Original Texts and Studies Home Page
Edited by R.D Rhys Davids & R. Morris
JPTS 1884, pp. 109-151
Additional Material and Index by Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
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Introduction to the Dāṭhāvaṁsa
(from The Pāli Text Society Report for 1884 by Professor Rhys-Davids, pp. xi-xii)
[Several readers wrote explaining the difficulties] which they had experienced in their first attempts to read the MSS. in the Sinhalese characters. I have therefore included in this issue a new edition, in our transliteration, of the Dāṭhā-vaṁsa, of which Sir Coomara Swamy's edition in the Sinhalese character is generally accessible. Dr. Morris was good enough to make a transcript of that edition, and we together collated it with the edition published in Colombo in 1882, by Mīgamuwa Unnānsē. We had intended to collate it also with the Turnour MS. in the India Office Library, but that had unfortunately been lent out at the time. It was, however, so evident that the text had been accurately preserved-—there being but very slight and unimportant variations between the text, as revised by Baṭuwan Tuḍāwa, appended to Sir Coomara Swamy's translation, and that given by Mīgamuwa—that I did not think it necessary to wait for the Turnour MS. I am responsible for the correction of the press, and the letters B and M in the notes refer to Baṭuwan Tuḍāwa and Mīgamuwa Unnānsē respectively. Where such accurate pandits agree, there cannot be much doubt as to the reliability of the traditional text.
The work, founded on an older, and now, unfortunately perhaps, no longer extant Daladā-vaṁsa in Sinhalese, is by Dhammakitti of Pulasti-pura [i.e. Polonnaruwa, a] pupil of the celebrated scholar Sāriputta, one of the chief ornaments of the literary circle in that capital in the reign of Parākrama Bāhu the Great, in the latter part of the twelth century A.D. (end of original introduction).
Note on this edition
I have reformatted the text to bring into line with the practice on this website, and have added the sequential numbers, which is easier for reference. Also I have occasionally corrected the text, when it seems there have been printing errors, or other oversights like accepting readings that are unmetrical – the readings found in the text as it was printed have been entered in the notes. All other notes are by the editors of the original edition.
I have entered the metrical markings above the lines, and have added a primitive (unparsed) word index, which should at least make referencing easier.
last updated: September 2013