of the Orient
Issued twice a year
The entire issue as a *.PDF file
Irina Popova. A Dunhuang Document on the Division of Property from the Serindia Fund of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, RAS – 4
Abstract: The article is devoted to the study of a document on the division of property— SI O14 (1) from the Serindian Fund of the IOM RAS which, despite its fragmentary nature, provides information of a legal and social character relating to everyday life in a district centre on the borders of the mediaeval Chinese Empire. The document reflects the legal practice in China under the Tang dynasty.
Key words: Dunhuang, Serindian Fund, official and legal documents, division of Property
Peter Zieme. Fragments of the Old Uighur Maitrisimit nom bitig in St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Berlin – 14
Abstract: The author examines some small Old Uighur fragments belonging to three collections of Turfan texts that provide parallels to passages of the extant full versions of the Maitrisimit nom bitig, an important Buddhist text on the coming of the future Buddha Maitreya known only from Tocharian and its Old Uighur translation.
Key words: Turfan, Maitreya, Maitrisimit, Old Uighur literature, Old Uighur texts
Olga Chunakova. Pahlavi Epistolary Formulae - 32
Abstract: The paper focuses on the Pahlavi text dealing with the correct way to write letters published in: JAMASP-ASANA (ed.) 1913, 132–140. The text contains a series of formulae to be used in letters to various persons. The reading and interpretation of the formulae were translated differently by previous scholars. The key to the understanding of these formulae is the opposition of two terms—xwadāy and bandag—meaning the addressee and the sender of a letter. The constructions with an attribute compound and its synonym, and a determinative compound and its synonym following these two terms refer to the addressee and the sender respectively.
Key words: Pahlavi, Pahlavi literature, Pahlavi manual of writing letters
Aliy Kolesnikov. The Zoroastrian Manuscript in the Collection of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, RAS (Short Reference and Structure) – 38
Abstract: The article introduces unique Persian manuscripts in the collection of the IOM, RAS specially devoted to Zoroastrian matters. In short Zoroastrian scriptures composed in New Persian during the 12th–17th centuries, were not literal translations from the Pahlavi, but free interpretations of the old sources, adapted to the changing circumstances of life.
Key words: Zoroastrian manuscripts, colophon, rivayat, Pahlavi, New Persian, dastur, mobad, xerbad
Vladimir Ivanov. The Exegesis of Kṣemarāja on the Vijnānabhairava-tantra: Observations on the Śiva-Devī Tantric Dialogue – 48
Abstract: The paper presents some observations on the nature of the Devī-Śiva dialogue in the famous Vijnānabhairava-tantra based on the interpretation of it given by Kṣemarāja in the extant portion of his Uddyota commentary on the text, especially in the initial passages of that commentary. Kṣemarāja interprets the traditional tantric dialogical form as a mystery of Parā, the Supreme Speech-Goddess, in which She generates the process of ‘bringing down’ the sacred text—the tantra—thus embodying the highest truth about the Supreme. The paper contains translations of some important places in Kùemarāja’s commentary that have not been thoroughly studied yet.
Key words: tantric dialogue, Vijnānabhairava-tantra, Kṣemarāja, Parādvaita, Kashmir Shaivism
Evgenii Kychanov. Tangut Documents from Khara-Khoto concerning Loans of Grain (Translated and Edited by Kirill Solonin) – 57
Abstract: Three documents presented in this paper are devoted to the borrowing of grain in the spring and its repayment in the summer. The interest rate of the loans was 50%; under the terms, if the loan was not returned in time the amount to be repaid doubled. The Tangut documents display a similarity to the loan regulations known from the Dunhuang area. Under Tibetan rule, the loans were interest free, but in the event of failure to repay the total amount of the loan doubled. The Chinese documents from Dunhuang indicate that the interest rate on grain loans was 50%.
Key words: Tangut economic documents, Khara-Khoto, Dunhuang, grain loans
Kirill Alekseev, Anna Turanskaya, Natalia Yampolskaya. The First Mongolian Manuscript in Germany Reconsidered – 67
Abstract: In 1979, Walther Heissig published an article describing two manuscript folios kept at the Herzog August Bibliothek: one of them contains text fragments in Tibetan and Mongolian, the other one, text in Tibetan only. Heissig proved that these folios were the first manuscripts of this kind in Germany, brought there from Russia, where they had been found at Ablai Keyid on the River Irtysh. The present study goes further in refining some of these data: the history of the folios is elaborated, the text fragments are attributed. Above all, the study demonstrates an unquestionable codicological resemblance between the folios and the Golden Kanjur of Ligdan Khan, establishing a connection between these manuscripts.
Key words: Ablai Keyid, the Golden Kanjur, Ligdan Khan, “golden” manuscripts, Codicology
Tatiana Pang. A Manchu-Mongolian Diploma Given to the Wife of a Mongolian Nobleman – 78
Abstract: One of the imperial diplomas from the collection of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts was written in both Manchu and Mongolian languages and given to the wife of a Mongolian nobleman Subdubdorji conferring on her the title wife of beise. The decoration of the diploma and accordion-type binding show that the owner was of high position. An analysis of the text suggests that it was originally written in Mongolian and then translated into Manchu. Patents granting hereditary ranks and titles to Mongols were issued in Beijing by the Board of Colonial Affairs and then sent to Mongolia. Only few of them are known to have been given to women, one of those is published in the article.
Key words: Manchu-Mongolian diploma, Qianlong, Board of Colonial Affairs, Qing dynasty, Beise
Hartmut Walravens. Omens in Celestial Phenomena. On a Manchu Manuscript – 87
Abstract: In ancient times the peoples of Central Asia and China considered natural phenomena a reaction of the Heaven to their deeds. The article introduces the unique Manchu manuscript from the Gest Library, Princeton University, which deals with the interpretation of celestial signs. Since the manuscript is written entirely in Manchu, similar Chinese texts on solar and lunar omens are presented as well.
Key words: Manchu manuscript, celestial phenomena, Qianlong, Princeton University
Karine Marandjian. New Acquisition of the Japanese Manuscript and Wood-block Printed Books Collection of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, RAS – 98
Abstract: The article deals with a new acquisition of the Japanese collection of the IOM. The newly acquired manuscript is titled Roshia koku hymin goran mondō (“Questions and Answers about Russia of the Castaways”). It has 28 folios, 2 illustrations, the last two folios contain an extract from the “Illustrated Japanese-Chinese Encyclopedia of Three Elements” and a world map from the same encyclopedia. Analysis of the manuscript enabled us to conclude that it is a copy of a transcript of the interrogation of the famous Daikokyua Kōdayū (1751–1828) and Isokichi after their return to Japan from Russia. As the manuscript has no colophon, neither the date when the transcript was copied, nor the place or the name of the copyist is known. Though the copy of the transcript is not a rarity, this manuscript will be a valuable addition to the group of manuscripts relating to early contacts between Russia and Japan.
Key words: manuscript, castaways, interrogation transcript, Daikokuya Kōdayū
The Secret History of the Mongols. A Mongolian Epic Chronicle of the Thirteenth Century. Translated with a Historical and Philological Commentary by Igor de Rachewiltz. Volume 3 (Supplement), by Natalia Yakhontova – 108
Oldenburg S.F. Etiudy o liudiah nauki [Sketches of men of science], by Helen Ostrovskaya – 110
“Novye zakony” tangutskogo gosudarstva (pervaia chetvert’ XIII veka). Izdanie teksta i perevod s tangutskogo, vvedenie i kommentarij E.I. Kychanova [ “New Laws” of the Tangut State (the first half of the 13th century). Publication of the text and translation from the Tangut language, introduction and commentary by E.I. Kychanov], by Nie Hongyin – 116