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Sazykin A. Mongolian Hand-Written Books // Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol. 6, No 1, March 2000. P. 5-14.


During its more than seven-century history, Mongolian literature, which was closely linked to the political and cultural developments in the Mongol state, has known periods of flourishing and decline, intense literary activity or spiritual stagnation. Centuries-long contacts with the cultures of Central Asia, as well as India and China, could not but influence the process of the development and content of Mongolian literature, which preserved in its written texts the traces of the most varied cultural and literary traditions. Similar influences found reflection both in the Mongolian writing system, which has employed at least ten scripts, and in the format of Mongolian books — large, beautifully executed, illustrated manuscripts or small books, pothī, patterned after ancient Indian books on palm leaves. “Accordion”-form manuscripts are also frequently encountered, as well as quires of the most varied types and dimensions.

Even more varied are the contents of Mongolian manuscript books since manuscripts were the most common means of disseminating among the Mongols translations of Indian tales and parables, Tibetan stories and legends, and Chinese novels. Besides, the original works of the Mongols themselves were also represented most rally in manuscript form...

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Keywords


Manuscripta Orientalia, selected papers
Mongolian manuscripts

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