Journal based in 2004
Issued twice a year
Table of Contents as a *.PDF file
Dr Yu. Ioannesyan. Two Tablets of Baha'u'llah revealed in 1863: a valuable discovery in the manuscript collection of the St.-Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies - 5
The present article deals with two relatively early Writings of Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Baha'i Faith, in which he proclaims his Prophetic mission: the Tablet of the Holy Mariner and the Tablet of the Bell. In the manuscript collection of the St.-Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies under the Russian Academy of Sciences there is a unique manuscript of the former Tablet, which, according to yet unconfirmed data, might be written in the hand of Baha'u'llah himself. The article contains the original Arabic text of both Tablets, their provisional Russian translation and commentaries. It also presents pictures of the above manuscript from St. Petersburg and of a manuscript of the same Tablet from the Baha'i World Centre in Haifa.
Dr S. Kurbanov. Korean stone stelae hyohangbi of the late 19th—early 20th cc. (South Kyongsang province, Tongyeong district) - 44
South Korean local administration is participating in collecting and research activities for the preservation of historical and cultural relics. One of the objects of its special attention is stone stelae erected in honor of filial sons, daughters and daughters-in-law who piously served their parents or parents-in-law.
The article analyzes texts of 32 stone stelae for filial children put up in the South Korean province of South Kyongsang. The author has discovered that the textual structure and content of the texts on hyohangbi stelae follows the tradition of the filial children's biographies published in 1617 in the New Sequel of Illustrations of Practice of Following the Three Precepts in Korea. In addition, hyohangbi stelae reflect a specific Korean understanding of filial piety in late medieval and early modern times which included self-sacrificing service to parents and that should be rewarded by the state authorities.
The Foundations of the Religious Doctrine by Abu Hamid al-Gazali. Annotated translation from Arabic by Dr S. Prozorov - 57
This is an annotated translation of the first two division from the chapter Kitab qawa'id al-'aqa'id—one of “books” from the work Ihya' 'ulum ad-din by the famous Muslim scholar Abu Hamid al-Gazali (450/1058-59-505/1 111).
The first division contains an interpretation of the Islamic Creed (ash-shahadd) which is a “root” of the two principal dogmas of Islam—the recognition of the absolute monotheism (at-tawhid) and the prophecy (an-nubuwwa) of Muhammad as the “seal of prophets”. In the works of the Muslim scholars, the dogma of at-tawhid is examined as the solution of the problem of correlation between the divine essence (ath-that), or the divine substance (al-jawhar), and the divine attributes (as-sifat), or the divine accidences (al-a'rad). Al-Gazali himself is fighting the insoluble unity of the divine essence and its attributes as the essential feature of at-tawhid.
The second division contains a description of the gradual edification of young men on the “true road” of the “pious ancestors” (as-salaf).
Dr Z. Yusupova. Concerning the study of the 'Divan' by Nali, a 19th century Kurdish poet - 81
The present article describes the two editions of the by Nali, Kurdish classical poet of the first half of the 19th century. These editions, based on privately owned manuscripts, were carried out in Iraq (Baghdad) in 1976 (editor Karim Mudaris) and in 1977 (editor Maruf Khaznadar).
The article comprises the following parts: the history of the study of Nali's literary legacy; the lexical and grammatical peculiarities of the language of the Divan by Nali; examples from 17 ghazals (from the 1976 edition) presented in Latin transcription used in Russian Kurdish studies and supplied with a Russian translation and commentaries. A comparative analysis of the text of the two editions is provided.
Dr M. Vorobyova-Desyatovskaya. Re the problem of dogmatics of the early Buddhism - 104
The manuscript represented in the paper was found in the Merv oasis (Turkmenia) as early as 1966. It is dated from the 2nd-5th centuries A.D. Its first part is occupied with the sūtras' texts belonging to Dirghāgama of the Sarvastivāda school. There are only short quotations from the sūtras. The sūtras traditionally interpret the philosophical term nāma or spirit or consciousness as something ideal. The texts serve the purpose of preparing consciousness to the full liberation. They contain a number of terms which explain the state of consciousness at every point of its movement to the liberation. It is possible to interpret these terms in the context of Sarvastivāda school only. The codification of Sarvastivada canon was going on at the same time with that of some other schools, for example, with the Pali canon of the Theravada school. It enables us to compare the terminology of the Merv sūtras with that of Theravada school. Two other sources for the comparison are the Abhidharmakośa text (the 5th cent. A.D.) and the terminological compendium Mahāvyutpatti (the 1st-5th cent. A.D.). The comparison showed that we could observe the tendency towards the broadening and deepening of the significance of some terms or the appearance of the new ones. The conclusion is made that the absence of a broad context does makes it impossible to interpret some isolated terms.
Dr I. Zograph. Simple sentence in the language of Medieval Chinese literature - 125
The paper deals with the whole range of problems concerning the structure of the simple sentence in Chinese, a typical SVO-language. The presentation begins with the place of the direct object and conditions under which the structures with ba and jiang are used; the place of the indirect object (which depends on its particular meaning as well as on its introductory prepositions); the place of the adverbial modifier (both when it is related to the sentence as such and when it is linked to the predicate); the place of the attribute (which — including possessive ones — always precedes the determined word); modal particles (which can be used at the end of the narrative sentence).
This is followed by a detailed description of different means to indicate interrogation, i.e. intonation, the interrogative particle ma, full and contracted forms of the repetitive question (whose form resembles that of the alternative question, while its function is similar to the interrogative sentence with ma, that is to the general question type), the alternative question, special questions (in whose structure special interrogative words take the position of an interrogated member of the sentence), as well as modal particles and semi-connecting adverbs, typical of and emphasizing the special question. Next to consider are various means of expressing imperative mood (including prohibitive sentences) along with the formation of the exclamatory sentence with the help of modal particles. The problem of the varying information structure of the sentence is also studied, with the focus of our attention being on
(1) sentences of “availability” with a reversed order of the subject and the predicate (VS); and
(2) different cases when the object takes either the place of the subject or the position preceding the predicate. Analysis of emotive constructions completes the study of the simple sentence in Medieval Chinese literature.
Dr I. Nadiroff. Towards understanding the Qur'anic “'allahumma” - 144
The mysterious Qur'anic formula 'allahumma is doubtless Semitic, and it refers to God (Allah). However, its exact grammatical form and significance is, to this day, a moot point for scholars.
Having analyzed the use of this word in the Qur'an and related forms in Arabic, Hebrew and Syriac, the author offers the following preliminary conclusions:
1) The word has most likely been borrowed from either Hebrew 'elohim or Syriac 'alahana. 2) Its form is plural; it might have contained the plural pronominal suffix, thus meaning “our gods”.
3) The invocation “Our God” (or “Our Lord”) is a very probable translation of 'allahumma, as it was very wide-spread among the Semitic peoples of Near East since very early epoch.
M. Romanov. The Term şūfī: Spiritualizing Simple Words - 149
From the beginning
Every scholarly book that deals with Islamic mysticism contains at least some details on the etymologies of the term şūfī and its derivatives. The origin of this term was a matter of debates among the scholars of Sufism in the West from the very inception of Sufi studies until it has become widely accepted that it is derived from the Arabic word for “wool”, şūf, i.e. a woolen garment that was commonly worn by ascetics in the Middle East. While the Sufis themselves are not interested in the academic studies of the etymology of their denomination, they nevertheless have taken great pains to explain its meaning. Major Sufi authorities of the late 4th/5th-10th/llth centuries, who endeavored to systemize and assert the legitimacy of the Sufi tradition and who claimed to possess the knowledge of the true realities of Islamic faith (haqa'iq), found it hard to accept this quite prosaic name, all the more so since it was most likely given to them by outsiders. That is not to say that all medieval Sufi authors rejected the idea that their name, sufiyya, takes its origin in the practice of wearing woolen garments. However, almost all of them (except Abū Tālib al-Makkī) sought to endow this mundane name with a more subtle and spiritual meaning in order to bring it in line with the complexity of their esoteric teaching. Besides, many Muslims considered this name to be an innovation (muhdath), so Sufis had to make every effort to prove its antiquity…
Dr L. Tugusheva. Some Notes on the Old Turkic Religious Views - 160
From the beginning
It can be noticed that the authors of some works on the religious system of early medieval Turkic societies quite often procede from the supposition that the notions of diverse levels of the world, celestial layers, the agents which carried out the connection between these levels, the tree that joins diverse worlds and celestial layers, several divinities and the female divinity protecting the children, etc. were intrinsic to the religion of the Turks of that period.
Meanwhile in the process of the research on shamanism, the essential features of it were defined as follows: the division of the world into three levels united by the shaman tree, the ascent of shamans to heaven and their descent to the underworld, the existence of the link between the world of humans and the spirit world and the role of shamans in the connection between these worlds,6 the recognition of shamans as healers and fortune tellers, the protection of children with the participation of female shamans.8 The comparison of this definition of shamanism to the aforementioned features, ascribed to Old Turkic religion shows that in this case the Old Turkic religion is regarded as a kind of shamanism. In connection with this arises the question: is there a basis for such an approach on this matter? …
Dr I. Katkova. Sufi brotherhood Sammaniya in Indonesia - 163
The present article narrates the history of tariqa Sammaniya in Indonesia, namely its historical background, spiritual chain silsila, the life of its founder 'Abdallah b. 'Abd al-Karim as-Sammani (1718-1775) and his doctrine. Moreover, it deals with some problems of its propagation on the Malay-Indonesian archipelago since the 18th cent, till now as well as with debus, one of the most popular in Indonesia Sufi rituals. In the context of spiritual contacts of brotherhood Sammaniya, the article touches on some aspects of the doctrine of tariqa Khalwatiya.
Furthermore, it contains the names of main adherents of brotherhood Sammaniya in Indonesia including the propagator of this doctrine on the Archipelago in the 18th cent. 'Abd as-Samad al-Palembani. One of his works, the manuscript Tuhfat ar-Raghibin fi Bayan Haqiqat al-Iman (A Gift Addressed to Those Desirous of an Exposition of the Essence of the Muslim Faith), written in Jawi in 1188H/1774M is preserved in the collection of the Institute of Oriental Studies (Ms. Or. В 4024).
A. Zorin. Compositional features of the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist hymns - 169
Hymns are one of the genres found in classical Tibetan literature. They appeared originally in India and then no fewer than 250 of them were translated into Tibetan. These texts cover almost all the themes important for the Buddhist practice. They can be divided into several groups. The most important of them are hymns to the Buddha and hymns to Tantric deities such as Тārā, Mañjuśrī, Avalokiteśvara, Mahākāla, etc.
The composition of Buddhist hymns has some parallels with that of the ancient Indian hymns which consisted of apellations to gods and descriptions of their features. In Tantric texts this point is especially clear since they served primarily as ritual texts while hymns to the Buddha and some other non-Tantric hymns were often composed by their authors rather as pieces of poetry or minor philosophic treatises.
A. Kudelin. Concerning the poetical component in the “Life of the Prophet” by Ibn Ishāq and Ibn Hishām - 178
The article deals with the function of poepry in al-Sīra al-nabawiyya by Ibn Ishāq (d. 150/767) and Ibn Hishām (d. 218/833 or 213/828).
The autor divides poetical pieces, according to their function in the text, into the following groups:
I. Poems unrelated to the narrative in the Sīra;
II. Poems as an integral element of the narrative;
III. Poems as an element in the treatment of the subject “poetry and revelation”.
Analysis shows that poems unrelated to the narrative, which supply genealogical, philological, toponymical and other data, play the role of auxiliary elements in the story. By contrast, the role of the last two groups (which reflect tribal conflicts and interribal struggle, or function as religious propaganda, or are intended to show the degree of attention which Muhammad gave to the poetical diction in the crucial period of the emergence of Islam) is not limited to the function of illustrations to the prosaic parts. They represent meaningful elements of the narration and do not only supplement prosaic reports, being in consonance with them, but sometimes from a dissonanse with the prosaic sections which are the majior means of the plot, building in The Life of the Prophet by Ibn Ishāq and Ibn Hishām.
HISTORY AND HISTORIOGRAPHY
Dr A. Grushevoy. Jews and Judaism in Roman Legal Documents: the 1st century B.C.—the 1st century A.D. (Official documents of Roman times in books XIV and XVI of “Antiquitates Judaicae” by Flavius Josephus) - 190
The regulation of legal and political relations with Roman State at the break of the era was a significant event in the life of the Jews of Eastern Mediterranean countries in antiquity. If some time before, in the second century B.C., the relations between the two peoples were episodic and mostly benevolent due to the absence of a base for any conflict, with the progress of Roman conquests those relations began to change gradually because the Roman power appeared to be in certain sense more burdensome than that of the Hellenistic monarques.
A gradual absorption of Asia Minor and Near East by Rome was accompanied by a long period of political instability (civic wars) and by sudden growth of exploitation of the provinces. That was why, when the political situation grew more stable and predictable (with Caesar and then Augustus coming to power), the Jews began to address to the Roman authorities petitions requesting to protect them from numerous troubles including various obligations and paying of taxes.
Due to Flavius Josephus, we have a lot of detailed information concerning complaints of the Jews to Roman authorities from the province of Asia, and also about the decisions of Roman authorities concerning the Jews of the province Asia, Cyrenaica and Palestine.
The bulk of complaints of the Jews from cities of Asia Minor—the concrete cities are not specified—were given to Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (husband of Augustus' daughter) with the request to examine certain violations on the part of the administration of Hellenistic cities. Those violations were as follows. The Jews were forced to appear at court sessions on the days of Sabbath. The Jews were prohibited to send money to Jerusalem for the Temple necessities. The Jews complained also about being forced to serve in the army and to perform public duties in the cities.
The main point of the problem lies in the fact that the Jews appeared to be “bad citizens” and desired to preserve themselves in this capacity. I think it would be necessary to make one thing more precise here. We are speaking about the Jews who were active in political life. The Jews in the Diaspora communities were not, for the most part, active fighters for any matter at all, being poor and having hard conditions of life. As to the politically active Jews in the Diaspora communities, they did not wish to observe the standards of civic life of a Greek (or Hellenistic) city, they had no wish to pray to the same gods as the majority of such a Greek (or Hellenistic) city did; they had no wish to pay the same taxes as the majority of the city population, but in the same time they wished to have some privileged position in the city as would permit them to live according to the ancestors' laws.
The attractiveness of city privileges for the Jews may be explained in the following sense. Those privileges gave different forms of financial profit to those who possessed them: some benefits or even the immunities from paying different taxes.
The petitions of the Jews to the Roman authorities with request to save them from different forms of oppression have a very different meaning from the Greek and Hellenized population's point of view. The city councils of the Greek cities in Asia Minor whose politics oppressed to a certain degree the Jewish communities in fact lead no real anti-Jewish politics. In the concrete historical conditions of the 1st century B.C.—1st century A.D., the administration of the Greek cities, having no possibility to provide all citizens with life of comfort, acted in the only acceptable way and was forced to oppress not the Jews as such, but people whose behaviour was considered anti-civic or unacceptable. Writing their above-mentioned complaints, the Jews expressed their longing for such people's freedom from the community which is never attainable in any society of any epoch: life with maximum of privileges and benefits and with no obligations at all.
It is necessary to underline here that such style of behaviour was in no way provocative on the Jews' part, on the subjective level. The Jews appealing with such requests but defended their right to profess their own faith and to live according to their own standards of life, not understanding sincerely why the Greeks would not (or could not) to satisfy their simple and natural (as they seemed to them) requests.
Before considering the reaction of Roman authorities to those petitions, it would be necessary to underline two particular features. If the requests of the Jews for an especial attitude to them were universal for the whole Empire, the degree of expression of those requests was very different in different parts of the Empire. Beyond Palestine, only in Asia Minor and in Egypt we can observe real inter-ethnical tension connected with above-mentioned requests of the Jews. The intervention of the authorities in the problems of the Jews was necessary only in these regions. As for the other regions where the Jews lived—Northern Africa, Syria, Greece, Italy—the sources contain no examples of requests from the Jews to the authorities. We have also no mention of any reaction of the authorities to those requests. Two variants of explanation can be found here.
It is possible to think that the Jewish communities were not great and powerful in some regions. This fact may explain the weakness of the Jewish requests, which provoked in such a case no public effect. The authorities could afford to give no response to the requests of the Jewish population. The second possible explanation is related mostly to Rome where the number of Jewish population was great. The Jews of Rome, having received Roman citizenship, were not supposed to fight for their right to live according to the ancestors' laws. The most privileged civic status in the pre-Christian Roman society obtained by them gave them such a privilege automatically.
In the XlVth and XVIth books of the Jewish Antiquities by Flavius Josephus we have the translation of 31 legal documents concerning the Jews—mostly of Asia Minor, but also of Palestine and Cyrenaica. These documents can be considered authentic.
The scientific literature of our time has qualified these documents as a kind of privileges for the Jews. This qualification is not exact, because these documents are not privileges. They represent not the all-state obligatory laws concerning the Jews but a series of decisions concerning the Jews in individual cities or regions. These documents are to be qualified as vague good intentions which the Roman authorities would like to introduce in answer to the complaints of the inhabitants of one concrete city. At the same time the Roman authorities had no power to realize them (under Caesar's government), or (under Augustus) had no great interest in putting them into practice. Thorough analysis of the documents in the Flavius' books shows that all these legal acts were supported by nothing, being only the recommendations of the supreme authorities how it would be better to act in this or that case.
In other words, the decisions concerning the Jews, for example of Smyrne, do not cover automatically those of Ephesos, or any other city. The latter could still hope that the Emperor would react to their own petition in the analogous style. This in some way guaranteed hope for a benevolent reaction of the supreme authorities to their own requests, similar to the petition of the Jews of a nearby city; the guaranteed right to live according to the ancestors' laws was—as we can imagine—the base for a compromise suitable for all parties: to the Jewish population, as well as to the Roman authorities. This compromise has a serious historic value because it has given both parties the possibility to avoid all kinds of inter-ethnical conflicts and tensions in Asia Minor, which were so characteristic for the first-century Palestine.
It is necessary to underline the following problem in the summing up. Mutual absence of understanding between the Jews and the gentile population living around them was universal only in theory. This absence of understanding never was fatal and only in separate cases developed into a real conflict or into inter-ethnical tension. The number of those who actually intended to fight Roman authorities and to oppose Roman society was really great only in Palestine. As to the Diaspora communities, we have every reason to think that the greatest part of the Jews from those communities preferred to make compromises with Roman authorities.
Otherwise the Romano-Judean conflict in the end of the Republic and in the first decades of the Empire would be universal and covering all the regions of the State, forming a kind of "Jewish problem" which existed in the history of Europe in the modern and contemporary epochs. But we have to remember that nothing of this kind ever existed in the pre-Christian Roman society.
Dr Ye. Kychanov. Chinggis-khan's “Biliques” - 210
Biliques—‘teachings’ or ‘orders’ of Chingis-khan, along with ‘traditions’ (yasuri) and The Law (yasa), were the three legislative bases on which early Mongolian state rested. Biliques were preserved only as a part of Collection of Manuscripts by Rashid-ad-Din. The paper is a research of Chingis-khan's Biliques estimating their role in the creation of the Mongol state.
Dr G. Stary. Chinggis-khan in “The Secret Chronicles of the Manchu Dynasty” - 217
The article is based on the material of The Secret Chronicles of the Manchu Dynasty published by Japanese scholars in 1955-1963 and commonly known under the title Manwen laodang. These are the archive materials of the period of early formation of the Manchu state. The author of the article traces Chinggis-khan personality's influence on the policy of the first Manchu rulers Nurhaci and Hung-taiji. On the one hand, Chinggis-khan was the one who destroyed Manchu's ancestors, Jurchens; on the other, the Manchus considered themselves to be political followers of the Yuan dynasty in their struggle with the Chinese. The solution of this dual question was found in the interpretation of the Heaven's Will and the Mandate of Heaven which was bestowed on both Chinggis-khan and Nurhaci in their struggle against Chinese dynasties. In both cases the Mongolian and Manchu khans were realizing the Will of Heaven to receive a righteous rulership over the Underheaven. With this policy Nurhaci and Hung-taiji gained support of their mighty Mongolian allies.
This imperial policy of the Manchus is proved by the documents from The Secret Chronicles of the Manchu Dynasty. Many of them were not included into their later Chinese variants found in Kai guo fanglue and Veritable Records of the First Manchu Emperors.
Dr A. Kolesnikov. Survey on new materials for the study of the Sasanian administration - 223
The paper constitutes of analytic survey of latest editions and researches on collections of Sasanian glyptics, namely of seals and bullae marked with designations of regional functionaries of power. The bulk of new material has been presented thoroughly in the works (books and articles) published by Rika Gyselen in 1989-2003. My task is to attract the attention of researchers of the history of pre-Islamic Iran to the abundant fresh data derived from primary sources (over a thousand in number), which can alter the formed conception of the administrative structure in the Sasanian Iran. Being synchronous memorials of the Sasanian epoch, the seals and bullae represent realities of the time in a more correct way than the later narrative sources. To reconstruct Iranian history of that time with best possible precision, we must take into account the both groups of sources.
COLLECTIONS AND ARCHIVES
Dr A. Grib. Attribution of individual Qur'an pages from E. Herzfeld's Archive (Department of Islamic Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art) - 232
Fragments from Ernst Emil Herzfeld archive (Department of Islamic Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art) represent several types of early Qur'anic scripts, ranging from a cursive archaic type (P. No. 7) to an acute form of monumental kūfī or proportional kūfī (PP. Nos 3, 6), two parallel tendencies in the development of the early Arabic writing that point out the impossibility of cursive script from monumental. On the contrary, pre-cursive and pre-monumental scripts had many common features— even in shapes of certain letters and horizontality. Parchment has no watermarks, but almost all of the leaves have a leaning. Pages are of a horizontal format. Some of them contain diacritical marks and all are vocalized. Only the special order, the proportion of letters and especially words, the use of mashq (a calligraphic technique of stretching horizontal elements of letters), the number of lines (cursive usually has no line limits) are the main style attributes, which distinguish monumental kūfī from cursive kūfī. I propose a new classification of kūfī based on a composite list of terms and interpretations of the early Arabic scripts. The formation of calligraphic, specifically Qur'anic writing canon might be well observed on the examples of non-illuminated manuscripts.
T. Vinogradova. The “Sakhalin Fund” as a part of the library of Institute of Oriental Studies (St. Petersburg Branch) - 249
The so-called Sakhalin Fund is a unique trophy book stock of the library of Institute of Oriental Studies (St. Petersburg Branch). In 1948 one of the japanologists of the Institute, David Goldberg (1908-1982), who was during and after WW II an officer of the Soviet Army, reported to the Institute about a large number of Japanese books left to the mercy of fate after the Japanese abandoned Sakhalin. The administration of the Institute with government support forwarded two colleagues to Sakhalin They conveyed to Leningrad 3 railway carriages of Japanese books, about 50,000 volumes. These books came to comprise the main part of the Japanese books of the library of Institute of Oriental Studies.
Dr Т. Pang. Küner Readings at the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, Russian Academy of Sciences - 252
Dr S. Frantsuzov. The “child” of Butrus (the sessions of Leningrad—St. Petersburg Arabists: preserving the traditions of classical Oriental studies) - 254
Dr M. Piotrovsky. First ten sessions of Leningrad Arabists - 264
Dr O. Vasilyeva. Bicentenary of the Manuscripts Department of the Russian National Library: Academic sessions, exhibitions, publications - 266
The Secret History of the Mongols. A Mongolian Epic Chronicle of the thirteenth century / Transl. with a hist. and philological commentary by Igor de Rachewiltz (Dr N. Yakhontova) - 272
On Consciousness (Xin). From the philosophic legacy of Zhu Xi. Transl. from Chinese by A.S. Martynov, I.T. Zograph, introd. and comment, by A.S. Martynov, grammatical essay by I.T. Zograph (Dr I. Popova) - 274
Visions of the Buddhist hell. Introd., transl., transliteration, comment, and glossary by A.G. Sazykin (Dr T. Pang) - 276
O.F. Akimushkin. Medieval Iran: Culture. History. Linguistics (Dr S. Klyashtorny, Dr T. Sultanov) - 277
A.L. Khosroyev. "Pachom the Great" (A. Kovalets) - 279
Maya Petrovna Volkova (1927-2006) - 283
Mikhail Yevgenyevich Yermakov (1947-2005) - 286