Ars Metrica

Meter in the Old Khotanese Book of Zambasta

The Book of Zam­basta (Z) is unique in at least three ways: it is the longest ex­tant text in Khotanese, it is the only Khotanese Buddhist text not trans­lated from Sanskrit but com­posed in the Middle Ir­a­ni­an lan­guage, and it is the only Khotanese text in which the akṣaras are ar­ranged neatly in four columns. Ad­di­tion­ally, while some oth­er texts, all trans­la­tions, ap­pear to have met­ric­al com­pon­ents, Z is, with the ex­cep­tion of colo­phons, en­tirely in meter. The au­thor of Z had a keen sense of meter and one is con­stantly im­pressed by the skill at which he kept true to both meter and mean­ing. Read more