East Asian Collections, #26


  26.  Court of Raja Jaisingh II (1686-1743).  Yantraraja. Manuscript on paper, 35 folios. Jaipur, ca. 1693-1743. -- RBML, Smith Indic 73 (See fuller description below.)
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The Rare Book and Manuscript Library holds a significant number of Indic manuscripts, most of them acquired by David Eugene Smith in Bombay and Kashi in the early years of the 20th century. The subject matter of these manuscripts is predominantly Jyotihsastra (Hindu Astrology), including astronomy, mathematics, divination and predictive astrology. According to a note made by Smith, this manuscript on the astrolabe was copied by a priest in the court of Raja Jaisingh II in Jaipur, India, and was purchased by Smith in Jaipur at Christmas, 1907. Jaisingh, the great warrior-astronomer who ruled from 1693 until 1743, founded the city of Jaipur in 1727. His observatory and huge masonry instruments constructed there are still in use today, and were used by him and his court to achieve significant advances in the exact sciences.