Mongolica. Vol. XXIII, 2020, No. 2. Dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the discovery
of the Turkic runic writing / Ed. by I.V.Kulganek (editor-in-chief), D. A. Nosov (secretary), M. A. Kozintcev (deputy secretary) et al. St Petersburg, 2020. 110 p. ISSN 2311-5939.
A word on the Leningrad branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences and it’s members (T. I. Sultanov) — 5
T. K. Abdiev, K. Sh. Tabaldiev. New discoveries: Turkic runic inscriptions on the hum and on the balbal — 8
The article discusses the new Turkic runic inscriptions discovered in recent years on the territory of
Kyrgyzstan. The first inscription was found in the village of Sargata on a whisk of hum. Finding a ceramic vessel
with a rune-like inscription is a rare occurrence. They used to be found on boulders, on the surface of rock slabs.
In our opinion, its uniqueness lies in the fact that the vessel was discovered on the ruins of a medieval fortress and
develops the idea of creating and developing Turkic written culture in the settled agricultural settlements of Tien
Shan regoin.The second inscription was found during an expedition to the Talas Valley. Its uniqueness lies in the
fact, that it is located on the neck of the balbal and its content is also of certain interest.
Key words: Turkic runic inscription, written culture of Turks, hum, balbal
T. A. Anikeeva. Wolfram Eberhard and Turkology: on an Unpublished Study of W. Eberhard on the Turkic Epic — 14
Wolfram Eberhard (1909–1989) is a well-known sinologist, whose scientific interests, along with the history
of China and Central Asia, Chinese folklore, cultural relations between China and the peoples of Central Asia
included epic genres of Turkic folklore. The unpublished work of W. Eberhard “Über die Erzählungen des Dede
Korkut” (from the archive of the Folklore society of the Finnish Academy of Sciences), is devoted to the study of
“The Book of Dede Korkut” — the monument of the written epic of the Oghuz Turks; in this research, Eberhard is
primarily interested in the origin of the plot of each of the stories of this Turkish epic. The article contains a
commented publication of the fragment from this unpublished work in the Russian translation that concerns the
story of Bugach-Jan, the son of Dirse-khan.
Key words: epic, W. Eberhard, the Turks, indexes of themes and motifs
M. E. Dubrovina. Graphemes for vowel expression in the ancient turkic runic script — 20
There are four graphemes for transmitting vowel phonemes: α — a/ä, Ο — o/u, ο — ö/ü, ι — y/i in the
repertoire of runic writing. It is believed that these graphemes are used as normal signs for vowels. Nevertheless,
the analysis of runic texts inclines the author more and more to the idea that these signs did not have an independent
meaning yet. In our opinion, they were used in texts for “technical” purposes. Vocalic graphemes in runic
monuments have not yet been used systematically, as is usually the case in alphabetical scripts. In this writing the
need for independent using within words and word forms of signs for vowels was not yet felt, since each grapheme
was itself a syllabogram, within which a certain vowel already existed.
Key words: Runic alphabet, runology, runic vowel graphemes
D. Koç, K. Yıldırım. The Word ‘Tatar’ in Various Forms in Chinese Sources — 23
The word ‘Tatar’, as in reference to various ethnic communities, peoples, and characters at different times and
places in history, appear in various forms in classical Chinese texts. We will attempt to identify the original
written forms of some of these names as they appear in several primary sources, in addition to the purpose behind
the use of selected characters, their spelling, their different readings, and their reconstructed forms. Our aim is to
both reveal the historical course of names referring to the Tatars (in which we believe ought to be used very
carefully both in historical and linguistic studies) as well as to contribute to better understanding of content and
meaning of the names.
Key words: Tatar, Chinese Sources, Historical Context, Language Content
I. V. Kormushin. The language of Orkhon and other runiform monuments as an ancient Turkic literary koine of mixed Uyghur-Oguz character — 26
In this paper, we attempt to draw attention of experts in Turkic linguistics to the mixed nature of the Old
Turkic Literary language. It is no surprise that an ancient literary language is not uniform linguistically, being an
artificial — and cunning, in most cases — amalgam of words and forms taken from different dialects. This koiné
phenomenon is known to different writing cultures. With regard to the Old Turkic koine, the question of interest is
which dialects were subject to amalgamation and which linguistic features allow to distinguish between these
dialects. As we show, it is the features described in Mahmud al-Kashgari’s Dīwān — a unique source on the Old
Turkic dialect system, even if it is not fully comprehensive or complete — that help us to solve the problem. This
paper is devoted to the participation of ancient Turkic dialects in the composition of the ancient Turkic literary
language. This written language was first introduced to world Turkology in 1893–94. After the discovery, decryption
and first readings of the monuments of a runi-form (now more often in Turkic: Turkic runic) writing of the
ancient circle — the first half of the 8th century, from the Orkhon River, in mid-western Mongolia, in place of the
centers of the Ancient Turkic Khanate, which existed here in 552–744 years. We are talking about inscriptions
widely known to all Turkologists in honor of Kul-tegin and Bilge-kagan, as well as monuments close to them in
state-political terms in honor of Tonyukuk, El-Etmish, Kuli-Chor and several smaller texts that were discovered
Key words: Old Turkic Literary language, Mahmud al-Kashgari, Turkic koine, ancient dialects, dialect
A. A. Turanskaya. “Uigurische Sprachdenkmäler” by W. Radloff: A Concordance — 30
Published in 1928, W. Radloff’s monograph “Uigurische Sprachdenkmäler”. Materialien nach dem Tode des
Verfassers mit Ergänzungen von S. Malov herausgegeben” is still one of the most frequently cited books in Old
Uyghur studies. Despite the undeniable relevance of the included materials, the book is rather hard to use as the
access numbers of the majority of the mentioned Old Uyghur fragments are not indicated. The article sought to
present a concordance of text numbers given in the book and access numbers used nowadays in book depositories
of Berlin and St. Petersburg.
Key words: Old Uyghur texts, manuscript fragments, Old Uyghur language, Turfan collection in Berlin,
Serindia collection in the IOM, RAS
F. G. Hisamitdinova. S. G. Klyashtorny and Bashkir ideas about deities and divine forces of the lower world — 39
The article uses folklore and linguistic material to describe the deities and divine forces of the lower world of
the Bashkir mythology. The author highlights the characters Shulgan-the Lord of the lower world, Ulem-the deity
of death, the kings of snakes and divas Azraka, Kakhkakha. In addition to these inhabitants of the lower world, the
descriptions of the characters of the lower world, as ғәйеп ирәндәр ‘Holy elders’, мосолман пәрейҙәре ‘Muslim
peri’, Һыу инәһе ‘the spirit — mother of water’, Һыу батшаһы ‘the spirit — king of water’ etc. the master spirits,
the spirits-patrons of an object that represent the ancient, overthrown after accepting Islam, deities of the
The deities of the lower world of Bashkir mythology are compared to the Lord of the lower world of the
ancient Turks Erklig. Their functional closeness is noted. However, there are terminological differences in the
names of deities of the lower world in the Turkic languages. It is noted that the ancient Turkic name Erklig in the
form of Erklig presents only in the mythology of the South Siberian Turks and Mongols. The Bashkirs and other
Western Turks, as a result of interethnic and intercultural contacts, have other terms associated with the deities
and divine forces of the lower world.
Key words: The Bashkir mythology, the lower world, deity, Ural-Batyr, Erklig
A. Sh. Yusupova. Educational dictionaries of the Tatar language of the XIX century — 44
The article describes two educational bilingual dictionaries of the Tatar language of the XIX century. In the
XIX century, the teaching of the Tatar language as a separate subject in such well-known educational institutions
as St. Petersburg, Kazan and Kharkiv universities, professional schools, theological academies and gymnasiums
also led to the creation of educational bilingual dictionaries.
Key words: XIX century, Tatar language, bilingual dictionary, educational dictionary
T. I. Yusupova. Academic official trips of Russian Orientalists to Turkey, 1920–1930s: goals and results — 49
The article analyzes the official academic trips of academicians V. V. Barthold, N. Ya. Marr, A. N. Samoylovich,
and other Russian Orientalists to Turkey in the 1920–1930s. It is shown that their trips were one of the
main components in the structure of interstate relations with Turkey built by the Soviet government. At the same
time, they played an important role in the development of academic contacts of the USSR Academy of Sciences
with Turkish researchers. It is noted that these trips were initiated by Turkey. The personal research programs of
Orientalists included lecturing, work in Turkish libraries and archives, and participation in Linguistic congresses.
Particular attention is paid to the trip to Turkey of academicians N. Ya. Marr and A. N. Samoylovich at the personal
invitation of the first president of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal, in 1933. This trip was especially
important for the development of Soviet-Turkish scientific contacts, and its main result was the creation of the
Commission for the Promotion of Scientific Relations with Turkey (Turkish Commission) of the USSR Academy
of Sciences in 1933.
Key words: Soviet-Turkish academic contacts, V. V. Barthold, N. Ya. Marr, A. N. Samoylovich, USSR Academy
of Sciences, Turkish Commission of the USSR Academy of Sciences
STUDIES IN MONGOLIAN HISTORY AND PHILOLOGY
L. S. Dampilova, D. Narantsetseg. The symbolic language of shamanic songs of the Buryats of Russia and Mongolia — 54
The authors analyze the shamanic materials of the Bulagat tribe of the Buryats, concerning the totem ancestor
Buha-noyon, recorded by B. Rinchen from the Buryats who lived in Khubsugul region of Mongolia, in
comparison with the materials of the Alar Buryats of the Irkutsk region of Russia. As a result of comparative
analysis they conclude that shamanic texts of the Buryats of Russia and Mongolia differ. In Buryat versions the
texts mostly repeat one semantic line characterizing the mythological history of the character. Mongolian Buryats
composed new texts in which Buha-noyon is identified as a deity from their historical homeland. Elements of the
rite, the name of the character and his main function as a defender are preserved.
Key words: the Buryats, shaman, rite, tradition, myth, semantics
Yu. I. Drobyshev. The image of Genghis Khan in medieval European sources — 59
The article discusses reflection of Genghis Khan’s image in medieval European sources: official and private
correspondence, reports of missions, and historical writings. Apparently, none of the Europeans could see Genghis
Khan, so all the information about him was obtained second-hand. His image was transformed in the minds of
Westerners: before the Mongols appeared in Europe, he was represented as a Christian king of India; in the middle
of the XIII century — as a robber and even the Antichrist; and at the boundary of the XIII and XIV centuries he
turned into a wise, successful leader. Genghis Khan was also known to Europeans as a prophet and legislator.
Legends about transfer to him a power over all peoples by heavenly messengers have also reached Europe. In
general, European medieval historiography brings us a negative image of this man.
Key words: Genghis Khan, Europe, sources
Altangerel Munkh-Orgil. Romanticism in the works of Mongolian playwright L. Wangan (1920–1968) — 71
Only in 1961, after many years of political repression, World War II and the events associated with the
debunking of the personality cult, the mass rehabilitation of political prisoners began, and an atmosphere of
condemnation of political repression reigned in Mongolian society. The works of the repressed authors again
became available to the general public.
This atmosphere revived in society the belief in the possibility of building a new civilization, a bright future
for everyone, a thirst for creating a new culture arose. Verbal art could not stand aside. Literature set the society a tone of pervasive optimism, confidence in the future and striving for the best. One example of this is the artistic world created by L. Wangan.
The works of Lamzhavin Wangan became one of the flagships of “romanticism” in Mongolian literature. The
author's creative experimentation has played a key role in educating the next generation of playwrights and
writers. He is undoubtedly one of the innovators of the stage and dramatic art of Mongolia in the 20th century.
The article is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the artist’s birth.
Key words: Drama, Mongolian literature, romanticism, Lamzhavin Wangan
D. A. Nosov, Siqinbatu. Tales about Argachi in Central Asia — 76
Among the diverse fairy tale epos of the Mongols living in the territory of the PRC, a special place is occupied
by the cycle of satirical and everyday tales about Argachi. In Xinjiang, about 60 different stories on this character
are known. However, this is not a local phenomenon. The authors managed to identify both parallels in the Mongolian
corps of plots and the presence of this character in the folklore of two Turkic peoples of the Russian Federation.
Based on the distribution area of this character, the authors make an assumption about its genesis during
the existence of the Dzungar Khanate (XVII–XVIII centuries).
Key words: folklore, Xinjiang, Oirats, typology, historical and cultural relations
V. Z. Tserenov. The image of raven on the helmet of Khongor, the hero of the epos “Djangar” — 82
This article contains an analysis of the image of raven on the helmet of Khongor, the hero of the epos “Djangar”.
The text of this song was written down by K. F. Golstunskiy during his stay at Kalmyk torguts, which ethnic
history is related to Kereyids. In opinion of the author of this article, the image of raven ascends to the ancient
Turkic epoch and signifies the totem of the hero’s tribe, which was Topa, according to the epos, a branch of Kereyids.
Same images of birds are known on head wear on statues of ancient Turkic war chief Kul-tegin, Buddhist
deity Vaishravana and military official of Tang China, man with dynasty emblem found on territory of ancient
Bactria, in mounds of Sakas and Pazyryk. Image of bird, including image of raven, is spread in totems, religious
beliefs and folklore of Turkic and Mongol peoples.
Key words: ancient Turks, Kereyids, Khongor, Torguts, totem
Yu. A. Boev. On translations of Thai literature in the USSR and Russia — 89
The article mainly covers few Russian versions of works by Thai writers since Soviet period till nowadays.
The reasons why acute social novels of the certain Thai writers were nevertheless presented to Russian readers as
well as the political position of some Soviet orientalists about Thai contemporary literature in general are
researched there. The author gives a detailed analysis of these novels, biographies and works of some Thai writers.
Special attention is paid to the latest translation of the novel Isan's children by K. Bunthawi, into Russian.
According to the author the novel wasn't based on political ideology relevant for Soviet period and interesting for
oriental studies eventually. The article mainly covers few Russian versions of works by Thai writers since Soviet
period till nowadays. The reasons why acute social novels of the certain Thai writers were nevertheless presented
to Russian readers as well as the political position of some Soviet orientalists about Thai contemporary literature
in general are researched there.
The author gives a detailed analysis of these novels, biographies and works of some Thai writers. Special
attention is paid to the latest translation of the novel Isan’s children by K. Bunthawi, into Russian. According to
the author, the novel wasn't based on political ideology relevant for Soviet period and interesting for oriental
Key words: Thailand, literature, history, translation
O. V. Lundysheva. An Old Uyghur text fragment (IOM RAS manuscript collection) concerning the evildoer Devadatta story — 98
The article is an edition of a newly found Old Uighur manuscript fragment SI 4648 (kept in the Serindian
Collection of the IOM RAS) with a text of Buddhist content related to evildoer Devadatta story. The article
provides the full transliteration and transcription of the text, as well as the provisional translation. Assumptions are
made regarding a parallel motif in the Tocharian literature.
Key words: Uyghur Brāhmī script, Old Uyghur, Central Asian Buddhism, textology, manuscriptology
I. Arvaniti, Yu. V. Kuzmin. Review on: Polyanskaya O. N. Mongolian studies in Russia in the first half of the 19th century: O. M. Kovalevsky and A. V. Popov. Ulan-Ude: Publishing house of the Buryat State University, 2019. 321 p. — 106
T. D. Skrynnikova. Review on: Baypakov K. M., Erofeeva I. V., Kazizov E. S., Yampolskaya N. V. Ablaikhijt Buddhist monastery / Ed. by D. A. Voyakin. Almaty: LLP “Archaeological Expertise”, 2019. 400 p. — 107
Z. M. Yusha. Chinese Buryats folklore traditions. Review on: Tsybikova B-Kh. B. Folklore of the Shenehen Buryats / Ed. by L. S. Dampilova. Ulan-Ude: Publishing house of BNTs SB RAS, 2016. 312 p. — 108
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Turkic runic writing
Random news: Announcements
On February 5, 2020, at the Far Eastern Studies Seminar organized by the Department of Far Eastern Studies of the IOM RAS, G.A. Levinton will submit his presentation Notes about Far Eastern Themes in Mandelshtam's Poetry.