History of Indian Buddhism, by E. Lamotte

Softcover, 870 pages, bw plates, Louvain 1988, very good

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The History of Indian Buddhism is undoubtedly Msgr. E. Lamotte's most brilliant contribution to the field of Buddhist exegesis. The work contains a vivid, vigorous and fully-detailed description of early Buddhism and its teachings, the material organization of the Community, the formation and further developments of the writings, the conciliar traditions, the evolution of Buddhist sculpture and architecture, the origins of the sects, the Buddhist dialects and the constitution of the legends, and sets them in the historical background in which buddhist doctrines originated and expanded in India and in the neighbouring countries. Using the material evidence provided by Indian epigraphy and archaeological remains on the one hand, and taking into account the data supplied by Western (Latin and Greek) and Far Eastern (Tibetan and Chinese) sources on the other, Msgr. E. Lamotte has succeeded in producing a lucid and basic book that is unanimously considered as a classic of contemporary Buddhist studies. After thirty years, the work has retained all its value, but, in order to meet the requirements of recent Buddhist scholarship, the History of Indian Buddhism has been supplemented with an additional bibliography, an index of technical terms and revised geographical maps.

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