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Magadhi Prakrit

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Not to be confused with Ardhamagadhi Prakrit.

Magadhi Prakrit (Magadhi) is of one of the three Dramatic Prakrits, the written languages of Ancient India following the decline of Pali and Sanskrit. It was a vernacular Middle Indo-Aryan language, replacing earlier Vedic Sanskrit.

History and overview

Magadhi Prakrit was spoken in the eastern Indian subcontinent, in a region spanning what is now eastern India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Associated with the ancient Magadha, it was spoken in present-day Assam, Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and eastern Uttar Pradesh under various apabhramsa dialects, and used in some dramas to represent vernacular dialogue in Prakrit dramas. It is believed to be the language spoken by the important religious figures Gautama Buddha and Mahavira and was also the language of the courts of the Magadha mahajanapada and the Maurya Empire; some of the Edicts of Ashoka were composed in it.

Magadhi Prakrit later evolved into the Eastern Indo-Aryan languages:

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