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Early Scripture Commentary
(6,248 words)

A complete set of commentaries and subcommentaries on the Theravāda Tipiṭaka is preserved in the original language (Pali). This commentarial tradition begins with texts embedded in the Tipiṭaka and ends in late subcommentaries written during the 19th century. Theravāda commentaries are listed together with the basic text (Tipiṭaka) in H. Smith (1948). Commentaries of other schools usually survive only as translations, with the exception of important fragments of very early commentaries in Gandhari.

It is impossible to date the first Theravāda commentaries. However, i…

Cite this page
Oskar von Hinüber, “Early Scripture Commentary”, in: Encyclopedia of Buddhism Online, Editor-in-Chief: Consulting Editors: Jonathan A. Silk, Oskar von Hinüber, Vincent Eltschinger. Consulted online on 14 July 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2467-9666_enbo_COM_0039>
First published online: 2020
First print edition: 20151231



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