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Advanced Readings in Sanskrit Literature


Admission requirements

Having successfully finished 5482K2SA Sanskrit 4. Please, contact the student advisor, Nicole A.N.M. van Os or Prof. dr. P.C. Bisschop, if you are interested in taking this course, but do NOT fulfill the above mentioned requirement.


The course consists of intensive readings of advanced Sanskrit literature, selected in consultation with the instructor, and discussion of recent scholarship in the field. The course aims at developing a text-critical attitude in reading advanced Sanskrit literature, making use of various tools and sources available for establishing and interpreting the texts. Students write a 3.000 word paper about a subject related to the text studied during the course.

Course objectives

  • Advanced comprehension of Sanskrit literature and recent scholarship in the field.

  • Expanding vocabulary, grammar and reading skills.

  • Making use of commentaries and other primary sources.

  • Developing a text-critical attitude.

  • Writing an analytic paper making use of primary Sanskrit source materials.



Mode of instruction

  • Workgroup

Course Load

  • Classes (13×2) and exams (2×2): 30 hours

  • Preparation and revision of set texts and additional literature: 110 hours

  • Reading for and writing 3.000 word analytic paper: 140 hours

  • Total: 280 hours (10 EC x 28 hours)

Assessment method

  • Translation in class (tr) : 20%

  • Paper (wp), 3000 words: 80%

In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 6 or higher. No re-sit possible.

The course is an integrated whole. The final examination and the assignments must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.


Blackboard is used as the main means for communication and for distribution of additional course materials.
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

The texts to be read are announced at an introductory meeting. Students are requested to contact the instructor beforehand.


Students are requested to register through uSis, the registration system of Leiden University for this course. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Contractonderwijs



Prof. dr. P.C. Bisschop