Rawlinson, H. G. Intercourse between India and the western world from the earliest times to the fall of Rome

(Cambridge :  University Press,  1916.)



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India and the  West                179

exorcism, the censer with five chains, the blessing
which the Llamas impart by extending the right
hand over the heads of the faithful, the rosary,
the celibacy of the clergy, their separation from
the world, the worship of saints, the fasts, pro¬
cessions, litanies, holy water,—these are the points
of contact which the Buddhists have with us^."

A few brief words on the remaining question
of the influence of India upon Western litera¬
ture must be added in conclusion. Here, again,
we must beware of unwarranted assumptions,
based upon coincidence. There is, however, good
evidence for the steady migration of folk-tales
from East to West, from the time of the Jdtaka
stories. Many Eastern legends have found their
way into Europe, and may be found in the Gesta
Romanorum, the Decameron, and other medieval
collections. This was very largely due to the
Arabs of Damascus, who translated much Sanskrit
literature and transmitted it in this way to Europe.
A typical instance are the famous fables of Bidpai or
Pilpay ^. They were translated from the Sanskrit
Pancha Tantra into Persian by Barzuyeh, in the time
of Nushirvan, King of Persia. From Persian they
were turned into Arabic by Abdalla ibn Mokaffa,
at the court of Ibn Jafar Almansiir at Bagdad.
About the same time, at the neighbouring court

1  Hue et Gabet, Voyages, i. 29.

2  Benfey, Pancha Tantra, Introduction (1859) > Bidpai,
ed. Keith Falconer (1885), Introduction; Sayce, Science of
Language (1883), Ch. ix.

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