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PPV 19/3 (50), 2022 Print E-mail


Vol. 19, No. 3 (50)
Autumn 2022

Journal based in 2004
Issued quarterly

Full text as a *.PDF file


Youli A. Ioannesyan. “A Guide for the Perplexed” by Sayyid Kazim Rashti. Translated from Arabic and Persian Part 2 — 5

The article presents another part of our Russian translation (with an introduction and commentaries) of the valuable treatise,
Dalil al-mutahayyirin (“A Guide for the Perplexed”), by Sayyid Kazim Rashti, one of the founders of the Shaykhi school. The work is dated 1842. The translation is made from the Arabic original, with its two Persian versions taken into account.
Keywords: Shi‘ah schools, Shaikhism, Sayyid Kazim Rashti


Sergey L. Burmistrov. Mādhyamikas’ Argumentation against the Concept of Motion — 25

The concept of motion in Madhyamaka is treated as empty, i.e. having no referent in reality, for any change including the change of position of an object in space is generated by unenlightened saṃsāric consciousness. The Mādhyamikas’ teaching on motion was compared by some scholars with the views of the ancient Greek philosophical school of Eleatics, who also treated motion as unthinkable. But, while the Eleatic school considered true being to be absolute rest, the Mādhyamikas considered the concept of rest to be as empty as that of motion, for it is correlated with the concept of motion and has no sense without it. According to Nāgārjuna’s argumentation and to his commentator Candrakīrti, motion exists nor in that part of space which has already been traversed neither in that part which has not yet been traversed, and the moving object itself is treated as a point having no spatial dimension and therefore devoid of internal motion. Besides, the Mādhyamikas oppose the moving subject, space and motion itself to one another, considering them to be independent of each other on the level of superficial truth. This leads to logical contradictions and thereby shows that all these concepts are empty. The real essence of motion could be described by words only if we knew it already, and we can understand it only using words and concepts. This forms a vicious logical circle, and the way out of it can be enlightenment and knowledge of the true reality.
Keywords: religious and philosophical systems of ancient and medieval India, Buddhism, Madhyamaka, Eleatics, motion, space, saṃsāra

Dmitrii A. Nosov. Fighting the Devil: On the Non-Obvious Function of One Folk Story of the Oirats of Xinjiang — 38

The article deals with the folk story “Šulum-i šitaɣaɣsan ni” (How Argachi managed to burn the devil-girl) published in 1990 in Urumqi in the Old Mongolian script. The story was incorporated into the collection of satirical tales about Argachi, an Oirat folk hero reminiscent of Khoja Nasreddin. Of all the published tales, the story in question highlights the image of the antagonist. While usually an Oirat folklore trickster opposes a rich man, an aristocrat or an official, in this case he deceives a mythological character—a female demon. This narrative largely repeats the Khalkha-Mongol mythological tale included by Vladimir A. Kazakevich (1896–1937) in the report on his trip in 1925 to the region of the Khalkh-gol river. The researcher provided the narrative recorded in Khalkha with a voluminous commentary, which made it possible to completely reconstruct the context and pragmatic function of a stable narrative. The traditional strategy used to deceive a mythological character dangerous for a person, in case of an undesirable visit to the yurt, is revealed. The strategy is expressed by the world-famous folktale-type AT 1135 “Eye Remedy”.
Keywords: Oirats, Khalkha Mongols, Xinjiang, Mongolia, folklore, mythological narratives, fairytale type AT 1135


Olga M. Yastrebova. On the Classification and Formal Elements of Persian Documents of the Safavid Era — 47

The article is devoted to the analysis of written sources covering the bureaucratic procedures of the Safavid era and containing practical instructions on the preparation of official documents. These are, first of all, two well-known manuals on the structure of the state apparatus and its management, Tazkirat al-muluk and Dastur al-muluk, as well as less studied, although extremely informative texts—a hand-written munsha’at manual housed in the Library and Museum of Malek, and a notebook (bayaz) of records about various features of the external design of decrees and letters sent to various persons, including the rulers of India, the Ottoman Empire, the states of Central Asia, the Pope and the monarchs of European states. With the help of these sources, the main types of documents issued by the Safavid divan and the characteristic features of the external design corresponding to each type are identified. They include elements such as the ‘unwan, the tugra and the seal. The types of documents identified on the basis of these sources correspond to the official records of Safavid diplomatics that have survived to this day. The information obtained is used for the analysis of recently identified and published original Persian documents from the RSAAA collections.
Keywords: Persian diplomatics, archival documents, the Safavids, RSAAA

Igor A. Alimov. “The Judgment that there are no Demons” by Li Xian-min — 77

The publication introduces the reader to one of the most original novels from the collection Extensive Records from the Cloud Office (Yun zhai guang lu 雲齋廣錄) by Li Xian-min 李獻民 (? — after 1111) — “The Judgment That There are No Demons” (“Wu gui lun” 無鬼論). The translation of the novel into Russian is preceded by basic information about the author and his collection.
Keywords: old Chinese narrative, Li Xian-min, “The Judgment That There are No Demons”, xiaoshuo prose


Vasilii V. Shchepkin. “Brosset Collection”: The History of Early Acquisitions of Japanese Manuscripts and Woodblock-Printed Books by the Imperial St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences and by the Asiatic Museum (1791–1864)” — 88

The article presents the results of a study of the history of early acquisitions of Japanese manuscripts and woodblock-printed books to the Imperial St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences and by the Asiatic Museum from 1791 to 1864, previously known under the collective name of the “Brosset collection”. The main sources for the study were the catalogs of Chinese and Japanese books by I. Busse (1798), P. Kamensky and S. Lipovtsev (1818), M.F. Brosset (1840, additions until 1864), as well as lists of some acquisitions by the Asiatic Museum and by the Academy of Sciences housed at the Archive of Orientalists of the IOM, RAS, and at the St. Petersburg branch of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The method of work involved comparing the titles of books mentioned in each of the catalogs or lists with the Japanese manuscripts and woodblock-printed books stored today at the IOM, RAS. As a result, it was found that the “Brosset Collection” was made up of acquisitions from at least nine donors, including valuable collections by Daikokuya Kodayu, J.A. Stutzer, the Russian-American Company, P.L. Schilling and K.I. Maksimovich.
Keywords: collections, Japan, Asiatic Museum, Japanese manuscripts, Japanese woodblock-printed books, Russia-Japan relations


Youli A. Ioannesyan. Conference in Memory of O.F. Akimushkin (St. Petersburg, February 16, 2022) — 110
Keywords: O.F. Akimushkin, Oriental Studies, Near and Middle East

Safarali Kh. Shomakhmadov. The First All-Russian Academic Conference “The Written Heritage of Orient” (St. Petersburg, April 20–22, 2022) — 116
Keywords: IOM, RAS, classical Oriental Studies, written heritage of Orient, Oriental languages, manuscriptology

Olga M. Chunakova. Seminar in Memory of A.A. Freiman (St. Petersburg, May 18, 2022) — 124
Keywords: A.A. Freiman, Iranian languages and dialects, Iranian philology, Turfan manuscripts

Tatiana A. Pang. Scientific Сonference “Peter the Great and the Orient” (St. Petersburg, June 27, 2022) — 128
Keywords: Peter the Great, IOM, RAS, St. Petersburg State University, Oriental studies, Oriental collections, the image of Peter I


Roozbeh Zarrinkoob, Sayyed Tawfiq Hosseini. Mani and Manichaeism Religion’s Bibliography. Tehrān: Jehād-e Dānešgāhī, Wāhed-e Šahīd Beheštī, 1398/2019. 263 pp. (in Persian, English, German, French, and other European languages) (Aliy I. Kolesnikov) — 132

Russian Sailors in the Far East: The Diary of I.F. Likhachev, a Squadron Leader in the China Sea. 1860–1861. Edited by V.G. Smirnov, Ph.D. in history; head compiler: V.P. Tsiplenkov; compilers: М.Е. Malevinskaya, S.V. Terenina. Moscow: Paulsen Publishing House, 2021. 386 pp., 40 ill. (in Russian) (Vadim Yu. Klimov) — 137

Pu Songling. Liao Zhai zhi yi (Strange Stories from the Lodge of a Misfit). Complete collection in 12 juans. In 7 vol. Vol. 1. Comp. by A.G. Storozhuk. Ed. by D.I. Mayatsky. Tr. by V.M. Alexeyev and A.G. Storozhuk. St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg State University Publishing House, 2022. 568 p., ill. (in Russian) (Tatiana I. Vinogradova) — 141

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