Mongolica-XIV / Editorial Board: I.V.Kulganek (editor-in-chief), L.G.Skorodumova, T.D.Skrynnikova, K.V.Orlova, N.S.Yakhontova. St Petersburg, 2015. 104 p.
The 14th issue of Mongolica is dedicated to the 130th anniversary of the birth of the eminent diplomat, publicist, member
of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, scholar of Mongolian studies, specialist in ethnography, nomadic household,
and Mongolian politics — Ivan Maiskiy (Jan Lachowiecki) (1884—1975). His work is a fundamental contribution to
the study of the history, ethnography and political order of Mongolia. Written more than half a century ago, it has not lost
its relevance today. Ivan Maiskiy dedicated most of his life to diplomatic service. His contribution to Mongolian studies is
valuable as a description of Mongolia in the turbulent time of the country’s fight for independence in the early 20th century.
This issue consists of the following parts: Historiography and Source Studies, Philology (Literature, Folklore, Linguistics),
Reviews, Our Anniversaries, and Our Translations. The articles are written by both distinguished scholars and young
researchers in the field of Mongolian studies. Reviews of new books make the issue topical.
The papers are written in keeping with the research priorities of modern Mongolian studies, with special regard to the
matters of history and culture of Mongolian ethnic groups, which gives the articles social, historical and practical value.
The issue will be of interest not only to scholars of Mongolian studies, but also to specialists in philology, history and
culture, as well as to those interested in the history of Mongolian ethnic groups and Central Asia.
I. V. Kulganek. I. M. Maiskiy as a diplomat, public figure, and mongolist (1884—1975) – 6
HISTORY, HISTORIOGRAPHY, SOURCE STUDIES
R. Yu. Pochekaev. Chinggisid law legacy in Oirat khanates – 12
The article is devoted to the reception of Chinggisid political and legal traditions by the Oirat states (the Junghar
Khanate, the Kalmyk Khanate, the Khanate of Tibetan and Kukunor Mongols). The author analyses the legal
basis of the acceptance of the title «khan» by Oirat leaders, the processes of lawmaking and law enforcement, the
formal substantiation of the claims of the Oirat states for the former domains of the Chinggisids. The author concludes
that the Oirats often used Chinggisid political and legal traditions that, on their part, originated from the
ancient Mongol state and legal experience, as well as examples of relations of Chinggisids with foreign suzerains.
Key words: Turkic-Mongol law, Oirats, Junghar Khanate, Kalmyk Khanate, Chinggisids, khanate, legitimating
of power, Buddhism.
A. G. Yurchenko. «300 gold belts» in the Mongolian Imperial context - 19
In 1331 in Novgorod a conflict between German merchants and local inhabitants took place. The situation is
described in the report of the German Hanseatic merchants to Riga. The original letter is preserved. In the midst of
the conflict a character from the group of «300 gold belts» intervened (German: CCC guldene gordele). According
to historians and philologists, the mysterious «300 gold belts» is a figure of speech, or symbolizes the boyar elite
of Novgorod in general. The problem is that the phrase «300 gold belts» is not mentioned anywhere else, and gold
belts haven't been found in Novgorod excavations either.
I suggest another hypothesis. The «300 gold belts» are the three hundred representatives of Uzbek Khan
(1312—1341). The numeric designation indicates a group of elite, which is dominated by the Khan, the Khan
being the one who bestows the belts. The practice of giving gold belts occurred at all the Mongolian courts. Gold
military belts were the Imperial ritual — the only tool with which the Mongols lined up the power vertical. In
Mongolian Iran there was a documented ritual of giving three hundred gold belts; in this case it deals with the representatives
of the khan, in the position of authority. Thus, two indirect evidences (Mongolian Imperial ritual and
numerous finds of gold belts) allow to insist that the «300 gold belts» is not a rhetorical figure, but a real institution.
Key words: Novgorod, Hanse, «300 gold belts», Uzbek Khan, qurilta, palace ritual, XIV century.
Yu. I. Elikhina. Buddhist finds of the expedition headed by V. L. Kotvich from the settlement of Khara-Balgasun stored
in the Hermitage Museum – 30
The author describes the collection of Buddhist finds from the settlement of Khara-Balgasun. These findings
are kept in the Oriental Department of the State Hermitage Museum, they have not been studied or published. The
finds are surface material collected by the expedition of V. L. Kotvich in August 1912. They can be dated to different
times, one of them belongs to the Uighur time, the 8th―9th centuries, some other items can be dated to the
Key words: archeology, findings, V. L. Kotvich, Buddhism, objects of Buddhist cult, the State Hermitage.
PHILOLOGY: LITERARY STUDIES, FOLKLORE STUDIES, LINGUISTICS
A. M. Burtseva, B. M. Narmaev. The Tibetan version of the epic of King Gesar in the Russian National Library. The
fifth chapter about the war against the Hor people – 34
The Epic of King Gesar (Geser Khan in Mongolian, Buryat, Oirat versions) is the largest epic of the peoples of
Central Asia, the favorite epic story of the Tibetans, Mongols, and Buryats. Based on a Tibetan version, it has also
developed in the folklores and literatures of Mongolian-speaking, Turkic and other peoples, and continues to develop
to these days.
One of the most ancient Tibetan versions of the Gesar-epic is kept in the collection of the Russian National
Library (St. Petersburg, Russia). This manuscript was brought by G. N. Potanin at the end of the 19th century from
North–Eastern Tibet. It was first described, partially translated and studied by the Mongolian academician
Ts. Damdinsuren in the middle of the 20th century. In 2013, we published an article on the second chapter of the
This paper deals with the description of the Tibetan version of RNL, the history of its study, and the fifth chapter
about the war against the Hor people from the second part of the manuscript. On the basis of our translation of
the chapter, a preliminary literary–linguistic analysis was conducted, which allowed to make a number of conclusions:
1) The manuscript is written in Ume and Uchen scripts and has a prose–poetic structure that contains a significant
amount of proverbs and sayings, comparisons, metaphors and toponyms. 2) The language of the manuscript
is close to the spoken Tibetan language, but the manuscript is not a record of the oral tales. 3) It is possible
that the theme of «The murder of the beast from the inside» told in the Tibetan manuscript of RNL has developed
into a whole chapter about the murder of a tiger in the Mongolian versions. 4) The text of the manuscript has experienced
a definite influence of Buddhism.
Key words: Gesar, Geser; Tibetan epic, folklore, literature, language, toponyms; Mongolian, Buryat, Oirat
epics; Russian National Library.
L. S. Dampilova. The sacralization of the way to Khubsugul region – 43
The Article is devoted to the international folklore and ethnographic expedition to the Khuvsugul aimag of
Mongolia in August 2011, and examines the texts, traditions and rituals associated with the “mythologem of the
Key words: the Mythologem of the way, sacred space, shamanism, myths, legends, tales.
B. S. Dugarov. Tengri mythology: a pantheon of deities and epic interpretation – 48
This article explores the pantheon of deities in the Buryat mythology associated with the cult of the sky. In
comparative terms it is considered to be an epic interpretation of the world of the gods, contained in the heavenly
prologue to the epic «Geser». The author concludes that the Buryat sacred tradition has preserved many elements
of the ancient Mongolian people’s axiological foundation. This article is of interest to folklorists, anthropologists
and scholars of cultural studies.
Key words: pantheon, mythology, sacred tradition, the heavenly prologue, Epic of King Gesar, the cult of the
E. V. Asalhanova. Revisiting the question of the reconstruction of the biography and attribution of the works of G.-J. Tsebegiin
(1869—1940) – 52
The article is devoted to the study of the biography and works of one of the masters of St. Petersburg Buddhist
temple, the Buryat artist and philosopher Geleg-Jamtso Tsebegiin. He is known as a man of great learning, an ordained
lama, the author of several works on Buddhist astronomy and mathematics. In the article the role of
G.-J. Tsebegiin in creating the temple decoration of the datsan in St. Petersburg, is emphasized. He largely contributed
to the construction and decoration of the main altar of the datsan. The author also analyses G.-J. Tsebegiin’s
manuscript “Maudgalyaana in hell” of the first half of the 20th century from the collection of the State Museum
of the History of Religion, its system of composition, colour, and the manner of painting.
Key words: Tibet, Mongolia, Buryatia, Buddhism, art tradition, the Saint-Petersburg datsan, G.-J. Tsebegiin.
Kápolnás Olivér. The Identity of Chinggis Khan’s Father According to Written Mongolian Accounts – 62
It is generally accepted that Chinggis khan's father was Yisügei ba'atur. Most of the Mongolian accounts support
this idea, but other answers to this question also emerged. As the Mongols’ way of thinking changed, other
figures were also brought up who were regarded as the great khan’s father. Vajrapani and Qormusda were also
mentioned as his father, but in several cases the identity of Chinggis’ father was irrelevant. The reason for this is
that the descendants traced back their power and legitimacy to Chinggis, not to his father, and they wanted to emphasize
the illustrious origin of the Great khan.
Key words: Chinggis khan, Yisügei, Mongolian historiography.
FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE ORIENTALISTS
K. F. Golstunsky. A sketch of the journey to the Kalmyk steppe in the summer of 1886 (prepared for publication with
preface and comments by S. S. Sabrukova) (part 3) – 67
D. A. Nosov. New literature on Mongolian Studies – 75
T. V. Ermakova. Review on: Mongolian world: between the East and the West / Ed. by of Yu. V. Popkov, Zh. Amarsana. Novosibirsk: Autograph, 2014. 351 pages – 79
I. V. Kulganek. The Second international conference «The Cultural Heritage of the Mongolian People» – 81
Strokes to a portrait (on account of K. S. Roshchin’s 85th anniversary) (K. S. Orlova) – 84
On account of V. L. Uspensky’s 60th anniversary (M. P. Petrova) – 85
L. Dashnyam. Thoughts Aloud. Excerpts from «Bor devter» («The Brown Notebook»). Translated by L. G. Skorodumova
(last part) – 87
S. Buyannemekh. The Literature gate. (Translated by O. Sapozhnikova) – 94
Information about the authors – 103
PDF-filesThe entire book
Random news: Announcements
Due to the 3 days mourning in St. Petersburg, the lecture by Dr. A.G. Kozintsev, chief researcher at the Department of Anthropology of the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), RAS, Humour - on the Way towards General Theory, is postponed till May.