This paper treats one of the more neglected types of materials in Indian historical writing, the Vamsavalis, and their importance for an understanding of certain medieval historical and literary works in Sanskrit. The sources of Kalhana in his Rajatarafigini are briefly investigated, especially his use of the local vamsavalis, in comparison with the newly edited Gopalara-javamsavali of Nepal. The way the various dynasties have been listed in this Vamsavali, shows that the text itself already is a compilation of older, dynastic ones. The process can be summed up as follows : Juxtaposition of contemporaneous dynasties is replaced by serial position, that is, by interpolation or by positioning at the head of the list. This process also explains what has happened in many Puranas, a fact not sufficiently noticed by recent scholars. When such dynastic Vamsavalis were used by later writers, changes such as overlap and serial ante-position of whole dynasties occur, and further, filling-in of gaps, repetition of the same dynasty or parts of it at various places in the list. The whole is complicated by the frequent change in local eras and by calculation mistakes resulting from this. Finally, there always was a strong tendency to fill in the gap existing between the start of the transmitted lists and the beginning of the Kaliyuga in 3102 B. C. Kalhana's use of the Kashmiri Vamsavalis then explains the confusion which the recording of various “dynasties” in Rajatarafigini 1-3 has created for the early history of Kashmir before 600 A. D.-a fact not explained so far by modern scholarship.
In the love poems of ancient Tamil of 1st A. D. to 3rd A. D., a woman who is generally termed parattai in Tamil plays an important role. However, it is still unclear who and what she is, as is shown by the various appellations to her given by modern scholars, such as 'harlot', 'prostitute', 'courtesan', and 'concubine'. The aim of this paper is to make it clear who the parattai is. One of the reasons for this unclearness is that most of them disregard two important points : first, some among the so-called 'classical texts' belong to the later period when Tamil society began to undergo Aryan influence, and hence they sometimes do not describe their really ancient (i.e. indigenous) society ; secondly, love poems among them, being so conventionalized, do not always describe the actual society but the literary world, whereas the poems other than those reflect the actual society. To avoid confusion caused by disregarding these points, the author limits his investigation to the parattai referred to in the earliest and most conventionalized texts, that is, Tolkappiyam, the oldest Tamil grammar in a wide sense, and four anthologies of love poems (i.e. Kuruntokai, Narrinai, Akananuru and Ainkurunuru), although reference to the parattai is found in the texts other than those. He first makes brief mention of the conventions of love poems in regard to the parattai, and then investigates who she is in both poetics and poetry. He makes it clear that both of them describe her only as a 'courtesan'. As a conclusion, he points out the historical and cultural background for the incorrect interpretaion of the ancient parattai by Tamil scholars.