Presenting a Series of Royal Portraits in Fifth-Century Malwa A Proposed Reinterpretation of the Chhoti Sadri Inscription

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Richard Salomon



The Chhoti Sadri inscription of the Mānavāyaṇi king Gauri (490–91 CE) of Malwa is a most unusual specimen of a Sanskrit verse praśasti. Its remarkably poor Sanskrit has attracted the most attention, but its rhetorical structure is also quite abnormal. It is proposed here that such unusual features as the first person presentation and the fronting of subjects with demonstrative pronouns suggest a setting involving an actual, or perhaps only an imagined, presentation of a royal portrait gallery, such as are attested both in Sanskrit literature and in Indian archaeology.

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