The Oldest Printed Text

The Vajrachedika [‘Diamond-Cutter’] Sūtra

Man’s Oldest Preserved Printed Text
Ink on Paper, Cave 17, Donhuang, China

Reverently made for universal free distribution by Wang Jie on behalf of his two parents on the 13th day of the 4th moon of the 9th year of Xiantong’
[May 11, 868, CE]

British Museum Library, London



'[It] would be difficult to find anything as remote
from the interests of the present day as the contents of this site. This in itself may recommend it to..those for whom it is intended.'

[It] would be difficult to find anything as remote from the interests of the present day as the contents of [the Sūtra].

This in itself may recommend it to…those for whom it is intended.

A life dedicated to translating the Prajñā Pāramitha. Descendent in the high tradition of Kumārajīva [334-413 CE] and Xuanzang [602-664 CE].


London, Glorious London. The weather is damp as ever, but the food has markedly improved.

And I still get lost in its streets and parks and pubs and museums, happily so.

The original print of the Diamond Sūtra is at the British Museum in London.

The original document [The Bakhshali Manuscript above] for the earliest Symbol ‘0’ is an hour away at the Bodleian in Oxford.

It’s time somebody took the bus across and connected Text and Symbol.