Whenever we hear the word Manuscript and Inscription we remember ancient times. Manuscripts and Inscriptions are the sources of historical knowledge. Let us discuss the difference between Manuscript and Inscription on various bases, which would help us to enhance our knowledge about history.
What is a manuscript?
A Manuscript is a handwritten or manually typewritten document. History cannot be written without any archaeological and literary sources. From the available sources, historians explore and try to understand what happened in the past. It is written on the surfaces of palm leaves, vellum, papyrus, parchment, etc. Hence, which is difficult to preserve.
These can be easily created. It has a very short life if it is not preserved properly. It can be easily modified because it is written on a soft surface such as paper, tree bark, etc. Examples of manuscripts are Veda, Purana, Works of Kalidasa, Sangam Literature, Arthshastra of Kautilya.
Starting from the Vedic period, the ancient Indian society has made all kinds of efforts to excel as a knowledge society. Inquire into an ultimate objective of human life steered the society throughout the ages and this inquisitiveness subsequently turned out to be the focal point of the intellectual discourse. The true nature of multiplicity in the society facilitated the discourse and became more intensive and substantive in course of time.
This uninterrupted flow of discourse helped to shape up the Indian intellectual tradition in the multidimensional phenomenon and vice versa. Several theories were propounded by different schools of thought in different times suggesting ways of achieving that ultimate aim or objective.
These theories were made immune to criticism further by creative explanations and significant interpretations by great succeeding scholars of these schools of thought. The tradition left no issue untouched for intellection, which eventually gave rise to prolific writings the country fortunately inherits today.
These writings deal with a wide range of subjects like Veda, Vedanta, Darshan, Ayurveda, Aesthetic, Astronomy, Astrology, Yoga, Vastu, Mathematics, Linguistics, and many such other subjects written in different ancient scripts and in different Indian languages.
for more information about manuscripts read https://www.namami.gov.in/
What is an Inscription?
The inscription is the writings on relatively hard surfaces such as stone or metal. It is not written but an engraved record of the past. It is commonly known as an engraved record of kings and important events on surfaces like rocks, stones, walls of caves, pillars, etc. Hence, it is durable, and no special effort is needed for the preservation.
As it is engraved on the hard surface. Thus require a lot of time and effort. Hence, it has a longer life. It cannot easily be modified because it is engraved on a hard surface such as stone etc. Examples of Inscription Ashoka Inscriptions, Allahabad Pillar, Bodhgaya inscription of Mahanaman, Iron pillar of Delhi, Rishtal inscription, Dhaneswar Khera Buddha image inscription.
Difference between Manuscript and Inscription
|A manuscript is a handwritten or a manually typewritten document.||The inscription is the writings on relatively hard surfaces such as stone or metal.|
|It is handwritten records of the past.||It is not written but engraved records of the past.|
|It is written on the surfaces of palm leaves, the bark of birch trees, vellum, papyrus, parchment, etc.||It is an engraved record of kings and important events on surfaces like rocks, stones, walls of caves, pillars, etc|
|It has written on the soft surfaces of palm leaves, the bark of the birch tree, vellum, papyrus, parchment, etc. Hence, difficult to preserve.||It has been engraved on hard surfaces such as rocks, stones, walls of caves, pillars, etc. Hence, it durable, and no special effort is needed for preservation.|
|It has short life if it is not preserved properly.||It is engraved on the hard surface. Hence, it has longer life.|
|It can be easily created.||As it is engraved on the hard surface. Thus require a lot of time and effort.|
|It can be easily modified because it is written on a soft surface such as paper, tree bark, etc.||It cannot easily be modified because it is engraved on a hard surface such as stone etc|
|Veda, Purana, Works of Kalidasa, Sangam Literature, Arthshastra of Kautilya||Ashoka Inscriptions, Allahabad Pillar, Bodhgaya inscription of Mahanaman, Iron pillar of Delhi, Rishtal inscription, Dhaneswar Khera Buddha image inscription|
The National Mission for Manuscripts has identified manuscripts with unique heritage value and designated them as Manuscript Treasures of India. Manuscripts are selected for their outstanding value to humanity and also for their contribution to Indian life, development of Indian thought and culture, or simply for the history, they may represent (local history of a region, perhaps).
The inscriptions and manuscripts are the basis of the study for later generations and helped in reconstructing history which can be later handled by present and future generations. The rulers of the past had attached importance to recording events for the benefit of posterity by engraving the developments on stones, copper plates, and palm leaves.
In this case, we consider the Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of thirty-three inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka as well as boulders and cave walls made by Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan Empire during his rule from 269 BCE to 232 BCE. These inscriptions were dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day from the countries of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Afghanistan, and Pakistan and represent the first tangible evidence of Buddhism.
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