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Mongolica-VIII. Collected Essays [Mongolica-VIII: Сборник статей]. Ed. by I.V.Kulganek (chief), L.G.Skorodumova, N.S.Yakhontova. St Petersburg, Peterburgskoe Vostokovedenie Publishers 2008. 160 p.


The eighth issue of Mongolica, published by the Russian Academy of Sciences, is devoted to the 190lh anniversary of the establishment of the Asian Museum - the Institute of Oriental manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IOM RAS), formerly the St.Petersburg Branch of the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Since its foundation in 1818, the Asian Museum has been the leading center of Oriental Studies in Russia.

Although it is a St. Petersburg edition, this issue as usual not only publishes articles of scholars from St. Petersburg but also from Moscow, Ulan-Ude, and Mongolia. There are five traditional divisions in this issue: (1) Historiography and Textology, (2) Literature, Folklore and Linguistics, (3) Archives of Orientalists, (4) Translations, and (5) Reviews, preceded by a short but informative survey of the development of Mongolian studies in the IOM. Two articles in the first part deal with related subjects. The first (by Z.K. Kasyanenko and T.Yu. Yevdokimova) shows how the study and teaching of the Mongolian language has evolved at St. Petersburg University; the other (by I.F. Popova, I.V. Kulganek, and N.D. Putintseva) gives the structure of the two basic departments within the IOM RAS: the Archive and the Manuscript Department. An article by Ye. I. Kychanov introduces a collection of thirteenth century Tangut Laws — Additions to New Laws - which regulated trade relations and conflicts with neighboring tribes (e.g. Tartars). A new interdiciplinar science - ethnological ecology, which is only 25 years old, already has its own historiography, which is reviewed in an article by Yu.I. Drobyshev. A.G. Yurchenko describes the Mongolian Empire as depicted on the famous fourteenth century Catalonian map and also deciphers some messages encoded in its pictures.

The second division is the largest in the issue, dealing with both modern literary trends and old traditional ones. L.G. Skorodumova shows how such methods as reminiscence and intertext are used and introduces an essay by Mongolian writer and philologist D. Batbayar on this subject. A profound and voluminous article by S. Baigalsaikhan reviews all the research on modern Mongolian literature carried out since the 1940s: its special value lies in the authors perfect knowledge of recent publications in this field in Mongolia. One Mongolian story A Blue Stone (D. Norov) is analyzed by R. V. Ivleva who demonstrates how literary methods are used in creating an image. M.P. Petrova’s article considers a new genre in modern Mongolian literature -shamanist poetry. She states that shamanism can be traced not only in literature but in life as well, since the people in present-day Mongolia believe in the Eternal Blue Sky and tenggeris. B.S. Dugarov’s article dwells upon the same subject (tenggeris) in Buriat mythology, namely in the Geser Khan epic poem. Two articles deal with Mongolian translations from Tibetan. The first (by К.V. Alekseyev) specifies the general features of such translations. In the second S.S. Sabrukova compares two translations of the first four chapters of the Bodhicharyavatara made in the fourteenth and nineteenth centuries. Two authors write about Mongolian theatre: S. Hubsugul gathers and describes all the characters from D. Rabjaa’s famous play The Moon Cuckoo and B. Sukhe writes about Mongolian theatre's basis in religious ceremonies. T.A. Postrelova's article, Pyasetskiy in Mongolia, discusses a Russian artist whose works include genre-scenes, landscapes and portraits painted in Mongolia.

In the archival section, readers will find several chapters from an unpublished book by the recently deceased I.I. Lomakina about A.D. Simukov, a Russian geographer (1902-1942).

The book should be of interest to Mongolists and other Orientalists.


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