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Klyashtorny S. [Review:] L. Ju. Tugusheva. The Uighur Version of the Life of Hsüan Tsang. Text Fragments from the Leningrad Collection of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences). Moscow: Nauka Publishing House 1991. – 591 pp. // Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol. 1, No 2, October 1995. P. 68—69.


In the 4th century B.C. the Hellenistic world of the Mediterranean discovered an unknown universe. before that time deeply concealed in the heart of Asia. This universe had already inherited in much degree the rich culture of the Empire of Alexander the Great and of his successors. The Inner Asia and Northern India, as well as the Mediterranean lands, formed one common geopolitical system with a vast communication net where regional cultures influenced and enriched each other. In the 2nd century B.C. the Great Silk Road not only connected many Eurasian states. but also formed the three super-civilizations of Antiquity: the Mediterranean, the Serindian and the Far Eastern. On the routes laid by trade caravans, embassies and diplomatic missions, besides those who pursued pragmatic aims of immediate benefit. some very different persons had appeared. These were the missionaries of the World-religions, undertaking long journeys in search for truth and in order to spread their corresponding religious doctrines. Buddhist pilgrims, who brought the Teaching to the Han Empire, were the first among them. China had never before been influenced so much by any foreign culture. The immense success of Buddhism in China, where it was easily accepted, even gave birth to a conception regarding China and the Chinese state as something being on the outskirts of the habitable world — something quite contradictory to Chinese mentality as a whole. India was accepted for the indisputable center of the world, where the religious exploits of Buddha Shakyamuni had taken place. This explains the great wish of those, who devoted themselves to the Teaching of Buddha in China, to visit India. It resulted from search for truth and self-perfection...

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