Page:A history of Sanskrit literature (1900), Macdonell, Arthur Anthony.djvu/337

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statement is not found till the sixteenth century. Fourthly, the assertion that Vasubandhu belongs to the sixth century depends chiefly on the Vikramāditya theory, and is opposed to Chinese evidence, which indicates that works of Vasubandhu were translated in A.D. 404. Thus every link in the chain of this argument is very weak.

The other main argument is that Kālidāsa must have lived after Āryabhaṭa (A.D. 499), because he shows a knowledge of the scientific astronomy borrowed from the Greeks. But it has been shown by Dr. Thibaut that an Indian astronomical treatise, undoubtedly written under Greek influence, the Romaka Siddhānta, is older than Āryabhaṭa, and cannot be placed later than A.D. 400. It may be added that a passage of Kālidāsa's Raghuvaṃça (xiv. 40) has been erroneously adduced in support of the astronomical argument, as implying that eclipses of the moon are due to the shadow of the earth: it really refers only to the spots in the moon as caused, in accordance with the doctrine of the Purāṇas, by a reflection of the earth.

Thus there is, in the present state of our knowledge, good reason to suppose that Kālidāsa lived not in the sixth, but in the beginning of the fifth century A.D. The question of his age, however, is not likely to be definitely solved till the language, the style, and the poetical technique of each of his works have been minutely investigated, in comparison with datable epigraphic documents, as well as with the rules given by the oldest Sanskrit treatises on poetics.

As the popular epic poetry of the Mahābhārata was the chief source of the Purāṇas, so the Rāmāyaṇa, the earliest artificial epic, was succeeded, though after