Notes on the Manuscripts of the Alaṃkāraratnākara
The Alaṃkāraratnākara, a treatise on Sanskrit rhetorics (alaṃkāra), is the only accessible work by Śobhākaramitra (Śobhākara for the sake of brevity), a Kashmirian Sanskrit rhetorician active in the middle or late 12th century. In order to understand Śobhākara’s doctrine on Sanskrit rhetorics, a critical edition based on both the non-critical edition ublished in 1942 and other available manuscripts is required. This paper is devoted to an analysis of the physical features of the seven Sanskrit manuscripts of this text, serving as a preparation for the composition of the critical edition and as an attempt to help scholars understand the transmission history of this text. Among the seven manuscripts, JA, JO, KO and PD are presumably copies of an apograph because they all contain the reference to the same scribe. If only the selected sections of anumāna and hetu are taken into consideration, JA, KO and PD can form a separate group in the transmission of the text. OX and VA can form the second group based on the similarity of their features. JO and PŚ are difficult to group for the time being, but their positions in the stemma of manuscripts will be revealed after further investigations. The mysteries of the manuscripts of the Alaṃkāraratnākara can be solved only after the relation between the witnesses is discovered, especially by collating other parts of the text and finding more similar connecting errors.
Keywords Alaṃkāraratnākara, Sanskrit rhetorics, Śobhākara, manuscript studies