolutely. A comparison of the two in details might be worth while. Cf. next note.

19. As stated above, Chauvin and Hertel rely wholly on secondary sources for the Slavonic recensions, and are full of errors. Except the one Czech version (see above, note 16), there was only one Slavonic recension before quite modern times; this is the Old Slavonic derivative of the Greek, various MSS. of which have been edited by Viktorov, Danicic and others. It has never, so far as appears, been translated into any other language. The alleged Croatian translation (Chauvin, p. 24, No. 42) is an erroneous reference to Danicic’s edition of the Old Slavonic. The other versions named separately by Chauvin, i.e., Nos. 39-41, and Hertel, p. 404, are editions of other MSS. of the same thing. The latest account of the Old Slavonic is found in Rystenko, op. cit. According to him, the Greek of Symeon goes back to a very old and good Arabic MS.; the Slavonic was translated from a MS. of the shorter recension of the Greek, in the twelfth or thirteenth century, in Bulgaria. There was only one Slavonic translation; divergences in MSS. are due to accidental or arbitrary changes made by Slavonic copyists. The Slavonic translator tried to be faithful and literal as a rule, paraphrasing or departing from his original apparently only when he did not understand it. See further my forthcoming article, mentioned in Note 16.

20. Not from the Latin of Stark, as Jacobs states. The title, quoted by Chauvin, p. 23, indicates that it was translated directly from the Greek.

21. So Steinschneider (see his Hebräische Uebersetzungen, pp. 878-882) spells the name, which Chauvin spells Elazar, and Hertel Eleazar.

22. See Hertel, p. 412 f.

23. See Hertel, p. 415. Following Brandes, Hertel states that the South Indie original of the Malay version was a contamination of some offshoot of the Arabic with a Southern (probably Tamil) Pañcatantra version. But he also says that it shows signs of influence from Naç rail ah’s Persian and the Anwāri Suhailī. May not one of these two, or an Indie offshoot thereof, be the “unknown version” in question, rather than a direct translation from the Arabic?

24. Ed. Gongrijp, 1876; 2nd edition, 1892. Possibly the same work may be contained in an earlier edition of a Malay text, cited at second hand by Chauvin, p. 76: Kalîlah en Daminah... P.P. Roorda van Eysiṅga, 1844.

25. Not in Hertel; but see Chauvin, p. 76.

26. This version was probably based on Naṣrallah; see Rieu, Cat. Pers. MSS. Brit. Mus., ii, 582 ff.

27. Besides various Oriental editions (see Chauvin, p. 28ff.), ed. Ouseley, [Hertford,] 1851.

28. See Brockelmann, § 8 (correction of Hertel, p. 407). fa See Brockelmann, § 8. The translator’s full name was ‘Abd al-‘Allām Faiz Khān Oghlu; printed at Kazan, 1889. It is a translation of the Arabic in the main, but with introduction borrowed from the Anwāri Suhailī.

29a. Mr N. M. Penzer informs me that this was reissued as follows: The Anvár-i Suhailī... rendered into Persian... literally translated by Edward B. Eastwick, Allahabad, 1914.

30. See Brockelmann, § 9 (correction of Hertel, p. 414).

31. Completed by the author in 1808, but first printed (ed. Roebuck) 1815; Garcin de Tassy, Hist, de la litt. hindouie et hindoustanie, 1st edition (1839), i, 40; 2nd edition (1870), i, 150 f.

32. Chauvin, p. 46, No. 67 G, quotes the name from Garcin de Tassy as “Marmol,” and refers to M.’s Hindoostanee Reader (Calcutta, 1861). But the name is Manuel, and the book in question (which I have seen in Paris, in the library of the École des Langues Orientales Vivantes) is: The Khirud-Ufroz: Translated from the Oordoo into English, and followed by a vocabulary of the difficult words and phrases occurring in the text, by Thomas Philip Manuel... Calcutta, Messrs Thacker, Spink & Co.... 1861.—This was reprinted, as “1st edition” (!), at Lucknow, Newul Kishore Press, 1892 (information furnished by Mr N. M. Penzer).

33. Riabinin, p. lxiv f. This is the book mentioned by Hertel, p. 414; and no doubt the text is the same as that from which extracts were given in the earlier work mentioned by Chauvin, p. 43, No. 64. Riabinin does not give the date when the translation was made. He says that the principal translator was King Vakhtan VI; the verses were translated into verse by the monk Saba (Slukhan) Orbeliani. Published at Tiflis, 1886, from four MŚS.; title Khalila da Damana, but translated, in general very faithfully, from the Anwāri Suhailī. Nevertheless the translator made some independent additions, among which Riabinin mentions three stories.

34. The full title even of the first edition contains the name Pilpay: Lime des lumières ou la conduite des roys, composé par le sage Pilpay. European occurrences of the name in this form are traceable to Sahid and Gaulmin’s work; the form Bidpai goes back to Galland (and Cardonne).

35. So, without author’s name, Chauvin, p. 40 (No. 58 B). Jacobs gives the date of the earliest English edition as 1699, and its author as J. Harris; this edition is not noted in Chauvin. The work was constantly reissued, generally, it seems, anonymously (Chauvin, I.e.).—Mr N. M. Penzer informs me that the earliest edition in the British Museum is that of J. Harris, London, 1699 (The Fables of Pilpay...). He adds that the latest is perhaps: Tales within Tales. Adapted from the Fables of Pilpai: Sir A. N. Wollaston, Romance of the East Series, London, 1909. Is Chauvin’s 1679 a misprint for 1699? On p. xxviiiƒ. o£.his Bidpai, Joseph Jacobs speaks of “J. Taylor’s translation... the first work with the title Fables of Pilpay, 1699.” It would appear that “Taylor” must be an accidental slip for “Harris,” although I confess I cannot account for such a strange error on Jacobs’s part.

36. See Chauvin, p. 32.

37. Fabeln und Parabeln des Orients. Der türkischen Sammlung humajún name entnommen und ins Deutsche übertr. von Soubv-Bey. Mit e. Vorwort von Prof. Dr Rieder Pascha, Berlin, F. Fontane & Co., 1903, xii + 130 pp. (Not in Hertel.) I quote the work from the Catalogue of the Berlin “Staatsbibliothek”; unfortunately I was unable to see it there, as it was in use at the time when I applied for it.

38. Erroneously quoted as Russian by Hertel, p. 409. Jacobs, who ignores this version, mentions a Polish version of 1819, which he derives from Galland and Cardonne exclusively (from which alone he also derives the Greek of Lampanitziotes). Chauvin mentions no second Polish edition. If Jacobs’s reference is right, the work in question was probably another edition of that of 1770, which was certainly a rendering of Esope en belle humeur, as the title shows (Chauvin, p. 38, No. 55 P; Esop w wesolym humorze. Warsaw, 2 vols., 1770).

39. It appears that all the versions in the Table, with the possible exception of the MALAY and its derivatives, are taken from Galland alone, and not from Cardonne’s continuation. The German version of 1745 of course antedates Cardonne. The Dutch and Huṅgarian versions mention only Galland on their title pages (Chauvin, p. 53ƒ., Nos. 76 E and 76 H). On Jäde’s German see the next note. I have no means of determining whether Gongrijp’s Malay included Cardonne or not.

40. Aus dem Morgenlande. Thier-Novellen nach Bidpai. Von Heinrich Jäde, Leipzig, 1859. (Chauvin, p. 52; not in Hertel.) I have seen a copy in the Berlin “Staatsbibliothek.” It is a work of little interest or scientific value. The introduction professes to tell something of the history of “Bidpai,” and mentions the “Hitopadeśa” and the “Pantschatantra.” But it discreetly fails to tell us the sources of the fables which follow. From a study of the Table of Contents and of certain parts of the work itself, I think it can be inferred with reasonable confidence that Jäde printed a selection of stories, the prior and major part of which was taken from Galland’s French, and the latter part from some European translation of the Hitopadeśa. Some proper names, and the reference in the introduction to Huschenk’s Testament (peculiar to the Anwāri Suhailī and descendants), indicate Galland as the source of the first part; and since this prior part follows Galland closely in order (with some omissions), and stops short where Galland stops, it seems evident that Jäde did not know Cardonne’s continuation. The second part contains several stories peculiar to the Hitopadeśa, and seems to have been drawn therefrom.

Additional Note. —The Armenian Fables of Vartan (thirteenth century) contain some fables taken from some Kalīlah and Dimnah version, and have sometimes been classed as an offshoot (e.g. by Jacobs), but this seems to be an error; see Keith-Falconer’s translation of the Younger Syriac, p. lxxxiv f., and Chauvin, p. 43.

Postscript (added in proof). —Since the completion of this work I have seen in Asia Major, vol. ii, pp. 179-182 (1925), a review of a Russian work by B. J. Vladimirtsov, entitled (in German translation): Eine Mongolische Sammlung Erzählungen aus dem Pañcatantra (vol. v, part 2 of Publications du Musée d’Anthropologie et d’Ethnographie près l’Académie des Sciences de Russie: Petrograd, 1921).

It appears from the review that the Mongolian collection dealt with is a selection of Pañcatantra stories, probably derived from a Tibetan source, which is otherwise unknown. Presumably the Tibetan original was derived from some late Indie version. I have not yet seen the Russian work in question, and the review gives no information which would enable one to guess what the precise affiliations of the collection are.

Footnotes and references:


Johannes Hertel, Das Pañcatantra, seine Geschichte und seine Verbreitung, Leipzig und Berlin, 1914, and F. Edgerton, The Pañcalantra Reconstructed, Amer. Orient. Soc., 1924, vol. ii, p. 3.


Ueber das Tantrākhyāyika, die kasmirische Rezension des Pañcatantra, Abhandlungen der Philologisch - historischen Klasse der kgl. sächsischen Gesell. d. Wissen., Leipzig, 1904; Tantrākhyāyika, die älteste Fassung des Pañcatantra, Leipzig und Berlin, 1909.


Das südliche Pañcatantra, Leipzig, 1906.


Edited by Hertel: Introduction and Books I-III in the “Anmerkungen” (p. 117 et seq.) to his edition of the Southern Pañcatantra; Books IV and V on p. xxvii of the Introduction to his edition of the Tantrākhyāyika.


Berichte ü. d. Verhandlungen d. kgl. sächsischen Gesell. d. Witsenschaften, philol.-hist. Klasse, 1912, vol. lxiv, pt. i.


See pp. 11-13 of vol. xii of the Harvard Oriental Series, details of which are given on p. 217n1.


The Pañcatantra... in the Recension called Pañcakhyanaka... of... Pūrṇabhadra, critically edited by Dr J. Hertel, Camb., Mass., 1908, Harvard Oriental Series, vol. xi. The Pañcatantra-Text of Pūrṇabhadra, Critical Introduction and List of Variants, J. Hertel, Harvard Oriental Series, vol. xii, Camb., Mass, 1912; also Pañcatantra-Text of Pūrṇabhadra and its Relation to Texts of Allied Recensions as shown in Parallel Specimens, J. Hertel, Harvard Oriental Series, vol. xiii, Camb., Mass., 1912.


Grave doubts exist as to the authorship and date of the Hebrew. See Steinschneider, Hebräische Uebersetzungen, pp. 875-876, and other references in Chauvin, ii, p. 56n1 .


For the sake of completeness I refer briefly here to these omitted versions. (For fuller details, see Hertel, Das Pañcatantra.)

They are:

1. From Somadeva’s text: ENGLISH, Tawney (in K.S.S., vol. ii), 1884; reprinted in this volume.—GERMAN (published since Hertel’sbook), Schacht. (Indische Erzählungen. Aus dem Sanskrit zum erstenmal ins Deutsche übertragen von Dr Hans Schacht... Lausanne and Leipzig, 1918.—Consists of lambaka 1 0 = taraṅgas 57-66 of the Kalhāsaritsāgara, wherein are included all five books of the Pañcatantra.)

2. From Kṣemendra’s text: GERMAN, Mankowski, 1892.

3. From the Tantrākhyāyika: GERMAN, Hertel, 1909.

4. From the “Textus Simplicior” (Kielhorn-Bühler’s edition): GERMAN, Fritze, 1884.—DUTCH, Van der Waals, 1895-1897.—(? perhaps from the next) SPANISH, Bolufer, 1908.

From the same, Kosegarten’s edition (contaminated with Pūrṇabhadra): GERMAN, Benfey, 1859.—FRENCH, Lancereau, 1871.—DANISH, Rasmussen, 1893.—ITALIAN, Pizzi, 1896.

5. From Pūrṇabhadra’s text: GREEK, Galanos, 1852.—GERMAN, Schmidt, n.d. (1901).—ENGLISH, A. W. Ryder (The Pañcatantra, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1925).

6. From the Hitopadeśa: very many translations, both Oriental and Occidental (see Hertel, pp. 43-68, and p. 447): GERMAN, ENGLISH, FRENCH, GREEK, DUTCH, RUSSIAN, PERSIAN, BENGALI, BRAJ BHAKHA, GUJERATI, HINDI, HINDUSTANI, MARATHI, NEWARI, TELUGU.

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