The Gaṇitatilaka and its Commentary: Two Medieval Sanskrit Mathematical Texts, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Gaṇitatilaka and its Commentary

Two Medieval Sanskrit Mathematical Texts, 1st Edition

By Alessandra Petrocchi


438 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138496217
pub: 2019-03-22
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781351022262
pub: 2019-03-13
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


The Gaṇitatilaka and its Commentary: Two Medieval Sanskrit Mathematical Texts presents the first English annotated translation and analysis of the Gaṇitatilaka by Śrīpati and its Sanskrit commentary by the Jaina monk Siṃhatilakasūri (13th century CE). Siṃhatilakasūri’s commentary upon the Gaṇitatilaka is a key text for the study of Sanskrit mathematical jargon and a precious source of information on mathematical practices of medieval India; this is, in fact, the first known Sanskrit mathematical commentary written by a Jaina monk, about whom we have substantial information, to survive to the present day.

In presenting the first annotated translation of these two Sanskrit mathematical texts, this volume focusses on language in mathematics and puts forward a novel, fresh approach to Sanskrit mathematical literature which favours linguistic, literary features and textual data. This key resource makes these important texts available in English for the first time for students of Sanskrit, ancient and medieval mathematics, South Asian history, and philology.

Table of Contents

List of tables


List of abbreviations

Part 1: Introduction

Chapter 1. Introducing the Gaṇitatilaka and its commentary

1.1 Sanskrit mathematical writings in medieval India

1.2 Authorship and content of the Gaṇitatilaka

1.3 The Gaṇitatilaka, a work on pāṭīgaṇita

1.4 Siṃhatilakasūri, the commentator of the Gaṇitatilaka

1.5 The genre of mathematical commentaries

1.6 Aspects of style and language in Siṃhatilakasūri’s commentary

1.7 Reading the Gaṇitatilaka and its commentary

Chapter 2. On the edition of the Gaṇitatilaka and some methodological notes

2.1 The edition

2.2 The Sanskrit manuscript

2.3 Linguistic phenomena and oddities: between the manuscript and the edition

2.4 Lines of transmission and internal evidence

2.5 Methodological notes: a philological perspective

2.6 Theory and praxis of textual criticism

2.7 A new verse numbering system


Part 2: Translation

Some notes on the English translation

Editorial conventions

Chapter 3. Translation of the Gaṇitatilaka and its commentary

3.1 Homage to the Jina

3.2 Benedictory verse (maṅgalācaraṇa) [GT 1]

3.3 Section on technical terms [GT 2‒12]

3.4 Arithmetical operations with integers [GT 13‒34]

3.5 Arithmetical operations with fractions [GT 35‒51]

3.6 Arithmetic of zero [GT 52]

3.7 Classes of simplification of fractions [GT 53‒63]

3.8 Type- problems of fractions [GT 64‒92]

3.9 Inverse operation [GT 93‒94]

3.10 Rules on proportion [GT 95‒117]

3.11 Rule of five (pañcarāśika) [GT 107‒117]

3.12 Barter (bhāṇḍapratibhāṇḍa) [GT 112‒117]

3.13 The sale of living beings (jīvavikraya) [GT115‒117]

3.14 Practices [GT 118‒133]

3.15 Commission to the moneylender (vyājopajīvivṛtti) [GT 120]

3.16 Rule on interest [GT 122]

3.17 Rule on time and double capital [GT 124]

3.18 Conversion of several bonds into one (ekapatrakaraṇa) [GT 127]

3.19 Equating instalments of capital (samīkaraṇa) [GT 131]

Part 3: Text analysis

Chapter 4. Text analysis

4.1 Preliminaries

4.2 Benedictory section (maṅgalācaraṇa) [GT 1]

4.3 Section on technical terms (paribhāṣā) [GT 212]

4.4 The eight arithmetical operations with integers [GT 1334]

4.5 The eight arithmetical operations with fractions [GT 35– 51]

4.6 Classes of simplification of fractions [GT 5363]

4.7 Type- problems of fractions [GT 6492]

4.8 Inverse operation [GT 93– 94]

4.9 Rules on proportion [GT 95117]

4.10 The rule of five (pañcarāśika) [GT 107]

4.11 Barter (bhāṇḍapratibhāṇḍa) [GT 112]

4.12 The rule regarding the sale of living beings (jīvavikraya) [GT 115]

4.13 Practices [GT 118133]

4.14 Commission to the moneylender (vyājopajīvivṛtti) [GT 120]

4.15 Rule on interest [GT 122]

4.16 Rule on time and double capital [GT 124]

4.17 Conversion of several bonds into one (ekapatrakaraṇa) [GT 127]

4.18 Equating instalments of capital (samīkaraṇa) [GT 131]

Appendix 1: List of mathematical rules and sample problems supplied by the SGT and which are found in other works

Appendix 2: Rules and sample problems of the GT occurring in other works

Appendix 3: Glossaries

3.1 Glossary of mathematical terms (Sanskrit–English)

3.2 Glossary of mathematical terms (English–Sanskrit)

3.3 Glossary of measuring units



About the Author

Alessandra Petrocchi completed a PhD in Sanskrit and Classical Indian Studies at the University of Cambridge, UK, and is currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics at the University of Oxford, UK, undertaking research into the early vernaculars of Italy and the history of numerals in the Renaissance. She has published several papers on Sanskrit sources on mathematics, comparative and historical Indo- European linguistics, and Italian Renaissance literature. Her research interests include textual criticism, manuscript studies, textual traditions and networks of knowledge across the Mediterranean, and the language-culture-literature interface.

About the Series

Scientific Writings from the Ancient and Medieval World

Scientific texts provide our main source for understanding the history of science in the ancient and medieval world. The aim of this series is to provide clear and accurate English translations of key scientific texts accompanied by up-to-date commentaries dealing with both textual and scientific aspects of the works and accessible contextual introductions setting the works within the broader history of ancient science. In doing so, the series makes these works accessible to scholars and students in a variety of disciplines including history of science, the sciences, and history (including Classics, Assyriology, East Asian Studies, Near Eastern Studies and Indology).

Texts will be included from all branches of early science including astronomy, mathematics, medicine, biology, and physics, and which are written in a range of ancient languages including Akkadian, Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit. Thus, the series is of use both in the teaching of history and the history of science and for researchers on ancient science. In addition, the series provides a venue for the publication of original research on early scientific texts, in particular through the commentaries.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies