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Sanskrit 2


Admission requirements

Having successfully finished 5481K1SA Sanskrit 1 or, for students of the BA Taalwetenschap specialisatie VIET, 5512V2038 Vedisch Sanskrit. Please, contact the student advisor, Nicole A.N.M van Os or Dr. D. Cuneo, if you are interested in taking this course, but do NOT fulfill the abovementioned requirement.


In this course we read two pieces of Sanskrit literature for beginners:

  • The first five chapters of the story of Nala and Damayantī from the Sanskrit epic, the Mahābhārata.

  • A selection of fables from the fable collection, the Hitopadeśa.

The course presupposes basic knowledge of Sanskrit grammar. Students are encouraged to make active use of Gonda’s Elementary Grammar and Whitney’s Sanskrit Grammar. Primary objective of the class is to practice reading original Sanskrit texts, to build and expand the student’s knowledge of Sanskrit vocabulary, and to deepen the comprehension of Sanskrit grammar and syntax in general. Both texts are read in the Devanāgarī script. The first week provides a brief introduction to the script. The texts are read from Lanman’s Sanskrit Reader. This comes with a handy Sanskrit-English vocabulary and notes to the selected texts. There are two two-hourly classes each week. The course requires active preparation and participation. Attendance of the classes is compulsory. In addition there is a one hour response meeting every two weeks.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of grammar of classical Sanskrit

  • Building up of basic vocabulary of Sanskrit

  • Knowledge of and ability to read Devanāgarīscript

  • Ability to translate simple narrative texts from Sanskrit into English



Mode of instruction

  • Seminar. Attendance and active participation are mandatory.

Course Load

  • Classes (13×4), feedback hours (6×1) and exams (2×2): 62 hours

  • Learning the Devanāgarī script, preparation and revision of readings: 138 hours

  • Revision and preparation for exams: 80 hours

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

Assessment method

2 written examinations (w), covering respectively the story of Nala and Damayantī and the Hitopadeśa:
1) at the end of the first block (40%)
2) at the end of the second block (60%)

The individual exams cannot be retaken. If the average of both exams is 5.49 or lower there is one opportunity for a resit of the entire course (100%).


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

  • Charles Rockwell Lanman, A Sanskrit Reader. Text and Vocabulary and Notes, Cambridge, MS: Harvard University Press, 1884. (various reprints)

  • Jan Gonda, A Concise Elementary Grammar of the Sanskrit Language, with Exercises, Reading Selections, and a Glossary. Translated from the German by Gordon B. Ford, Jr. Leiden: Brill, 1966.

  • William Dwight Whitney, Sanskrit Grammar. Including both the classical language and the older dialects of Veda and Brāhmaṇa, Fifth Edition. Leipzig, 1924. (various reprints)


Students are required to register through uSis. To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “Act.nbr.”.

Interested students from the MA Asian Studies need to contact the secretariat by e-mail clearly giving the course code and their student ID number to get registered for this course.

Registration Contractonderwijs


Contact Dr. D. Cuneo