Christopher Minkowski


Boden Professor of Sanskrit

Oriental Studies,  University of Oxford


Oriental Institute, Pusey Lane, Oxford OX1 2LE, UK

44-(0)1865-288368  (phone)

44-(0)1865-278190  (fax)



Inaugural Lecture: “King David in Oudh: A Bible Story in Sanskrit and the Just King at an Afghan Court.” Available here in MS Word, or pdf. 



Recent Publications:


"On the Success of Nilakantha's Mahabharata Commentary," in ed. F. Squarcini, Boundaries, Dynamics and Construction of Traditions in South Asia, (Florence: Firenze University Press, 2005) 225-52.


"Nilakantha's Vedic Readings in the Harivamsa Commentary," in ed. Petteri Koskikallio, Epic, Khilas, and Puranas: Continuities and Ruptures.  Proceedings of the Third Dubrovnik Conference on the Sanskrit Epics and Puranas.  September 2002.  (Zagreb: Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, 2005) 411-33.  


"Nilakantha's Instruments of War: Modern, Vernacular, Barbarous,"  Indian Economic and Social History Review, 41 (2004) 365-85.


"A Nineteenth Century Sanskrit Treatise on the Revolution of the Earth:  Govinda Deva's Bhumibhramana," SCIAMUS 5 (2004) 199-224.


" On Suryadasa and the Invention of Bi-directional Poetry (vilomakavya)," Journal of the American Oriental Society, 124.2 (2004) 325-33.     


"The Vedastuti and Vedic Studies: Nilakantha on Bhagavata Purana X.87," in eds. A. Griffiths and J.E.M. Houben, The Vedas: Texts, Languages & Ritual. Proceedings of the Third International Vedic Studies Workshop, (Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 2004)  125-42. 


“Competing Cosmologies in Early Modern Indian Astronomy,” in eds. Charles Burnett, Jan Hogendijk, and Kim Plofker, Ketuprakasa: studies in the history of the exact sciences in honor of David Pingree (Leiden: Brill, 2004) 349-85.


A Descriptive Catalogue of the Sanskrit Astronomical Manuscripts Preserved at the Maharaja Man Singh II Museum in Jaipur India, compiled by David Pingree from the notes taken by Setsuro Ikeyama, Christopher Minkowski, David Pingree, Kim Plofker, Sreeramula Rajeswara Sarma, and Gary Tubb. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2003.



Recent Talks:


“Sanskrit Knowledge Systems and the World History of Science,”  British Society for the History of Philosophy, Cambridge, April, 2006.


“Was the Origin a Good Idea, After All?”  Plenary Session on Cosmology, American Oriental Society, Seattle, March, 2006.


“Populating the Terrain: Indian Anthropologies and their Spatial Dimension,” lecture for the conference, Geography, Ethnography and Perspectives of the World from Antiquity to the Renaissance,” Brown University, March, 2006.


“King David in Oudh: A Bible Story in Sanskrit and the Just King at an Afghan Court,” Inaugural Lecture for the Boden Professorship, Hilary Term, 2006, Oxford. 


“The Exact Sciences in Early Modern India: the History of Science, Intellectual History, and Connected History,” South Asia History Seminar Series, Hilary Term, 2006, Oxford.


Organizer and Chair, Bellagio Conference on “Sanskrit Knowledge Systems on the Eve of Colonialism,”  Bellagio,  June-July 2005.


"Interaction as a topic in Intellectual History," Sanskritic and Persian / Arabic Traditions of Learning in Medieval India: Interactions and Exchanges in South Asian Intellectual Culture,  Harvard,  May, 2005.


"What is the Most Boring Question in Mahabharata Studies?"  American Oriental Society, Philadelphia, March, 2005. 


"The Sanskrit Knowledge Systems Project and the Very Idea of History of Science,"  Science and Technology Studies Seminar, Cornell, March, 2005. 


"How did Nilakantha write his Commentary on the Mahabharata?"  Formes et usages du commentaire dans le monde indien,  Pondicherry, February, 2005.


"Kavya and Siddhanta: What's a Nice Poem like you doing in an Astronomy Text like this?"  Talk delivered to the Department of Asian Studies, University of Texas at Austin, November, 2004.


"Jyotihsastra: the Uses of History and Philosophy of Science," Colloque Théorie et Méthode dans l'histoire intellectuel de l'Inde, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Sciences historiques et philologiques,  Sorbonne,  Paris,  June, 2004.


"Wordplay in Sanskrit,"  Plenary Session, American Oriental Society, San Diego, March, 2004.


" Rtuvarnana: Seasonal Poetry and the Uses of the Sciences," Institute for Advanced Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem,  February, 2004



A number of the articles listed above are available online at the website of the “Sanskrit Knowledge Systems on the Eve of Colonialism” project.