university of chicago
about this site
This is a collection of resources designed and maintained by Andrew Ollett of the University of Chicago. It was primarily designed with my first- and second-year students in mind, but I hope the resources will be useful to students at a variety of levels.
Sanskrit was the “gateway to all knowledge” (sarvavidyāmukham) in South and Southeast Asia: with a knowledge of Sanskrit, you can access the major texts of several important religious traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism), as well as a vast archive of literature — from lyric poetry to stage-plays to novels — and riches of technical works on epistemology, logic, grammar, hermeneutics, politics, and more. As one of the earliest-attested Indo-European languages, it has been important in comparative linguistics. And because of its profound influence on other South and Southeast Asian languages, a knowledge of Sanskrit is useful, and sometimes indispensable, for working with them.
The manuscript image above is a fragment of a play by Aśvaghōṣa found in a cave in Xinjiang province, China, from Heinrich Lüders’ Bruchstücke Buddhistischer Dramen. The bullock-cart image to the right is the work of Abdullah Harun Jewel.
Lessons with video lectures, exercises, and readings, designed to be a first-year Sanskrit course.
A topical survey of Sanskrit grammar.
Brief selections of Sanskrit texts, annotated and categorized by grammatical features.
A list of the most common Sanskrit meters, with definitions and examples.
A list of textbooks, grammars, dictionaries, and other resources for learning Sanskrit.