The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) at New York University will present a lecture entitled Rediscovering the Inscriptions of Campa (Vietnam) to be given by Arlo Griffiths, professor of Southeast Asian history at the French School of Asian Studies [École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO)]. The talk will take place Monday, March 8, 2010 at 6 p.m.
The lecture will explore recent developments in the study of the written records of ancient ‘Indianized’ communities and cultures in Southeast Asia. Griffiths will use as his examples a body of documents inscribed on stone by people of the ancient Campa kingdom(s), which lay in what is now central and southern Vietnam. The study of Campa inscriptions involves texts in Sanskrit and in the poorly known vernacular Old Cam language, which belongs to the Austronesian language family. The presentation will discuss general aspects of Southeast Asian epigraphy, as well as specific aspects of the Campa documents and the history of their study. Some new inscriptions, which throw interesting new light on the history of Campa and its place within the larger scale development of Southeast Asian history, will be selected for close inspection.
Griffiths earned a PhD in Sanskrit from Leiden University. He was a lecturer in Indian Religions at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands), chair of Sanskrit at Leiden University, and joined the EFEO in 2008 as professor of Southeast Asian history. His main fields of interest are Hindu religious/ritual literature in Sanskrit, and inscriptions of Southeast Asia in Sanskrit and vernacular languages. His approach to the ancient history of Southeast Asia is primarily epigraphic, and he is currently involved in projects concerning the inscriptions of ancient Cambodia, ancient Indonesia, and Campa.
Rediscovering the Inscriptions of Campa (Vietnam) lecture will take place Monday, March 8 at 6 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Lecture Room at ISAW, located at 15 East 84th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues). The lecture is free and open to the public but seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.