GNANAMUYARCHI (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 - Art & Culture)

News-CRUX-10     7th August 2023        
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Context: Palm manuscripts from the 18th Century titled Gnanamuyarchi have been discovered in an Armenian monastery in Northern Italy. 

Key Points

  • A doctoral scholar of the Special Centre for Tamil Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) was allowed access to the manuscripts.
  • According to a professor, it could be a copy of the first translation of Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercise in Tamil.
  • This translation is most likely by Michele Bertoldi, known in Tamil as Gnanaprakasasamy
  • This is a prose text from the early 18th Century (likely the 1720s) and has been printed several times in the 19th Century by the Mission Press in Puducherry.
  • The library had categorised the manuscripts as ‘Indian Papyrus Lamulic Language–XIII Century’, and the authorities were not aware that it had been written in Tamil. 
  • Those in charge of the monastery are of the opinion that the Armenians in Chennai could have brought the manuscripts to Italy.