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WMO 2(19), 2013 Print E-mail

of the Orient
2 (19)
Autumn-Winter 2013

Journal based in 2004
Issued twice a year

Selected Materials as a *.PDF file


Hilyat al-kuttab (A Talisman for Katibs): Secrets of Medieval Katib’s Practical Skills (Introduction, Translation from Persian into Russian and Commentary by B.V. Norik) — 5
The contribution is dedicated to a rather interesting source on the history of medieval bookmaking, Hilyat al-kuttab. Being a chapter in a larger tract, Majmu‘at al-sanaye‘, Hilyat al-kuttab gives an essential minimum of practical knowledge for copyists (katibs). The greater part of the contribution is a translation of Hilyat al-kuttab into Russian.

The “Divan” of Cefayî, the Kurdish Poet of the 19th-20th Centuries (Transcription, Examples, Ghazals by Z.A. Yusupova) — 18
The article presents the text of The “Divan” of Cefayî in transcription and a Russian translation of 13 ghazals. The special value of the “Divan” consists in the fact that this is one of the latest sources written in the dialect of Gorani and its language contains certain features different from the Gorani of the 18th-19th centuries’ literary works previously studied by the present author.

Ritual Funeral Text from the Tangut Collection of the IOM, RAS (Introduction and Translation from the Tangut Language by K.M. Bogdanov) — 44
This article is a translation and short textual study of an unidentified Tangut text from the IOM, RAS, collection. This small manuscript fragment is not in existing catalogues of this collection. Because of its type of binding and legible handwriting it attracted attention during the later stage of cataloguing work with this collection that was being performed over the last few years. Though it is merely a small fragment of text, it contains the specific traits of ancient lamaic funeral ritual that allows comparing it with similar religious and cultural traditions of the same and later periods of history in Central Asia. As a comprehensible text in Tangut language, it provides additional facts and data about the religious and cultural everyday life of Tanguts in the period of Xi-Xia.


A.L. Khosroyev. Once More on the NäPot (Gospel of Judas 33. 18-21) — 56
The paper deals with the interpretation of a dark word which one finds at the beginning of the GospJud. The author, on the basis of the vast collection of examples from the early Christian texts, argues that the word means a “phantom, apparition” and is very important for the understanding of the theological concept (that is docetism) underlying the writing.

R.V. Kim. Logia in the Synoptic Gospels. Defining the Problem — 62
This article considers two sayings of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels. The aim of this research is to find parallels of these sayings in the Jewish and Hellenistic environments, so that it would not only help to understand Jesus’ sayings better, but would also demonstrate how much they are rooted in their contexts. The two sayings taken for analysis are Mt 11,7/Lc 7,24 and Mt 11,16-19/Lc 7,31-35. In the first passage we concentrated on the words of Jesus as he talked to the people about John the Baptist. Two rhetorical questions were especially taken into consideration: “Did you go out into the wilderness to look at a reed shaken by the wind? Or a man dressed in soft clothing?” It was noticed that the first question could have some echoes in popular Hellenistic wisdom sayings and specific expectations of Jews at the time. There is also a probability that Jesus was referring to Herod Antipas in this speech. The second saying is a parable about children in a marketplace. Some interpretations with different tertium comparationis were examined. As a result, it was also noticed that there were connotations in both Hellenistic and Jewish contexts. The author is inclined to accept the interpretation which suggests, instead of looking for specific identities behind the children in the parable, seeing the parable as a reproach about missed time (καιρός).

Alexander B. Kudelin. The “Collective Isnad” as the Composition Factor in The Life of the Prophet by Ibn Isḥāq - Ibn Hishām — 75
It was in Al-sīra al-nabawiyya that Ibn Isḥāq — first among the Muslim scholars - pieced together the discrete narrative traditions (ḥadiths) related to the life of Muhammad. The Ibn Isḥāq’s key narrative technique was the so-called “collective isnad”. By putting together the isnads from separate ḥadiths into collective isnads, and by compiling the edited informational components (matns) of these traditions into summary accounts, he has shaped certain narrative structures. Thereby, Ibn Isḥāq paved the way for future affirmation of the principles of narrative coherence in Medieval Arab historiography.

M.M. Yunusov. From the Нistory of the Decipherment of West Semitic Writing: Events and People. (I) Palmyra Texts in Rome in the 16th Century: The Cardinals-Patrons of the Arts and Scholars-Antiquarians — 100
This essay examines the earliest history of one Palmyrian (of the two) text on a marble relief published in Gruter’s Inscriptionum Romanarum in 1616 (Pl. LXXXVI). In the middle of the 16th century that relief was preserved in the private collection of cardinal di Carpi and attracted much attention of some famous scholars and antiquarians. We present here several instunces of visiting Carpi’s collection by foreign scholars in order to highlight the first stages, the “pre-History”, of deciphering Semitic writing in Europe.

M.Ye. Kravtsova. On the Semantics of the Title of Liu Xie’s Wenxindiaolong Treatise — 126
The article is focused on discussing the title of the outstanding piece of the Chinese literary thought. Despite huge number of studies on the treatise, semantics of its title remains a subject of scholarly debate, what is clearly indicated by a variety of its Russian and European renditions. Trying to go from the Liu Xie’s remarks on the item, the author agues the semantic polyphony of the title’s forming terminology and proposes a new to the domestic sinology its conversion option.

I.S. Gurevich. “The Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch”: Resources of the Grammatical Stylistics — 137
The text of the “Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch” is analysed from the point of grammatical stylistics. The result has shown the main resources of grammatical stylistics like inversion, anaphora, epiphora, etc., are used in different frequency.

S.L. Neveleva. The Old Indian Epic Mahābhārata: The Specifics of Its Contents — 148
Epic poetry, as it represented by the Mahābhārata, belongs, according to its genesis, to oral folklore tradition. The article deals with the modern scientific views of the different aspects of the epic contents. The problems connect, for the most part, with the prolonged oral existence and the origin of the main epic motifs, which can be traced to the archaic ritual. As a result of typological comparison of the Mahābhārata with other epic monuments and folklore genres, examination of the different aspects of the epic contents led the modern scientists to the important conclusions on the major trends in the field of the evolution of epic ideas. According to Ya.V. Vassilkov, there are three “mixed” strata of the epic material: archaic, classical-heroic and later, religious-philosophical.


Ashirbek Muminov. Manuscripts of “Kata’ib A‘lam al-Akhyar”: New Materials for the Biography and Activity of Mahmud ibn Sulayman al-Kafawi — 159
Among the compilers of more than 30 works in the genre of historical and biographical literature “Tabaqat al-hanafiya”, Mahmud ibn Sulayman al-Kafawi holds a special place. He was the first to use productive approach, collecting and organizing the chains of transmitters of traditions in the school (‘an‘ana, silsila, isnad) to show the historical evolution of the Hanafite madhhab. This valuable source, “Kata’ib A‘lam al-Akhyar”, has not been published. We decided to revise the old views concerning the activity of al-Kafawi on the compiling and editing his work. The following new sources were detected and processed: 50 copies of the work by al-Kafawi, preserved in Turkey, Europe and Central Asia. These copies of Kata’ib were important for our discovery of the three sources for al-Kafavi’s biography. Their data made it possible to establish that the work of al-Kafavi on the compiling of “Kata’ib A‘lam al-Akhyar” consisted of two phases: 1) preparation of the book (jam‘, ta’lif) was done by al-Kafawi in 983-985 A.H.; and 2) editing (tahrir) was made by his pupil Muslih al-Din Mustafa ibn al-Hasan al-‘Arifi al-Sinubi (d. 1018/1609-10) in 985-987 A.H. From the editor’s work we can see his tendency towards Sufism. This has allowed us to conclude that al-Kafawi was a Faqih, rather than a Sufi, and the accuracy of the submitted information on the part of the Hanafite Fiqh is not in doubt.

F.O. Nofal. The Problem of “Confessional” Qur’anic Textology: Between “the Word” and “the Method of Recitation” — 177
The problem of correlation between the terms “the word” and “the method of recitation” in Islamic “sciences of Qur’an” is analyzed in the article. The author also tries to recover the history of Qur’anic text before its edition by caliph Uthman.

M.S. Pelevin. Toponyms and Localization of Action in an Afghan Tribal Chronicle (the 17th-18th Centuries) — 182
The insufficiently studied text of the Khatak tribal chronicle which is a part of the historiographic work Tārīkh-i muraṣṣa‘ (“An Ornamented History”) by Afḍal Khān Khaṯak (d. circa 1740/41) abounds in local toponyms. This may be explained by a number of interrelated reasons including general attitude of the Pashtun tribal society towards the land as a main life-support source, political and legal ideology of Pashtun tribal rulers, sentiments of local patriotism, specific narration stylistics of the chronicle. Toponyms help one trace the waves and chronology of tribal migrations and delineate the territory of the Khaṯak tribe in the 17th-18th centuries. The scale of the chronicle’s geographical map regularly changes depending on the genre characteristics of narration: it reduces in passages with historiographic accounts and strongly increases in records which have the traits of personal diaries and memoirs.

I.N. Medvedskaya. A Spearman from Sialk: Rectangular Shields in the Ancient Near East — 192
The article focuses on the rectangular shields depicted on Ancient Near Eastern reliefs and painted objects of the second and the beginning of the first millennium B.C. The main aspect of the article are rectangular weaved shields indicated by the brick-work pattern on the reliefs or by the chess-board on the painting. At the beginning of the first millennium B.C., if we are to judge from Assyrian reliefs, the rectangular weaved shields were used only in the countries of Ancient Iran. Comparison of these shields depicted on the Sargon II’s reliefs, and painted on the Greek Geometric pottery and on the vessel from Sialk B (Iran) confirms the dating of the painting pottery from Necropole Sialk B to the 2nd half of the 8th century B.C., as was suggested by the author earlier.

Zhang Huiming. Une interprétation de la peinture du Wutaishantu de la grotte 61 d’après le manuscrit «Éloge du Wutaishan» — 203
Du IXе au Xе siecle la representation du mont Wutai devient l’iconographie la plus connue et la plus importante de Manjuśrī en Chine et dans la zone culturelle chinoise de l’Asie. Dans les grottes de Dunhuang, a partir du Xе siecle, la plus celebre peinture murale de la representation du mont Wutai (Wutaishantu) est celle de la grotte 61 de Mogao. Les images de cette representation sont relatives a des manuscrits d’eloges et de voyages concernant le culte du mont Wutai. On cherchera ici a interpreter cette representation principalement d’apres l’eloge du mont Wutai qui se trouve dans les manuscrits de Dunhuang, dans le cadre du pelerinage tres populaire au Wutaishan. On montrera que certaines images de cette representation avec cartouches constituent des symboles iconographiques indiquant les contenus bouddhiques du culte du mont Wutai. Mots cles: Manjuśrī, Dunhuang, peinture murale, Mogao, Wutaishan, Buddhisme.


S.M. Iakerson. The Hebrew Medieval Book in the Shape of a Scroll: On the Problem of Its Scholarly Study — 233
This article raises the question of developing certain criteria for scientific description of Hebrew medieval scrolls as an inseparable part of written culture in general. It describes the types of scrolls used in medieval Jewish society and outlines the main directions of their future research.

Hartmut Walravens. Wilhelm Grube’s Acquisition of Japanese Texts (1897-1898) — 240
Wilhelm Grube (1855-1908) was born in St. Petersburg and received his education at the well-known gymnasium of Karl May. He then studied Chinese, Manchu, Mongolian, and Tibetan under V.P. Vasil’ev and Anton Schiefner but took his doctorate under Georg von der Gabelentz in Leipzig. After one year as curator at the Asiatic Museum he moved to Berlin as curator at the newly established ethnological museum and also became professor at the university. Grube went on a trip to East Asia in 1896-1897, and en route to China he briefly visited Japan, altogether probably not much more than one month. Going through the cardfile of Grube’s private library, it turns out that he bought a good number of Japanese books - in spite of the fact that he had not studied Japanese in St. Petersburg (which was not offered there at that time). The paper identifies and discusses his acquisitions consisting mostly of works of literature, not history, ethnology, or linguistics as one would assume. It is mainly novels and drama (jôruri), and many books are in good old editions which are rare and precious today. This also provides an impression of the book market in Japan during the Meiji period, as Grube hardly spent a lot of money on these works. So one is impressed by his good taste and deplores the fact that only few specimens have survived the bombing of Leipzig.

Peng Xian-qian, Yu.S. Mylnikova. The Tangut Studies in China in the Beginning of the 21st Century — 257
Chinese scholars have made a great work of cataloguing, organizing, transcribing, annotating and publishing Tangut manuscripts, along with the study of individual texts. China continues to play a leading role in the 100-year-old branch of learning in the new millennium. This article reviews new trends in Tangut studies in China in the 21st century in three aspects: publication of Tangut manuscripts, methods of translation and interpretation of Tangut texts, history of Xi Xia.


M.M. Yunusov. The Conference in Memory of O.D. Berlev — 266

I.F. Popova. “Sergey Fedorovich Oldenburg: Scholar and Academic Research Organizer”. International Conference Devoted to the 150th Anniversary of Academician S.F. Oldenburg — 271

I.V. Bazilenko. International Conference “Middle East in the Second World War” Devoted to the 70th Anniversary of the Tehran Conference (28.11.1943-01.12.1943) — 276

D.A. Nosov. The International Congress “Folklore of the Mongolian Peoples: Historical Reality” — 279

M.A. Redina. The Conference in Honor of the 85th Anniversary of Prof. M.A. Dandamaev, Correspondent Member of the RAS — 282

A.V. Zorin, A.A. Sizova. The 2nd St. Petersburg Tibetological Readings — 284

A.I. Kolesnikov, O.A. Vodneva, Z.A. Yusupova. The International Conference “Readings in Memory of V.F. Minorsky (1877-1966): History and Historiography of the Near and Middle East” — 287

I.V. Kulganek. The 13th International Practical-Research Conference “The Roerich Heritage” — 292

I.V. Bazilenko. The Scientific Conference “The 400th Anniversary of the Romanov House” — 295

K.G. Marandjan. The International Conference “Asia and Japanese Identity” — 300

Т.V. Ermakova, E.P. Ostrovskaya. The 7th All-Russian Oriental Conference in Memory of O.O. Rozenberg — 303

S.L. Burmistrov. The 30th Conference on Comparative Philosophy “Comparative History of Philosophy as Scientific Knowledge and Artistic Work” — 306


Science and Buddhism: Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference (Ulan-Ude-Baikal, July 6-8, 2012). Ed. by B.V. Bazarov. Ulan-Ude, Buryat University, 2012. - 304 pp. (I.V. Kulganek) — 310

Mongolica-X. Collected Papers. Ed. by I.V. Kulganek, L.G. Skorodumova, N.S. Yakhontova. St. Petersburg, Peterburgskoe Vostokovedenie, 2013. 144 pp. (М.P. Petrova) — 313

Michail Rodionov, Hanne Schönig. The Hadramawt Documents, 1904-51: Family Life and Social Customs under the Last Sultans. Beirut, Ergon Verlag Würzburg, 2011. 342 pр. (Beiruter Texte und Studien. Hrsg. vom Orient-Institut Beirut. Bd 130) (I.V. Gerasimov, O.B. Frolova) — 315

A.I. Kolesnikov. Sasanian Iran: History and Culture. St. Petersburg, Nestor-Istoriya, 2012. - 520 pp. (Yu.A. Ioannesyan) — 319


Aleksandr Stepanovich Martynov (02.10.1933-15.12.2013) (I.F. Popova) — 322

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