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The Historical Value of the Pāali Discourses

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With the present paper I attempt an evaluation of the historical value of the Pāli discourses. My presentation covers the following topics: additions recorded in the Pāli commentaries, the question of later levelling, additions made in Sri Lanka, the relevance of the finalization of the Pāli commentaries, and the political and geographical setting of the Pāli discourses. I conclude that, as far as we are able to tell, it seems that the Pāli discourses were fairly closed, in doctrinal terms, by the time of the 1st century BCE.


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