Religions- und rechtsgeschichtliche Quellen des vormodernen Nepal

The project will open up a corpus of documents and texts on the religious and legal history of pre-modern Nepal, which has only been partially edited so far, and make it accessible in both printed and digital form (database).

The rare historical material, which arose from the tension between India and Tibet as well as Hinduism and Buddhism and is therefore unique in terms of content and scope, was filmed by the “Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project” of the German Oriental Society, among others, but only to a limited extent catalogued and processed. It includes temple documents (issues, land donations, contracts, deeds of foundations, letters, etc.) and legal documents (judgments on moral behaviour, deeds of indulgence, caste regulations) as well as narrative-eulogical texts on local sanctuaries to a much lesser extent.

These text groups form a coherent basis for the still largely unexplored history of numerous temples and other Nepalese sanctuaries (mainly in the Kathmandu Valley), but also for the legal practice of South Asia, which has so far been barely developed. In addition, the material provides information on the development of elite cultures, the legitimation and staging of rule as well as the significance of writing and codification of law in the context of ethnologically recorded jurisprudence.


  • Prof. Dr. Axel Michaels (Project Leader)
Running time
Project type

Responsible for the academies' programme

Sebastian Zwies M.A.

Geschäftsstelle Mainz
Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften
Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 2
55131 Mainz

Tel: 06131/218 528-17