Noémie VerdonUniversity of Lausanne | UNIL · Section des langues et civilisations slaves et de l'Asie du Sud
Intercultural exchanges and cultural changes: the Šāhi kings of early medieval Gandhāra and Panjab
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My research interests focus on the history of ideas and knowledge transmission between cultures in early medieval South Asia. My current research project focuses on ancient cultural developments between Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India (Gandhāra and Panjab). More than a thousand years ago, political and religious matter were already mingled in this border area. The outcomes of this research will be a monograph and a documentary film to shed new light on this story.
November 2016 - May 2018
- Institutional responsibilities: teaching, research, publications, administration, organization of fieldtrips (archaeology and history), supervisions of students (evaluations, research seminars, assignments, Master’s theses).
This article examines three passages drawn from al-Bīrūnī’s Taḥqīq mā li-l-Hind (Indica) and one from his Kitāb Pātanğal (Book Pātanğal). In these passages, the scholar applied a specific terminology belonging to Islamic philosophy and indebted to Aristotle in order to express technical Sāṅkhya and Yoga concepts. His choices of interpretation are r...
This research inquiry collects data on the early medieval town of Wayhind/Udabhanda/Hund in Gandhara (Pakistan, South Asia). It is published in "The Sourcebook for the Shahi Kingdoms", as part of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) project (P-31246) Cultural Formation and Transformation: Shahi Art and Architecture from Afghanistan to the West Tibetan...
This article is meant for a an audience of non-specialist. It highlights in a summarized way how al-Bīrūnī interpreted some of the concepts of Patañjali's text on yoga, as well as the importance of his cultural environment in his choices of interpretation. This article reflects some ideas I develop in my PhD thesis (to be published soon). Errata: t...
This article provides an updated English translation of Chapter 14 of al-Bīrūnī's Kitāb taḥqīq mā li-l-Hind, in which he lists and describes numerous Sanskrit works related to astronomy, astrology and mathematics, and a few books belonging to other genres. Chapter 14 of Kitāb taḥqīq mā li-l-Hind highlights several types of literature accessed by al...
Five of the extant commentaries on the Sāṃkhyakārikā bear strong resemblances to each other. These are the Suvarṇasaptati, Sāṃkhyavṛtti, Gauḍapādabhāṣya, Sāṃkhyasaptativṛtti, and Māṭharavṛtti. Therefore, they are generally considered to share a common origin. These commentaries on the Sāṃkhyakārikā, however, also significantly diverge from each oth...
The article presents the way in which al-Bīrūnī described the Indian calendrical system through three of his works, Al-ātār al-bāqiya, Tafhīm, and Taḥqīq mā li-l-Hind and how his knowledge evolved depending upon his sources of information. The interest of al-Bīrūnī in the Indian calendrical system led him to enumerate more than thirty Indian religi...
This research highlights the evolution of early Arabic and Persian geographical accounts of India in connection with the different waves of Islamic incursions to the Subcontinent. It then situates al-Biruni's work and knowledge of the geography of India in this context.
This SNFS Ambizione (Switzerland) research project focuses on ancient cultural developments between Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India (Gandhāra and Panjab). More than a thousand years ago, political and religious issues were already mingled in this border area. At the end of this research, in addition to a monograph, it is planned to make a documentary film to shed new light on this story to as many people as possible.