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WMO 1(20), 2014 Print E-mail

of the Orient
1 (20)
Spring-Summer 2014

Journal based in 2004
Issued twice a year

Selected Materials as a *.PDF file


“Letter of Peter to Philip” (NHC VIII.2. 132.10–140.27; CodTch 1.1–9.17). Introduction, Translation, Comments A.L. Khosroyev5
The article is devoted to the translation of one of the most interesting gnostic texts, namely “The Letter of Peter to Philip” that has survived as a part of Codex VIII (the Coptic manuscripts from Nag Hammadi). Introduced into academic use, the translation is thoroughly annotated. Since the so-called Codex Tchacos was published in 2007 (additionally, there are photos of the new text items put on the Internet), we have had two versions of this work; the versions apparently contain two independent translations of a Greek original that has not survived. The collation of two versions allows us to get valuable findings of translation techniques from Greek into Coptic and also of the way ancient texts existed in general. Nakae Toju. “Dialogues with an Old Man”. Preface, Translation of Japanese Passages and Commentary by K.G. Marandjan – 31 The article contains translated and commented fragments from the “Dialogues with an Old Man” dedicated to the problem of knowledge. Written for a broad audience, the text covers topics related to epistemology in the form readily understandable to the mass reader, thus introducing the Confucian world view to the readers.

T.A. Pang. A Manchu-Mongolian Diploma Given to a Wife of a Mongolian Nobleman 38
One of the imperial patents from the collection of the Institute of Oriental manuscripts was written in Manchu and Mongolian languages and given to the wife of a Mongolian nobleman Sunbdubdorji conferring on her the title wife of beise. The decoration of the diploma and the accordion type binding show that the owner held a high position. The analysis of the text suggests that it was originally written in Mongolian and then translated into Manchu. The patents for hereditary ranks and titles for the Mongols were issued in Peking by the Board of Colonial Affairs and were sent to Mongolia. Only few of them are known to be given to women, one of them is published in the article.


N.V. Kozyreva. “The Noble and the Great”. Rich Families of the City of Larsa in the 19th–18th Centuries B.C. 45
Cuneiform texts of the old Babylonian period from South Mesopotamia contain little information about the social structure of urban societies. Some data on the social status and property of Larsa urban elite – called in the texts “the noble and the great” (kabtu u rabū) – can be found in the contracts of property division (YOS 8 42, 98; TCL 11 224), court decisions (VS II(XVIII)101) and letters (AbB 10 161). Archaeological excavations of one residential quarter of Larsa increase and confirm this information.

B. Lashkarbekov. The Reflexes of the Оld Iranian *gātu-/*gāϑu- ‘Place; Time’ in Pamiri Languages and Tadjik Dialects 58
The paper analyzes reflexes of the Old Iranian lexeme *gātu-/*gāϑu- ‘place, time’ in the Pamiri languages and Tadjik dialects. Generally, this lexeme does not refer to native (original) words. Its origin could be determined by the way its phonemes are realized in each case: either Eastern Iranian (the Pamiri languages) or Western Iranian (Tadjik dialects) genesis.

I.V. Gerasimov, Abd al-Aziz Hasan, Sumeya. Sudanese Dwellings as Presented in the Tabaqat by Ibn Dayfallah 64
The modern Republic of Sudan has inherited many elements of the Arab and African cultures. This is reflected in traditional architecture as well. Construction and purpose of the buildings, methods and materials were determined by climate and geographical situation of the country. The article specifies the influence of the Arab culture on the Sudanese sacral architecture of the 17th–19th centuries. It was the result of Sudanese acquaintance with peoples from other regions with deep roots of popular Islam, mostly the members of Sufi brotherhoods. Our analysis of the dwellings is supported by data from the main historical record of Sudan of the 19th century – Tabaqat by Ibn Dayfallah.

V.M. Rybakov. The Tang Dynasty Punitive Laws for Embezzlement with Violence 75
Judicial norms prescribing punitive sanctions for embezzlement with violence were formed under the direct influence of two fundamental cultural values: personal immunity and property immunity. The Chinese Tang Dynasty criminal law considered “robbery” to be the most unacceptable among the six major types of property crimes. The robber’s motivation was regarded as twofold: greed and cruelty, cupidity and lack of humanism. In order to determine the adequate punishment for robbery one should take into account the degree of his criminal motivation. Simple greed (realized, for example, in theft), and simple cruelty (realized, for example, in beating) were considered less criminal motives than their combination, realized as a robbery. Violence is considered an integral element of robbery, but this concept could be interpreted broadly. Members of the inferior social classes, such as slaves, usually were considered property by law, but they were equal to free commoners, if they were subjected to criminal violence.

I.S. Gurevich. The Grammatical Stylistics of the Pinghua Texts (Based on the “Pinghua of the History of the Five Dynasties”)89
The proposed paper should be considered one of the series of articles on the grammatical stylistics of the Chinese texts of different genres and epochs. As source-material for the paper in question, one of the most popular texts of the genre which is the “Pinghua of the History of the Five Dynasties” was scrutinized. The aim of the paper under consideration is to reveal a number of syntactic resources (such as anaphora with its specific features, epiphora, antithesis and others) as the ways by which the author’s message could be presented as clearly as possible. In addition, certain syntactic constructions and function words were examined as being related to the field of grammatical stylistics.

S.L. Neveleva. The Old Indian Epic Mythology: Main Characteristics 100
This article deals with the modern scientific views on different aspects of the old Indian mythology, as represented by Mahābhārata. The knowledge of the specific characteristics of the epic contents helps us to understand the main ideas, subjects, plots and characters of the subsequent Indian literature and art as well as those of the adjacent countries. There is evidence that the Mahābhārata bears certain resemblance to another ancient Indian epic, the Rāmāyaṇa, as far the treatment of the mythological characters is concerned. Therefore conclusions drawn on the basis of the former text could be applied to the latter.


S.M. Prozorov. Sufi Spiritual Values in the Inscriptions on Personal Belongings (Based on an Arab Manuscript of a Sufi Work by ‘Azizi Shaydhala, d. 494/1100) 114
This article is based on the data of an Arab Sufi manuscript concerning the widespread Sufi practice to superscribe personal belongings, Sufi attributes, jewellery, musical instruments, parts of the body, etc. with edificatory and devotional inscriptions in verse or prose. As it appears from my translations of the inscriptions, religious and moral codes of Islam got Sufi interpretations in daily necessities, captivated the minds and hearts of a large stratum of Muslim society. Sufi ideology, as a reflection of human values, has become an inherent part of spiritual culture of the nations of the Muslim East.

Y.A. Ioannesyan. The Bab’s Commentary on the “al-Kawsar” Surah 126
The article is devoted to one of the most mystical and fairly early writings of the founder of the Babi Faith, the Bab’s Commentary on the Surah “al-Kawsar”. Though the latter consists of four lines only, the Commentary being over two hundred pages long on top of interpreting every letter of the words comprising the Surah in their manifold aspects also treats some fundamental religious issues such as “the hidden imam”, “the divine proof”, the nature of divine verses as signs from God, etc. The book is full of imagery, while the mission of the bearer of a new religious revelation which the Bab claimed for himself is indicated by special symbolism employed by the founder of the Babi Faith in this book. The study is based on the text of a very early manuscript which originated during the Bab’s life-time.

O.M. Chunakova. Middle Persian Manichaean Fragments from Toyuq-Mazar 143
Manichaean manuscripts brought by Russian expeditions in the early twentieth century from Eastern Turkestan are mainly housed at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, but some documents may be in other funds. Some fragments at these funds may belong to the same manuscript. A Middle Persian Manichaean document recently discovered in the archives of Sergey F. Oldenburg refers to the same manuscript as the two fragments at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts.

M.V. Fionin. The History of the New Testament Lectionary Studies (a Short Survey) 148
The article presents an overview of the study of liturgical manuscripts of the New Testament text from the 18th century to the present. We consider the composition and content of New Testament lectionaries. The article lists the most important editions of the Greek text of the New Testament whose authors turned to liturgical manuscripts (lectionaries). In conclusion, it suggests possible prospects of the study of lectionaries, as an important source of the New Testament text.

E.P. Ostrovskaya. On the Meaning of the Term “Bhagavān” in the Religious Title “Buddha Bhagavān”160
The topic of the article is the special semantics of the word “Bhagavān” in the context of the religious title “Buddha Bhagavan”. Basing on the analysis of the texts of the Abhidharmakośa-kārikā and the Abhidharmakośa-bhāṣya, it is demonstrated that the semantic field of the term is determined by the teaching on three kinds of good (bhāgiya): good of religious merit (puṇyabhāgīya), good of liberation (mokṣabhāgīya) and good of insight (nirvedhabhāgīya).

S.L. Burmistrov. The Cult and Mythology of Gaṇeśa (Based on the Manuscripts of the Indian Collection of IOM RAS) 168
Gaṇeśa is a god standing on the borderline between sacral and profane worlds. His nature is of a double character: he must keep the border intact, but in the same time he must let a worshipper access gods. His borderline character is manifested in myths about his birth (in none of them the god is given birth in a natural way), in his place in the Hindu pantheon and in the ritual practices connected with the cult of this deity.


K.K. Kurdoyev. A Brief Historical and Ethnographical Essay on the Zaza Kurds. Preface and Publication by Z.A. Yusupova180
The present article is part of a significant work by K.K. Kurdoyev, a famous Kurdologist, the founder of the Leningrad-Petersburg school of Kurdish studies, devoted to one of the biggest Kurdish dialects – Zaza, whose affiliation with the Kurdish dialects is disputed by some scholars. The article contains an account of history and ethnography including an analysis of a wide range of issues (extralinguistic factors) such as ethnic self-identity, “Zaza” as the self-name of the people, their geographic area, tribal structure, political and economic life, their religious beliefs, national-liberation strife all testifying to their Kurdish ethnic affiliation given a common material and spiritual culture which they share with the rest of the Kurds (the Kurdish linguistic affiliation of the Zaza people is proved by K.K. Kurdoyev in the major grammatical part of his manuscript).

S.S. Sabrukova. The Erketenevskiy Khurul as an Example of Buddhist Architecture (from Materials in the Archives of Orientalists of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences) 201
The article includes a photograph of the Erketenevskiy Khurul, which has never been published before, and its description borrowed from the Journal of the Travel to the Kalmyks in 1919 by A.M. Pozdneev. These materials are kept among Pozdneev’s personal records in the Archives of Orientalists of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences and are invaluable scientific sources for studying the lost historical heritage of the Kalmyk people.

K.V. Alekseev, A.A. Turanskaya, N.V. Yampolskaya. The Mongolian Golden Kanjur’s Fragments in the Collection of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, St. Petersburg 206
The collection of IOM RAS holds a number of odd folios from the Mongolian Kanjur, the history of their arrival at the collection unknown. The text is written in golden ink on blue paper. Handwriting and orthography are characteristic of the first half of the 17th century. The appearance and ductus reveal a striking similarity to the Golden Kanjur of Ligdan Khan preserved in Hohhot. In the article, the folios from IOM RAS are compared with the Golden Kanjur and similar “golden” fragments from European collections. The attempt to trace back the history of these manuscript fragments leads to the conclusion that they could be among the first Mongolian manuscripts brought to St. Petersburg in the time of Peter the Great.

I.G. Alimbarashvili. Some Aspects of the Relations between Marie Brosset and Dimitri Megvinetukhutsesishvili 225
The article analyzes the relationship between the Georgian historian, archeologist, dramatist and public figure Dimitri Megvinetukhutsesishvili and Marie Brosset – the famous Kartvelologist (Georgian Studies) and the member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Dimitri Megvinetukhutusesishvili was born in 1815, in the village of Khidistavi, and got a juridical education. In the 40s of the 19th century he began his active public career that partially was conditioned by his close relationship with Marie Brosset. They visited different parts of Georgia, described and deciphered ancient Georgian manuscripts, frescoes, lapidarian inscriptions, church antiquities. When Marie Brosset left Georgia and went to St. Petersburg, Dimitri Megvinetukhutsesishvili continued activities independently and sent the obtained materials to the French scholar. The article describes the friendship history of these two academies. It should be noted that the article is based on archival materials, which are stored at the Institute of Eastern Studies of St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences and at the National Centre of Manuscripts of Georgia.

E.O. Shukhman. Hebrew Palaeotypes in the Collection of the St. Petersburg Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Russian Academy of Sciences (A Brief Review) 231
St. Petersburg Institute of Oriental Manuscripts possesses a comprehensive collection of early printed Hebrew books. The palaeotypes (books printed in Hebrew letters in the period from 1 January 1501 to 1 January 1551) are the important part of this valuable collection. The article presents a brief description of the history of the collection, its qualitative and quantitative analysis and genre composition, mentioning the most interesting editions of the palaeotypes.


O.A. Vodneva. The Annual Academic Conference of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, RAS (St. Petersburg, December 2–4, 2013) 243

M.M. Yunusov. The 3rd Academic Conference on the Jewish and Eastern Studies. Institute for Jewish Studies (St. Petersburg, 17 December 2013)252

I.V. Kulganek, Т.А. Pang. The Sith Scholarly-Practical Conference “Travelling to the Orient – 2013” (St. Petersburg, March 26, 2014) 257

S.Kh. Shomakhmadov. The Open Theoretical Seminar of the Section of South Asia, Department of Central and South Asia IOM RAS. The first meeting: M.I. Vorobiova-Desyatovskaya “Buddhist Manuscripts from the Collection of Martin Schøyen” (St. Petersburg, April 16, 2014) 260

N.O. Chekhovich. Conference “Administration and Beaurocracy in the Acient Orient (Dedicated to the 125th Anniversary of Vasiliy Vasilievich Struve)” (St. Petersburg, April 22–23, 2014) 262

E.P. Ostrovskaya. The Open Theoretical Seminar of the Section of South Asia, Department of Central and South Asia IOM RAS. The second and third meetings: T.V. Yermakova “Collectors of the manuscripts kept at the Indian collection of the Asiatic Museum – IOM RAS” (St. Petersburg, May 12 and 21, 2014) 265


The Journal and Official Correspondence of Bernard Jean Bettelheim. 1845–1854. Part I (1845–1851) / Ed. by A.P. Jenkins. – Naha: Okinawa Prefectural Board of Education, 2005: – xxx+640 pp. and The Journal and Official Correspondence of Bernard Jean Bettelheim.1845–1854. Part II (1852–1854) / Ed. by A.P. Jenkins. – Naha: Okinawa Prefectural Board of Education, 2012. – x+732 pp. (K.G. Marandjan) – 267

Peng Xiang-qian 彭向前. Xia xi wen Meng-zi zhengli yanjiu 西夏文≪孟子≫整理研究 (The Complex Study of the Tangut Translation of the Meng-zi). – Shanghai: Shanghai Guji Chubanshe, 2012. – 295 pp. (Tang Jun, Yu.S. Mylnikova) – 269

Dmitrij Tsolin. The Aramaic Language of the Biblical Texts and of the Targum Onqelos. A Manual. – Cherkassyi: Kollokvium, 2013.– 359 pp. (V. Golenets) – 274

Yu.V. Boltach. Hanmun. Introductory couse. – St. Petersburg: Giperion, 2013. – 335 pp. (I.S. Gurevich, K.G. Marandjan) – 275

The “Second” and “Third” Albums of Fr. Hyacinthus (N. Ya. Bichurin). Introduced b y Academician V.S. Myasnikov and O.V. Vasilyeva. Prepared by O.V. Vasiyeva. – St. Petersburg: Russian National Library, 2012 (I.F. Popova) – 276


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