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ye olde book

lobsterlobster Veteran
edited March 2017 in Arts & Writings

The oldest printed book in the world is not the Bible.

It is the Diamond Sutra.

Too precious to be seen except in virtual mode. Which I can not do on my Ipad because the funding at the British Museum is still supporting the outmoded Flash media format. Pah!

I complained on behalf of their excellent tech support. The technical deptartment were scanning books years ago ... before the British Library became a separated building at St Pancreas ... specialist infrared and other techniques to create more info than the naked eye can presently see. Yep borg implants still not available. I used to regularly use the experimental equipment and software. For the time, it was cutting edge.

Might have to visit again.

If you are in London, go to the Buddhist section of the British Museum. It is incredible. Any treasures near you?

As a lamp, a cataract, a star in space / an illusion, a dewdrop, a bubble / a dream, a cloud, a flash of lightening / view all created things like this.
Diamond Sutra



  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @lobster said:

    If you are in London, go to the Buddhist section of the British Museum. It is incredible. Any treasures near you?

    Nice @lobster - there is indigenous rock art not so far from me believed to be about 3,500 years old.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    We have pictographs on many of the rocks where I live, and if you know how to find it, Native American history is alive and well in the woods yet. Many graves (sadly many which were discovered by people who robbed and destroyed them). These are on North Hegman Lake in the BWCA in northern MN. In the summer you have to paddle over there but in the winter it's an easy hike or snowshoe/ski on the lake.

    If you ask me, we have a million treasures. The other day I was hiking with my son and the sun was shining on the ice on the lake, which causes the ice to expand and contract. the lake booms and growls under your feet, and sometimes ice heaves shoot up out of no where. We were talking about how few people in the world really get to experience that. The sound of ice expanding in the sun. And the sound in the fall of the lakes making ice on really cold nights. We see the northern lights here regularly. Many times a year. Sometimes for days in a row. In October we have a horizon to horizon view of the Milky Way. I could go on for eternity ;)

    pict.jpg 273.2K
  • I was born and grew up near to Kilmartin in Scotland, which has an amazing amount of Neolithic sites including standing stones and circles, I visit every time I'm home, not sure why, something in my DNA makes me go...

  • HozanHozan Veteran

  • HozanHozan Veteran

    Monks cells on Skellig Michael off south west coast of Ireland. Not as olde as ye olde booke. Maybe 6th century. Remote meditative living though. Beautiful, tranquil place

  • HozanHozan Veteran

    Scene at the end of Star Wars The Force Awakens was shot there

  • Now that's a place for a retreat!

  • @lobster said:

    The oldest printed book in the world is not the Bible.

    It is the Diamond Sutra.

    My sister used to manage front of house at the British Library and gave me a tour, I'm sure we looked at the Diamond Sutra, very cool.

  • We are books. Thanks for writing. ;)

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    @lobster -- Not to get into a pissing contest, but I would have thought the Vedas took the brass ring for "oldest."

  • However, all printed editions of the Vedas that survive in the modern times are likely the version existing in about the 16th century AD
    Vedas were an oral tradition. Hand copied books exist that are very ancient. Wood block printing is an ancient art.

    The world's earliest printer printed fragments to survive are from China and are of silk printed with flowers in three colours from the Han Dynasty (before AD 220). The technology of printing on cloth in China was adapted to paper under the influence of Buddhism which mandated the circulation of standard translations over a wide area, as well as the production of multiple copies of key texts for religious reasons. It reached Europe, via the Islamic world, and by around 1400 was being used on paper for old master prints and playing cards. The third oldest wood-block printed book ever found after Mugujeonggwang great Dharani sutra and Hyakumantō Darani is the Diamond Sutra. It carries a date of the 13th day of the fourth moon of the ninth year of the Xiantong era (i.e. 11 May 868). A number of printed dhāraṇīs, however, predate the Diamond Sūtra by about two hundred years (see Tang Dynasty).

    It can be said that poets, celtic bards, minstrels, reciters of sacred lore etc. were the first living books ...

    Incidentally here is an update on the lead codices @federica linked about recently

    I luvs Interweb ... :glasses:

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    OK, thanks @lobster. As with anything else, I favor what works at any age.

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