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Barbati Ch. Introduction // Writen Monuments of the Orient. 2(8), 2018. P. 3—10.


This publication has been made possible thanks to many people who have supported it in various ways. First of all, I thank the members of the Board of the Societas Iranologica Europaea for the period 2011–2015, Pierfrancesco Callieri, Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst, Almut Hintze, Pavel Borisovich Lurje, Florian Schwarz, Maria Szuppe and Gabrielle van den Berg for accepting my suggestion to organize a special panel at ECIS8 in St. Petersburg on Studies in Medieval Iranian Manuscript Traditions other than Islamic and for their interest and encouragement.

The special panel held during the ECIS8 was intended to be an opportunity for exchange among specialists in the field of Middle Iranian Studies — or “Mitteliranistik”, if I may use this term — which is well defined within philology and linguistics and in particular within historical-comparative linguistics. With the organization of a special conference panel and the subsequent publication of this volume we hoped to create a space for discussion and research which for the first time put also the material aspects of manuscripts as “objects bearing texts” at center stage. It encouraged interaction between diverse disciplines and methodological approaches — philology, linguistics, codicology, palaeography, history — while avoiding subordinating any one of them under another field or approach. Rather, from the outset it attributed equal merits and importance to each of them, while being fully aware that an entire field of inquiry, that of material analysis, is still largely absent from the discussion...

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