of the orient
Journal based in 2004
Issued twice a year
Table of Contents as a *.PDF file
HISTORY FROM THE ASIATIC MUSEUM TO THE INSTITUTE OF ORIENTAL MANUSCRIPTS, RAS
I.F. Popova. The Asiatic Museum (Currently, the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Russian Academy of Sciences) Celebrates Its 190th Anniversary - 5
On 19 June, 2007, the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences passed a resolution (No. 143] on the reorganization of the Institute of Oriental Studies, including the opening on the basis of its St. Petersburg Branch of the independent Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, RAS. This decision started a new period in the long history of Oriental studies in Russia, which is connected with the further development of specialized knowledge of cultural heritage of Asia.
The history of the new Institute can be traced back to 1818, when the Asiatic Museum of the Imperial Academy of Sciences was founded in St. Petersburg. The Museum kept Eastern antiquities and books of the famous collection of Russian Tsar Peter the Great. During the 19th—20th centuries the collection was greatly enhanced through donations from the state, Academy of Sciences, citizens of Russia and many other countries. Now it includes manuscripts and old printed books (in total number of 100 000 in 65 living and dead languages) and it is one of 3-4 most prominent libraries on Eastern studies outside Asia. In 1930, the Institute of Oriental Studies was organized on the basis of the Museum, in 1951 it moved to Moscow, keeping the Branch in Leningrad, later St. Petersburg.
The academic tradition of Oriental studies in St. Petersburg always developed on the thorough study of written texts, and the main field of the research activities of the Asiatic Museum — Institute of Oriental Studies (in the Leningrad period of its history) — St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental studies was fundamental study of the history, literature, philosophy of countries and peoples of Asia in pre-modern time. Since the first days of the history of the Asiatic Museum the cataloguing of the collection, publication, translation and investigation of the manuscripts was of the primary importance for the Oriental studies in St. Petersburg. The result of the work of several generations of scholars is more that 50 catalogues, hundreds of books and thousands of papers published. On the basis of the study of the written sources of the Institute, the unique branches of the academic research were developed, such as Tangut studies, Dunhuang studies, Sabaean studies, Turkic Runes studies, Kurdish studies, etc. The most important written monuments of the collection were published with translations into Russian, commentaries and text facsimiles. The meaning of the collection of Asian manuscripts kept at St. Petersburg is growing nowadays, and the main aim of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, RAS, is the development of the classic tradition of Oriental studies of St. Petersburg and Russia based on the research of original written documents.
S.I. Marakhonova. The Institute for Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Leningrad during the World War II and the Siege (according to archival materials) - 21
This article is based on the Institute Archive of the Orientalists and is dedicated to the history of the Institute in 1941-1945. It mostly concerns the activities of the so-called “Leningrad group” which consisted of 5 (later 3) people during the siege of the city. When the Institute was evacuated to Tashkent in July 1942 that group was left in Leningrad to take care of the Institute's treasures: books and Oriental manuscripts in various languages. The scholars also had to protect the building from bombs and artillery missiles. They helped to restore the building after the siege. Much attention is also paid to the fates of the evacuated staff and its return to Leningrad. During the siege, 42 members of the Institute died of hunger, as a result of bombing or were killed as soldiers and officers on the front line.
Yu.A. Petrosyan. Returning to Tradition: I.A. Orbeli, A.N. Kononov and the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Academic Oriental Studies in the 50-60s of the Last Century - 37
The present article shows that the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) academic Oriental studies in the 50-60s of the last century experienced a period of growth and organizational strengthening. Not only the traditions of the Asiatic Museum had been revived then, but one could also observe their further development on the basis of new research in the field of Oriental textology, culture and history.
E.S. Roussinova. The 25th International Congress of Orientalists - 47
The Twenty-Fifth International Congress of Orientalists took place in Moscow (9-16 August, 1960), at the Moscow University with the attendance of over 2000 participants and a number of observers. The scholars from 48 countries were represented but, naturally, the majority of the delegates were from the USSR. Meetings were held in 20 sections. There were productive discussions of the reports and exchange of views. The texts of abstracts of the papers were published in full in 5 volumes. There were also a varied series of receptions, concerts and tours of which the high point was the reception given by the Government at the Kremlin. The extensive organisation required to acco-modate a very large number of visiting scholars; it was ably handled and deserved the gratitude of Orientalists for hosting the Congress so successfully. At the conclusion of the session, all delegates noted that the Congress was a demonstration of the superiority of collegial collaboration and it rein-troduced Soviet Orientalism into the international academic community.
FROM THE RECENT HISTORY OF THE ASIATIC MUSEUM: HISTORY IN PERSONS
Kurdoev K.K.; Rudenko M.B.; Romodin V.A.; Oransky I.M.; Pigulevskaya N.V.; Puchkovskiy L.S.; Diakonov I.M.: Yeliseev D.D.; Griaznevich P.A.; Zograff G.A.; Khalidov A.B.; Kushev V.V.; Goreglyad V.N.; Fishman O.L. - 51
Val. V. Polosin. A Fragment from a Kufic Early Koran Manuscript in the Asiatic Museum and the Historical Tradition about the wazir and Calligrapher Ibn Muqla - 80
This is the fourth time when the author addresses his hypothesis, voiced by him at an international conference in Bologna (the Italy) in 2002. The hypothesis states that early Kufic Korans in oblong format are replica of Ibn Muqla's method of calligraphical writing. This time my attention is focused on the Kufic fragment E 4 (322a) from the Institut of Oriental Manuscripts (St. Petersburg, Russia). Basing its argumentation upon the features of the fragment, this article supplies the hypothesis with new arguments and data concerning the essence of the proportional handwriting (khatt mansub), the unruled area for the text on parchment, the problem of the dating and localization of Kufic fragments by metrological methods and so on.
G. Stary. A Preliminary Note on the Manchu Versions of Qianlong's Poetical Collection “Quanyuan shi” - 100
From the beginning
The collection of historical poems entitled Yuzhi Quanyun shi is a well-known literary work composed by emperor Qianlong in 1778. It contains 106 poems which are based — as the title itself reveals — on the “complete rhyme-cycle”, i.e. the 106 rhyme-classes of the so-called “Pingshui system”. The whole work is subdivided into five volumes. The first two are devoted to the foundation of the Manchu empire and its development till the Yongzheng era, whereas the following three volumes concern Chinese history from the very beginning till the Ming dynasty. Every poem is accompanied by long comments and explanations, mostly taken from the Chinese classics and indispensable for the comprehension and interpretation of the compositions...
A.I. Kolesnikov. The Story of Anushirvan. Introduction and annotated translation from Persian - 105
“The Story of Anushirvan” is an anonymous literary work included in the unique Zoroastrian manuscript С 1869 from the collection of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts in St. Petersburg. “The Story” consists of three separate parts. The first part is devoted to description of the great Zoroastrian temple in Pars (the cradle of the Sasanian rulers' dynasty), the second one is a reduced version of “The Book of Happiness”, and the third one includes “A Narration on the Tomb of Anushirvan the Just”. This specimen of the persianized Zoroastian literature has never been translated into Russian or any other European language.
I.T. Zograph. Wenyan and Baihua: An Idiosyncratic Language Interaction - 125
The unique character of the language interaction under discussion lies in the fact that brought into contact in this case are two literary forms of the Chinese language, namely Wenyan, which evolved from the Ancient Chinese language, and Baihua, which represents the vernacular speech.
The Chinese script (characters) being static in nature, the pictographic shape of the word remains unchanged through centuries, thus giving a false impression of an inner functional stability of the language as such as well as hindering the process of revealing innovations in the borrowing language (that is Wenyan, because the way Wenyan influences Baihua is not discussed here).
The paper deals with the most interesting, if the least tangible, linguistic phenomena: the first problem concerns semantic changes in the Ancient Chinese auxiliary (function) words which — whatever variety of reasons might have brought them about — can ultimately be given a valid explanation through the Baihua influence on Wenyan. The other phenomenon is illustrated by those Ancient Chinese structures whose original meaning either has given way to a new one or still remains in parallel usage with it.
I.T. Kaneva. Comparative Constructions in Sumerian - 147
Comparative constructions consist of either a noun, personal, demonstrative pronoun in equative or a noun in equative with dependent attributes. In a sentence, comparative constructions may refer tc a certain word (noun, personal or interrogative pronoun, numeral or verb in finite or nonfinite form) or to a whole group of words (a noun with accompanying attributes or a verb with dependent words). When comparative constructions refer to a noun they function as an attribute and take up the position after the noun they determine. When comparative constructions refer to a verb they function as an adverbial modifier and take up the position before the verb. This is a basic word order. But the violation of basic word order may occur and then comparative constructions referring to a noun are placed before it, while comparative constructions referring to a verb are placed inside or at the end of a sentence.
N.L. Luzhetskaya. Report of Captain V.N.Zaitsev, Commander of the Pamirs Detachment, 1893-1894, in the Orientalists' Archives of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts - 154
The publication is bringing forward a document from V.N. Zaitsev's collection (No. 116), forming file 1: “Report on Operations of the Pamirs Detachment Commanded by Captain Zaitsev (April 26, 1893 — October 18, 1894)”. This formerly unpublished document represents a detailed account of the organization, march and stay of the first Pamirs Detachment on the Pamirs, laying the basis for the future system of Russia's control and administration.
S.M. Prozorov. Some Traits to the Portrait of Abū Yūsuf (d. 798), the Supreme Judge of Baghdad - 165
The article is based on the manuscript material of the biographical lexicon Mu 'ğam aš-šuyūh (composed before 1169) by the brilliantly educated Khorezmian scholar Аbū-I-Karam 'Abd as-Salām b. Muhammad al-Hwarizmī al-Andarasbānī. On the one hand, Abu Yusuf s career as the first supreme judge (qādī-l-qudāt) in Islam significantly characterizes the judicial milieu in the capital of the Abbaside Caliphate, Baghdad, in the second half of the 8th century: the rivalry of judges, their cupidity, their greed. On the other hand, Abū Yūsuf s path in life and his relations with the notable faqīh Muhammad aś-Šaybānī testify to the double attitude of the scholars (ahl al- 'ilm) to collaboration with official power (as-sultān), in particular to holding the judicial office.
HISTORY AND HISTORIOGRAPHY
M.I. Vorobyova-Desyatovskaya. The “Lotus Sutra”. The First Translation from Sanskrit - 170
Eugene Burnouf (1801-1852) as pioneering scholar in Buddhist philology, was the first to study the Sanskrit text of the “Lotus Sutra”. The health of Burnouf was very week. No scholar in the field of Indian and Buddhist studies would object to admit that he was the very pioneer of not just Buddhist philology but in particular of Buddhist Sanskrit philology and philosophy. Manuscript of the “Lotus Sutra” was sent to Burnouf by his friend Brian Haiton Hodgson (1800-1894). Hodgson was an officer of the Ost-Indian company and worked in Katmandu and Darjeeling. A big expert in Buddhism he picked up Buddhist literature to Burnouf. The literature was written in the Nepalese language and Hodgson ordered to translate it in Sanskrit.
On April 20, 1837, Hodgson sent to Burnouf the first packet with different manuscripts. The manuscript of the "Lotus Sutra" was among them. Burnouf began to translate the manuscript into French at the same time. In three months the first part of translation was finished.
On December 1845 Hodgson sent to Burnouf two other of the parts “Lotus Sutra”. Burnouf had no time to publish the whole translation. The disease cut him-during his life only chapter five was published. After Burnouf s death 248 unpublished folios of the “Lotus Sutra” were left in the Library of the Asiatic Society of Paris.
Burnouf passed away on May 28, 1852.
V.A. Livshits. The Sogdian “Ancient Letters” (I, III) - 173
The Sogdian “Ancient Letters” are the letters written on Chinese paper found by Aurel Stein in 1907 in the ruins of the watchtower T. Xllla of the Great Chinese Wall. The tower was situated to the west of Dunhuang, near the Jasper Gates. The “Ancient Letters” are the earliest Sogdian handwritten texts. They are kept in the British Library, London, like other Sogdian documents found or purchased by A. Stein. The first letter was sent from Dunhuang and was dictated by Mewnay being addressed to her mother Chatis (Ctysh). The third letter was addressed to Nanaidat, the husband of Mewnay. The address of this letter is written by Shen (Syn), daughter of Mewnay and Nanaidat. The first letter is not dated, while the third letter was written on the third day of the tenth moon of Sogdian calendar, i.e. April 21, 313 or 314 A.D.
M. Shogaito. Uigur Fragment SI KR.IV 260 Preserved at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of RAS: the Uigur translation of Chinese “Qian Zi Wen”, “Thousand Character Essay” - 177
The article is dedicated to the study of the Uigur fragment recently discovered at the St. Petersburg Institute of Oriental Manuscripts. It was found that this fragment containing Uigur transcription, translation and comments of the Chinese “Qian zi weri” text forms one group with two other fragments from the same St. Petersburg collection.
These fragments are united by the method of translation into Uigur language when Chinese characters were read phonetically — this reading is given according to the Uigur inherited pronunciation of Chinese characters.
The investigation of this fragment allows the scholar to suppose that translation of the Chinese text into Uigur language was rendered by using the original Uigur word related to the concrete Chinese character corresponding to it.
A.F Trotsevich. Collections of Old Korean Books in the Asiatic Museum: Their History and Contents - 187
The main part of the manuscripts, block-prints and old-printed books kept at the Asiatic Museum was collected by Russian and European diplomats working in Korea at the end of the 19th century (Russian consul Pavel A. Dmitrevskij, British consul William G. Aston, German diplomat Paul G. von Mollendorff). Collections of Korean books appear in the Asiatic Museum at the beginning of the 20th century. The books deal mostly with the official sphere of life in Korea, i.e. administration, justice, state rituals, principles of relations with other countries, etc. A sufficient number of writings deals with history and geography. The Korean collections contain quite a number of manuscripts and block-prints of novels and stories written in Korean.
I.O. Volkova. Urdu Lithographs in the Library of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts - 200
The library of the Institute of Oriental manuscripts has a collection of about 1650 books printed in almost all the major languages of India. The Urdu part of Indian bookstock consists of 169 books. The most notable part of them consists of 98 lithographs. Its history goes back to the Asiatic Museum collection, which was formed by the prominent scholars. The earliest lithography in the library dates back to 1824 (the beginning of lithoprinting). It is prose translation of Rafi ad-Din's Qiyamat-namah. The other ones were printed in the late 19th century and the early 20th century. Some of these lithographs are described in this article.
K.M. Bogdanov. The Cartographic Collection Kept at the Manuscript Department of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts: Short Characteristics and Description - 211
This article is a general description of the Cartographic Collection, which is a part of the Manuscript Department of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts. The survey gives the history of the collection, and points out the most valuable maps and geographic atlases. It also presents the current condition and perspectives of the scientific research of the valuable cartographic documents.
Z.A. Yusupova. About Two Collections of Kurdish Manuscripts - 220
The article deals with Kurdish manuscript collections at St. Petersburg and Berlin. The items of the first collection were distributed between the National Library of Russia and the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies of Russian Academy of Sciences.
St. Petersburg's collection was based on manuscripts found by the famous Iranist and Kurdologist A.D. Jaba in Turkey in 1836-1969. 84 manuscripts mainly in the North Kurdish dialect (kurmanji) were systematized and described by the brilliant specialist in Kurdish medieval literature M.B. Rudenko. It was the first catalogue of Kurdish manuscripts in the world (published in 1961).
Berlin's collection numbers 92 items and includes manuscripts collected by A. Le Coq (1902-1903), O. Mann (1906-1907), A. Sachau (1879-1880) and others. These specimens of Kurdish written monuments are mainly in south dialects (gorani, awramani, kandulai, mukri, sulaimani, sorani). The catalogue of this collection compiled by the Iraqi scholar Kamal Fuad was published in 1970.
N.G. Safonova. V.F. Minorsky (1877-1966) and His Contribution to Kurdish Studies - 223
The article is devoted to Vladimir F. Minorsky (1877-1966)— a famous Orientalist of the 20th century, Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, Honorary Fellow of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Honorary Member of the Societe Asiatique of Paris, Doctor honoris causa of the University of Brussels, Honorary Member of the Deutsche Morgenlandische Gesellschaft — and his tremendous contribution to Kurdish studies, including works on geography, history, ethnography, religion, Kurdish dialects and literature.
E.S. Roussinova. The Letters of JJ. Senkowski to the First Director of the Asiatic Museum Academician Ch.M. Frähn - 229
This publication deals with the letters of the famous orientalist J.J. Senkowski (1800-1856) addressed to the first director of the Asiatic Museum in St. Petersburg (founded in 1818) Academician Ch.M. Frähn (1782-1851). These letters are kept in the Archive of the Academy of Sciences of Russia (St. Petersburg branch). They are written in French and dated from 1823 till 1847. The subject deals with different problems of the history of Near Eastern countries, numismatics, manuscripts, Oriental languages and so on. The letters are of great value to the history of Oriental studies in Russia, they reveal a wide range of interests that connected the two scholars and show their mutual respect and friendly atmosphere in which they worked.
H. Walravens. Letters of A. Schiefner about V.P. Vassil'ev - 251
From the beginning
The St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences had many members of German extraction like Wilhelm Radloff (1837-1918), Wilhelm Barthold (1869-1930) and S.F.Oldenburg (1863-1934) to quote just a few well-known names. Another scholar seems less known — in spite of the fact that he did ground-breaking research, published prolifically and promoted Russian scholarship abroad: Anton Schiefner4 (1817-1879) who served as a curator of the 2nd Section of the Academic Library (since 1848), adjunct for Tibetan (since 1852), and Academician extraordinary (since 1854). From 1856-1878, he was also director of the Ethnological Museum and, in 1860-1879, head of the 2nd section of the Academic Library. There is an entry in the Russian Biographical Dictionary but Schiefner's name is only briefly mentioned in historical works — usually listing some of his publications but without giving much further information. There is no reference to Schiefner's papers in Cuguevskij's useful bibliography in spite of the fact that the Academy should have materials on such a prominent and industrious member in its archives…
G.Ch. Kaplan. Letters from Friedrich Delitzsch Addressed to Oscar E. Lemm - 265
The archives of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy the Sciences (St. Petersburg) keep 14 letters of the great German Assyriologist Friedrich Delitzsch (1850-1922) and one letter of Hermann Delitzsch (his brother?) addressed to the outstanding Russian Egyptologist and Coptologist Oscar E. Lemm (1856-1918), who was Fr. Delitzsch's student in Assyriology and became the first lecturer of Akkadian in Russia in the academic year of 1891-1892 (St. Petersburg University).
These private friendly letters are dated 1880-1906. Fr. Delitzsch expressed evident interest in Russian Assyriology. His “Assyrische Lesestücke” and “Assyrische Grammatik” were first manuals for several generations of Russian Assyriologists.
T.V. Yermakova. Annual Scientific Conference at the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS, December 10-12, 2007 - 271
Ye.P. Ostrovskaya. The First Oriental Readings in Memory of O.O. Rosenberg. St. Petersburg, November 13-14, 2007 - 273
N.S. Yakhontova. The 80th Anniversary of S.G. Klyashtorny - 275
Bolor-un gerel — Kristályfény — Crystal Splendour. Tanulmányok Kara György professzor 70. születésnapjának tiszteletére. Essays presented in honour of Professor Kara György's 70th birthday, I—II (by A.Sárkozi) - 277
Sagoromo monogatari. Takamura monogatari. Introduction, Translation from Japanese, Commentaries by V.I. Sisauri (by K.G. Marandjan) - 279
Serikoff N. Arabic Medical Manuscripts of the Wellcome Library. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Haddad Collection (WMS Arabic 401-487) (by Val. V. Polosin) - 281
History of the Ottoman State, Society and Civilization. Vol. 1-2. (by Yu.A. Petrosyan) - 283
Livshits V.A. Sogdian Epigraphic Monuments of Central Asia and the Seven Rivers Region (Semirechye) (by M.I. Vorobyova-Desyatovskaya) - 285