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WMO 1(10), 2009 Print E-mail



of the orient




Journal based in 2004

Issued twice a year


Table of Contents as a *.PDF file


A.L. Khosroyev. The Gospel of Judas (Codex Tchacos: p. 33-58). Introduction, translation, comments - 5


The article presents the first Russian translation of the recently discovered (in 2007) Coptic text The Gospel of Judas (Codex Tchacos: p. 33-58). The text of this document throws a new light on the history of Early Christianity and Early Christian literature. The Russian translation is followed by detailed scholarly commentary.


Yu.A. Ioannesyan. History of the Martyrdom of Haji Muhammad Rida Isfahani in Ashkhabad (translation) - 34
The History translated from Persian gives an account of Haji Muhammad Rida Isfahani's martyrdom, which took place in Ashkhabad on September 8, 1889. The martyr, murdered by Shi'ih fanatics, belonged to the local Baha'i community the first completely organized Baha'i community outside of Iran from the administrative and institutionary standpoints. The author of the History — a prominent Baha'i scholar, Mirza Abu-1-Fadl Gulpaygani, was an eye-witness of the events related to the ruthless murder and its subsequent developments. The events played a significant role in the history of the emerging new religion: not only for the first time since its inception were its followers treated justly and their victimizers punished but also the Baha'i Faith was legally recognized as an independent religion during the court hearing. The murder received much publicity also due to the fact that the local Baha'i community appealed to the Russian authorities to mitigate the penalty of the murderers. Their intercession, though causing much surprise, was granted. The above translation is done from a manuscript (probably Gulpaygani's autograph) found among Baron V.R. Rosen's materials in the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg.

E.N. Tyomkin. Some Considerations concerning the Structure of the Mahabharata’s Text - 59
Translators and researches of the Mahabharata regard it primarily as an epic and interpret this title as The Story of the Great Battle of Bharata's Descendants. More often than not the title is left untranslated and is given in transliteration. If we try to translate the name Mahabharata literally, we will not be able to find any “battle” or “descendants” in it. However, the ancient Indians saw some special sense in the story's title; it was extremely popular, and they continued to recite or sing it for at least ten centuries.
Nobody was able to keep in mind the entire enormous text of the Mahabharata . That is why it was divided into parts, and a singer could sing one of these during the whole day. The Mahabharata is composed of distichs each of which contains 32 syllables. The Mahabharata knows no rhyme as such. The distichs were originally based on rhythm. The oral distribution of the epic involving a huge number of singers, each with his own manner of reciting, has inevitably lead to numerous different interpretations, improvisations and additions. This resulted in different redactions (notably the northern redaction and the southern one).
Sanskrit is a language abounding in complicated words of various types. For instance, the title itself, Mahabharata may be interpreted as a composite word of the karmadharya type. If this is the case, then it can be translated as “A Great Bharata”. Regarding the title as a bahuvrihi construction, we will be obliged to add one determining word to it: “a tale (of)”. In this case, the Mahabharata can be translated to A Tale of/about (the) Great Bharata — that is A Tale of Great India. As we can see, not much of the epic's text is devoted to battles. It mostly deals with ideology, politics and legal matters. Scholars often call the Mahabharata an “encyclopedia of ancient India”.
According to P. Grintzer, a Moscow expert on Indian literature, the Mahabharata transformed over the period of a thousand years from a heroic tale into a didactic work.
Archaeological finds establish that the earliest extant text of the Mahabharata dates back to the 1st century A.D. We must also remember that certain texts of the Mahabharata refer to themselves as itihasa and akhyana.

A.P. Terentiev-Katansky. Music in the Tangut State (Publication and commentary by V.P. Zaitsev) - 63
The article deals with the role of music in the Tangut state Xi Xia and describes various musical instruments, which are depicted on Tangut murals, in manuscripts and blockprints. The author refers to the Tangut language dictionaries and explains the way of presenting Tangut musical notes which were used during ceremonies.

L.V. Goriaeva. On True and False Sources of the Malay Mirror “The Crown of the Kings” (Bukhari al-Jauhari, al-Ghazali and Others) - 76
The didactic treatise Taj as-Salatin (The Crown of the Kings) dated 1603 is the first and the most important Malay composition in the Mirror-for-princes genre, written upon the patterns of Arab and Persian Muslim adab works. Its author, of whom only the name — Bukhari al-Jauhari is known, refers to about fifty works he used as sources while writing his book - from the Torah and the Quran to hadilhs, Arab and Persian works on ethics, history, medicine and didactics. However, almost all of them turned out to be not authentic. The basic source used by Bukhari was the famous mirror by al-Ghazali - Nasihat al-Muluk (The Book of Counsel for Kings), together with such works by al-Ghazali contemporaries as 'Aqaid (The Creed of Islam) by Najm ad-Din an-Nasafi and Siraj al-Muluk (The Light of Kings) by Muhammad ibn Walid at-Turtushi.


J.L. Kroll. Yang Xiong’s Idea about Sima Qian’s “Love for the Strange” and the Non-Confucian Personality in the ‘Shiji’ - 99
The article deals with non-Confucian components of the Shiji. Kroll attempts to interpret the statement that Sima Qian had a great love for the strange (ai qi) not as a hint at his “having a novelist's feeling for a good story”, but as a formula describing one of the aspects of the historian's world outlook. According to Kroll's hypothesis, “the strange” (qi) is a Weltanschauung category of a non-Confucian world outlook. Proceeding from it, he brings to light an impressive group of biographies of non-Confucian personalities in the Shiji held in esteem by Sima Qian.

I.S. Gurevich. “The ‘Pinghua’ on How King Wu Defeated Zhou” and the Novel “Investiture of the Gods” (Preliminary Hypothesis) - 131
The paper proposed is considered the first step to investigate the problem of comparing grammatical structures of texts identical in topic but different in genre and epoch.
In the paper under discussion, appropriate fragments of two texts, The Pinghua on How King Wu Defeated Zhou (14lh century) and the novel Investiture of the Gods (16th century), arc examined, keeping in mind the relationship between the two as the novel is based on the 14th century pinghua.
The data received clearly shows that the grammatical structure of the novel contains much more function words and constructions of the early baihua than the text of the pinghua where they occur in few rare cases.

Daniel Struve. Aux sources du conte marchand d’Ihara Saikaku - 142

L'article se penche sur la question du rapport entre les romans d'Ihara Saikaku et les Heures oisives (Tsurezuregusa) de Kenkô hôshi. Si les allusions aux Heures oisives dans les ouvrages de Saikaku ou leur influence sur le plan des idées ont été largement étudiés par la critique, il y a souvent une réticence chez les chercheurs à pousser le rapprochement au-delà et à traiter cette question autrement que dans le cadre de la critique des sources. Le présent article essaie de montrer que le rapprochement avec les Heures oisives peut aider à une meilleure compréhension de l'univers romanesque de Saikaku et qu'il peut constituer une clef pour situer son œuvre dans le contexte littéraire de son époque.

D.A. Bratkin. The Earliest Roman Forensic Protocol Reconsidered - 149
Following R. Coles scholars now generally assume that P. Oxy. 37 (AD 49) is “the earlieast dated and clearly documentary example of proceedings in Oratio Recta” (Coles, 1966, p. 9). However, List of Reports of Proceedings in Chronological Order compiled by Coles has no entries for the documents quoted as precedent cases by later petitioners and litigants. If one considers this group of sources, it would turn out that protocol quoted in SB VI 9016 1.5-9 dates back to AD 48 and thus precedes P. Oxy. 37. As it manifests the same Oratio Recta style, it should be considered the earliest example of typically Roman form, which therefore must have originated earlier.

I.I. Nadirov. Esoteric and Exoteric Aspects of the Semitic ‘klb’ - 152
In the concise survey of several Phoenician and many Aramaic texts from Palmyra, Hatra and Na-bataea as well as from some other sources of the ancient Near East, the author shows that the word kalb was primarily and widely known as denoting a temple prostitute, and later a humble servant of a temple and its corresponding deity. Besides, the Palmyrenian and Hatran inscriptions and tesserae reveal that there, from the 1 st cent. AD on, the beliefs in chthonic deities and entities included the dog as one of them. Mesopotamian Nergal was called kalba at Hatra and sometimes was presented as Heracles, while this identity may be testified at Palmyra and among the Mandaeans as well. The Ha-trenians knew the Hellenic Kerberos and sculptured it in their bas-relieves. Some other cases connected with the role of the dog among the ancient Semites are discussed either.

I.T. Kaneva. Question of Quality in Sumerian - 161
There are no adjectival interrogative pronouns 'which', 'what', 'whose', etc. in the Sumerian language. Questions of quality are rendered in the Sumerian language differently. First of all, they are rendered with the help of the animate interrogative pronoun aba (‘who?’) and inanimate interrogative pronoun ana (‘what?’).
Depending on their syntactical function, these pronouns may obtain the following meanings:
- in the attributive function they act as interrogative pronoun ‘which?’;
- in the function of nominal part of predicate, they act as interrogative pronoun ‘what?’;
- in the attributive function or in the function of nominal part of predicate, aba in genitive acts as interrogative pronoun ‘whose?’;
- in the function of adverbial modifier, ana acts as interrogative adverb ‘how much?’.
Furthermore, questions of quality may be rendered by means of two more constructions:
- nam-guio (‘what is it to me?’);
- na-me, which is translated into Akkadian as ajju(m) (‘which?’).
The position of interrogative pronouns in the function of attribute and adverbial modifier corresponds to the basic word order in the Sumcrian language. The position of interrogative pronouns in the function of predicate may either correspond to the basic word order (then they are located at the end of sentence) or violate it (then they are located at the beginning of sentence).

M.S. Pelevin. Crime and Punishment in Sa‘dī's ‘Gulistān’ - 168
The article examines some legal cases and various procedural aspects related to Islamic penal law (‘ukūbāt, mudjāzāt) as they arc interpreted in the homiletic and entertaining stories of Sa‘dī’s Gulistān (1258), the medieval Persian classics. The facts collected and discussed in the article show that the author touched upon almost all the types of offences and penalties covered by hudūd, kisās and ta‘zīr regulations. Sa‘dī’s obvious inclination to shift the balance of judicial power in favour of administrative authorities rather than traditional kādī jurisdiction reflects historical realities in the functioning of Islamic penal procedure, as well as the author's personal views on absolute priority of Divine justice over human courts even of religious nature.


A.В. Kudelin. Correspondence between Muhammad ‘Abdu and Leo Tolstoy (to the History of Russian-Arabic Cultural Relations in the Beginning of the 19lh c.) - 181
To these days, the history of Russian-Arabic cultural relations in the beginning of the 19л с. has never been an object of special scholarly interest either in Russia, or abroad. The article offers a publication of letters between two outstanding figures of Russia and Egypt in that time — the chief mufti of Egypt Mukhammad 'Abdu and Leo Tolstoy.

A.I. Osmanov, Sh.Sh. Shikhaliev. Written Monumentsof the Orient in the Collection of the Manuscript Department of the HAEI, Dagestan Scientific Center, RAS - 189

The Manuscript Fund of the History, Archeology and Ethnology Institute is the largest collection of Oriental manuscripts, old-printed books and archival documents in Arabic, Turkish and Persian languages in the North Caucasus. These documents concern history and culture of Muslim peoples of the Caucasus, the Volga basin, Middle Asia and Near Eastern countries.
There are more than three thousand manuscripts written in different time in Muslim East countries: Syria, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, regions of Middle Asia. There are also more than 1500 old-printed books in Eastern and Daghestani languages published in Istanbul, Cairo, Tehran, Kazan, Bakhchisaray, Port-Petrovsk, Temir-Khan-Shura and nearly six thousand letters, three hundred microfilms, xerox copies and pictures of rare books from Russian and foreign library collections. The manuscript materials cover the period of nearly thousand years (from 1009 to 1930 A.D.). Among them are grammars, vocabularies, fiction, Muslim juridical literature, history, logic, ethics, astronomy, medical literature, some brief writings and texts in Daghestani languages written in Arabic graphics. There are also epistolary genre memorials and statement materials (correspondence of village communities, purchasing statements, edicts and resolutions, official correspondence of the Daghestani province), the earliest of them date back to the 14th-15th centuries.

Yu.A. Petrosyan. The “Vostochnaya Literature” Publishing House and Its Role in the Development of Oriental Textual Studies at the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies (Academy of Sciences of the USSR) in the 1960s-1980s -197
The paper deals with the collaboration of the specialists in Oriental text studies of the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies with the team of the Vostochnaya Literatura Publishing House editors, which took place in the period of the 70 -80s of the 20th century. The author shows a special character and an exclusive efficiency of this cooperation of researches with the highly qualified group of the Publishing House editors in the sphere of publishing unique manuscripts of Ancient and Medieval Eastern authors.

S.M. Iakerson. The Unknown Copy of a Hebrew Incunabulum in the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts Collection. Supplementum to the Catalogue of Hebrew Incunabula in the Library of the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Soviet Academy of Sciences (L., 1985) - 204
This publication introduces a newly discovered copy of the first edition of the treatise Sefer ha-‘Ikkarim (The Book of Principles [of Faith]) by Joseph Albo (printed in Soncino in 1485) into the scholarly world. This first printed book found its way into the Institute as part of the Karaite manuscripts collection from the Crimea in 1931. It was bound along with three handwritten books and was preserved in the Institute's Manuscript Department. The article deals with the scholarly description of the above copy and its significance for the study of the Hebrew book culture as well as with interrelationship between the mainstream Judaism and the Karaites.


Zuckerman I.I.; Ziperovich I.E.; Petrov N.A.; Tikhonov D.I.; Gorbacheva Z.I.; Stein V.M.; Petrushevsky I.P.; Kolokolov V.S.- 211


Yu.A. Petrosyan. A.D. Novichev (1902-1987) and His Contribution into Russian Osmanic Studies - 225

I.F. Popova. Exhibition “Caves of a Thousand Buddhas”, the State Hermitage Museum, December 9, 2008 — April 5, 2009 - 229

T.V. Yermakova. About the Jubilee Session of the IOM RAS - 233

A.V. Zorin. The Peking Seminar on Tibetology, 2008 - 236

A.I. Kolesnikov, A.A. Hismatulin. Jubilee of Oleg Fyodorovich Akimushkin - 238


Abdullaeva F., Melville Ch. The Persian Book of Kings: Ibrahim Sultan's Shahnama (by В.V. Norik) - 241

Japan and Russia: Three Centuries of Mutual Images. Ed. by Yulia Mikhailova and M. William Steele (by N.A. Samoilov) - 243

O.M. Chunakova. A Reader in Avestan; O.M. Chunakova. A Reader in Old Persian (by Z.A. Yusupova) - 245

A.F. Trotsevich, A.A. Guryeva. Description of Manuscripts and Block-prints of Korean Traditional Culture. Issue I: Korean Manuscripts and Blockprints in the Keeping of the Collection of Chinese Blockprints in the Library of the Faculty for Oriental Studies, St. Petersburg State University (by T.A. Pang) - 247

Russian Expeditions to Central Asia at the Turn of the 20th Century. Collected articles / Ed. by I.F. Popova (by T.A. Pang) - 248

T.A. Pang. Manchu Written Monuments as a Source for the History and Culture of the Qing Empire in the 17th-18lh cc. (by A.M. Reshetov) - 250

Asiatische Studien. Études Asiatiques, LXII-3-2008, Zeitschrift der Schweizerischen Asiengesellschaft, Revue de la Société Suisse — Asie. Documentary Letters from the Middle East: The Evidence in Greek, Coptic, South Arabian, Pehlevi, and Arabic (lst-15th CE). Ed. by Mira Grob E., Kaplony A. (by Sh. Kamoliddin) - 251

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