Vishnu Sharma’s Panchatantra (Sanskrit)

  • Ruth Vanita


As with most other ancient and medieval Sanskrit texts, the dates of the Panchatantra are impossible to fix with certainty. Like the other Katha cycles, it is a compendium of stories, arranged like Chinese boxes, story within story. Of all ancient Indian texts, it has probably had the greatest influence on world literature. Between the sixth and the eighth centuries it traveled via Pehlevi, Syriac and Arabic, to Europe, and between the eleventh and the eighteenth centuries, versions appeared in Greek, Latin, German, Spanish, French, English, Armenian, Hebrew and Slavonic languages. Although the earliest Sanskrit versions are lost, a large number of medieval Sanskrit versions exist as well as many versions in other Indian languages. While some of the stories are of ancient provenance, dating back to the epic period, others were added much later.


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  1. 1.
    Visnu Sarma, The Pancatantra, trans. Chandra Rajan (New Delhi: Penguin, 1993)Google Scholar
  2. Sudhakar Malviya, ed., Panchatantram (Varanasi: Krishnadas Academy, 1993).Google Scholar

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© Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai 2000

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  • Ruth Vanita

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