The famous brich-bark manuscript in the Kharosthi script, which contains a recension of the Dharmapada in a Prakrit dialect, has long been familiar to students of early Buddhist literature under the name of `Ms. Dutreuil de Rhins`. The manuscript, written in the first or second century A.D., is generally considered to be the oldest surviving manuscript of an Indian text. It was discovered near Khotan in Central Asia in 1892, and reached Europe in two parts, one of which went to Russia and the other to France. In 1897 S. Oldenburg published one leaf of the Russian portion; and in 1898 E. Senart edited the French material in the Journal Asiatiqque, together with facsimiles of the larger leaves, but not of the fragments. Now, almost seventy years after the discovery of the manuscript, it is possible for the first time to place before scholars an edition of the whole of the extant material, together with complete facsimiles.
JOHN BROUGH (1917-1984) was the most accomplished scholar of Vedic and Buddhist philology and the most sensitive exponent of Sanskrit lyric poetry that Britain has produced. He was Professor of Sanskrit in University of London from 1948 to 1967, and in the University of Cambridge from 1967 until his death. He was also a pioneer of Anglo-Japanese collaboration in Buddhist studies.
"an exceptional piece of scholarship & a book of the greatest importance for Indology and the history of Buddhism.......an extensive word index and a number of plates illustrating the script.............Motilal Banarsidass should be congratulated for republishing this important work."
--------------Religious Studies Review
Vol. 30 No. 2,3, April/July 2004