Overview for Chinese Sources of South Asian History in Translation : Data for Study of India-China Relations Through Ages, (Volume II: Chinese Sources on Ancient Indian Geography)
This is the second volume of the series Chinese Sources of South Asian History in Translation. Entitled "Chinese Sources on Ancient Indian Geography", it comprises two texts on historical geography. The author has translated and annotated exhaustively the latest collated versions of the texts which will help the students of ancient Indian history and geography in exploring some of the hitherto unexplored domains of ancient India. The first work, Kang Tai's notices on Foreign Countries during the Wu Dynasty (AD 220-280) is a collated text of all available notices that go in the names of Kang Tai and other envoys and travellers whose writings are no more extant but are scattered in other collectanea. Collected over a number of years they give a coherent idea about the all-sea route passing through the Malacca straits touching Ge-Ying and Jia-na-Tiao (Ganadvipa), and reaching the Eastern and Southern India and may be the Asia Minor (Daqin). The second work, The Commentary on the Water Classic (5-6 cent. A.D.) does not only record the geography of Central Asia, but also acquaints us with profuse information on the countries nearby, and India, Afghanistan and other areas outside China. The author shows knowledge of many Indian cities of North, South and Eastern India, and gives the impression that to the Chinese the entire Indian continent constituted one geographical and political concept. Both the works are important additions to the libraries of bibliophiles and will prove to be sine qua non for the Indian orientalists researching for data on our past.
Haraprasad Ray (Author)
A senior Chinese expert in India, Dr. Haraprasad Ray the author, has already established his reputation as one of the very few Indian scholars dealing with India-China relations. He has contributed to a number of international seminars in Germany, Hong Kong, China, the U.S.A., London, Paris and other places. Dr. Ray has already authored some books and more than five dozen articles published in scholarly journals both in India and abroad. Dr. Ray was Sino-Tibetan Research Scholar in Chinese at Calcutta University during 1953-56. In 1959 he joined the Ministry of Defence as a Chinese language expert and held responsible posts. His service was transferred to the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. After retiring from JNU in 1996, he was successively made Senior Fellow of the Society for Indian Ocean Studies and the Indian Council of Historical Research. Presently a Professor at the Asiatic Society, Kolkata, Dr. Ray is now engaged in exploring data on South Asian history from Chinese sources covering the period from the earliest till late 19th century.