City of the Turks: Urban Encounters in Vidyāpati's Kīrttilatā
Diamond, Christopher Lawrence
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This thesis study examines two main issues through a close examination of Vidyāpati Ṭhakura’s 15th century Avahaṭṭha text, the Kīrttilatā. The first issue revolves around the interactions and encounters of Hindus and Muslims (here Turks). In contrast to previous readings of these interactions, I propose that their relationship was neither entirely ecumenical nor entirely conflictive. Instead, I seek to understand the conflict that does exist for its motivations. The Turks of the Kīrttilatā are first and foremost identified for their culture, behavior, and status, not their religion. For the second issue, I seek to highlight the unique perspective of this text to address the first issue. Vidyāpati wrote this text in a regional Apabhraṃśa (Avahaṭṭha) with many foreign loanwords, this text bridges the gap between the classical cosmopolitan and the parochial vernacular.