Richard Salomon - Expansion, Compilation, Abbreviation: Some Thoughts on the Construction of Buddhist Texts (2021)

Richard Salomon is mostly known for his work on Gandhari manuscripts and literature. His experience allows him to make general observations about the written text production in earlier Buddhism.

In this article “Expansion, Compilation, Abbreviation” Salomon describes three types of developmental processes in the formation of Buddhist texts:

  • verse compilations are expanded by the insertion of pattern variants
  • sūtras are absorbed into larger compilations and thus lose their status as independent texts
  • voluminous texts come to be represented in manuscripts in abbreviated forms