Monday, January 28, 2013

Online Corpus of the Inscriptions of Campā

Corpus of the Inscriptions of Campā
The Corpus of the Inscriptions of Campā is a publication of the École française d'Extrême-Orient, realized in collaboration with the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University.
This project aims to recover, preserve, study and make accessible the corpus of inscriptions of ancient Campā (in present Việt Nam), written either in Sanskrit or in Old Cam.
Creative Commons License
Corpus of the Inscriptions of Campā is copyright © 2012 by the contributors and editors. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
In 2009, the French School of Asian Studies (École française d'Extrême-Orient, EFEO) launched the project Corpus of the Inscriptions of Campā (CIC), aiming to renew the tradition of scholarship on these inscriptions that had thrived at the institution in the early 20th century.
The primary aim of the project is to update and to continue the EFEO inventory of the inscriptions of Campā, compiled in the early decades of the 20th century by the renowned scholar George Cœdès. In this inventory, each inscription received a unique 'C.' number (C = Campā), under which were recorded various types of useful information, such as: the place where the inscription had been found; the place where it was currently located (if it had been moved after discovery); the language(s) used in it; its date; availability of reproductions of it in public libraries; bibliography of publications about the inscription. A first version of this inventory was published in 1908, comprising 118 entries; a revised and updated version came out in 1923, and at that time the list comprised 170 entries; supplements published in 1937 and 1942 raised the total first to 196, and finally to 200 entries. After this, the inventory fell into disuse, and for many decades there was no central registration of newly discovered inscriptions, or of changes in the situation of previously registered items.
And it was not only the maintenance of an inventory that came to be neglected. After a small handful of publications of inscriptions of Campā by EFEO scholars that appeared in the 1920s and 1930s, the study of these inscriptions, inside and outside the EFEO, came to a complete stop due to World War II and the subsequent period of Vietnamese struggle for independence and reunification. At that time, only about half of all known inscriptions had been published, and in general the study of inscriptions in Sanskrit language had received much more attention — at least it had advanced more significantly — than that of inscriptions in Cam. Most Cam-language inscriptions whose texts had been published, had been published without translations. Even the existing translations were almost never precise renderings of the originals, but rather loose patch-works of understood, guessed and ignored elements of the originals. In this situation, the second important aim of the CIC project is to publish texts and translations of the inscriptions whose existence was known but had not yet been published; bring out texts and translations of newly discovered inscriptions; publish translations of texts that had been published without any translations; and, last but not least, review the texts published by previous scholars, which often allows the correction of wrong readings, and hence improvement in the interpretation of texts published a long time ago.
The project has opted for a two-pronged publication strategy. We are publishing our results piecemeal in traditional paper publications, both through international journals (mainly in French), and through publications in Vietnam (using Vietnamese). But we are simultaneously preparing the present online publication which will, in due course, bring together the corpus in its entirety, and present the most up-to-date versions of our treatment of the individual inscriptions.

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