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This book contains slightly revised lectures presented by K.R. Norman in 1994. The lectures, which outlined the role of philology in the academic study of early Buddhism, were intended for an audience which knew something about Buddhism but little or nothing about philology. Notes have been added for the general reader, rather than the specialist.
Norman's career has been devoted to the study of Pali texts. These lectures provide his perspective on a number of general themes fundamental to undertanding the development of early Buddhism. They set out clearly the important role Pali philology must play in any serious academic study of early Buddhism.