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of the Orient
2 (2015)

Issued twice a year

The entire issue as a *.PDF file

Hiroshi Umemura, Peter Zieme. A Further Fragment of the Old Uighur Qianziwen3
Abstract: In this paper the authors edit one fragment of the Old Uighur Qianziwen that belongs to the Serindia Collection of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburg. This fragment is joined with some others that were already published by M. Shōgaito. The Qianziwen belonging to the classical scriptures is an old Chinese primer for learning Chinese. Rarely translated into other languages the Old Uighur version confirms the strong relationship between Chinese and Uighur scholarship in the Medieval period.
Key words: Qianziwen, Thousand Characters Book, Chinese primer, Old Uighur fragments, Serindia Collection, translations from Chinese into Old Uighur

Maxim Fionin. Greek Manuscript D-227 from the Collection of IOM, RAS. An Archeographical Analysis 14
Abstract: This paper deals with an archeographical analysis of the Greek minuscule manuscript D-227 kept in the collection of the IOM, RAS. The author reviews its present condition and deciphers the inscriptions left on its binding by the staff of the Winter Palace Imperial Library when it was delivered there and notes made by the staff of the Asiatic Museum (forerunner of the IOM). The contents of the parts are established, as is, wherever possible, their numbering. Inscriptions in Greek, including one written by Hierotheos, Patriarch of Antioch (1850–1885), are deciphered and translated.
Key words: Greek lectionary, minuscule manuscript, IOM manuscript collection, collection of Gregory IV, Arab Christian manuscripts, parchment codex

Arakawa Shintaro. On the Design of a “Trebuchet” in the Tangut Manuscript of IOM, RAS 21
Abstract: The paper focuses on a unique Tangut manuscript (Tang. 46 inv. No. 156(2006), old inv. No. 5217) kept in the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Russian Academy of Sciences. In previous studies, it has been taken to be a constructional diagram of musical instrument. The writer concludes that the manuscript is the design for a pao 砲 (stone launcher, trebuchet, sling).
Key words: Tangut manuscript, Tangut script, Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, stone launcher, Khara-Khoto

Olga Lundysheva. Fragments of dhāraṇī Blockprints from Khara-Khoto (Serindian Fund of IOM, RAS). With Appendix by Alla Sizova — 31
Abstract: The paper focuses on a blockprinted dhāraṇī from Khara-Khoto belonging to the group of unidentified and unpublished fragments in the Serindian Fund of the IOM, RAS. The characters used in the text of the print have much in common with the pāla script that was widespread in the North-Eastern India and associated with the Pala Empire. The print exists in several fragments. Judging by the content, it comprised two independent parts. Their relationship to each other, as well as the total number of pages, remain unknown. The first block of text has survived in its entirety. It has five lines of text. The first four lines are a triple repetition of the Akṣobhya Buddha Dhāraṇī The fifth line consists of five bija mantras and the well-known “Buddhist creed”, the Ye dharmā mantra. Only half of the second block of text has survived but still it can be identified and is presumed to be the mūlamantra, hṛdaya and upahṛdaya from the Bodhigarbhālaṇkāralakṣa dhāraṇī. Part of the print is also half of an engraved image. Features of the image and its stylistic peculiarities make it very similar to the printed engravings in the Tangut and Dunhuang collections. It is assumed that the entire blockprint could have been a compilation of selected prayers used in common Buddhist ritual practice. The type of paper, image and script suggest a date for the blockprint around the 12th c.
Key words: IOM collection, editions, Indian paleography, Central Asia Buddhism, Sanskrit blockprint, dhāraṇī , Khara-Khoto

Kirill Bogdanov. Ritual Funeral Text Tang 665 from the Tangut Collection of IOM, RAS 48
Abstract: This paper represents a brief study and a translation of a ritual funeral text dated to the 11th–13th сc. Despite its brevity, the manuscript is a consistent and complete fragment describing the ritual and proving the doubtless similarity between the Tangut and Tibetan religious traditions. The very age of the text attests to the fact that this tradition has survived down to the present day in unaltered form.
Key words: Khara-Khoto, funeral ritual, bardo teaching, Tangut Buddhism

Agnieszka Helman-Ważny, Liubov Kriakina, Alexander Zorin. The First Tibetan Leaves Acquired by the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences: Conservation Issues, Contents and Paper Analysis61
Abstract: The paper presents the first results of the study of 204 folios from the legendary Ablaikit monastery recently identified within the IOM, RAS Tibetan collection. The three main aspects touched upon are 1) the condition of the folios and the conservation treatment applied to make the study of their contents possible, 2) identification of texts that turned out to be fragments of an independent version of the Tibetan Buddhist canon, and 3) paper analysis.
Key words: conservation of Oriental texts, history of Tibetan paper, Tibetan thing shog manuscripts, Tibetan Buddhist Canon, Ablaikit monastery

Svetlana Sabrukova. Examples of Buddhist Letters from A.M. Pozdneev Archive Collection 77
Abstract: Buddhist letters represent official documents that were issued by the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas to prominent political or religious figures as a sign of recognition of their achievements. They appeared at the end of the 16th c. when Buddhism was recognized as a state religion among Mongolian peoples. Three copies of such letters have been kept in the A.M. Pozdneev (1851–1920) collection in the Archives of the Orientalists at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, RAS. The earliest letter, which was written in Tibetan semi-uncial script and included a translation in the Oirat language, was given by the 5th Panchen Lama (Lobsang ye shes dpal bzang, 1663–1773) to a Torghut Yogochari Tsordji. Two other scrolls were written only in Tibetan semiuncial script and were given by the 13th Dalai Lama (1876–1933) and the 9th Panchen Lama (1883–1937) in 1903 to a Dörbet Lama Ngag dbang sangs rgyas. From a practical point of view, these letters can be seen as certificates of completed education and obtaining a title that enabled the holder to engage in teaching activities. Their language and style have a formal structure and are of scholarly interest to researchers as examples of Buddhist documents.
Key words: Buddhist letters, Panchen Lama, text, document, seal

Youli Ioannesyan. The St. Petersburg 19th c. Collection of Materials on the Babi and Baha’i Faiths: Primary and other Sources85
Abstract: The article is concerned with one of the richest collections of materials related to the Babi and Baha’i faiths, the St. Petersburg collection. The large amount of primary sources flowing into pre-revolutionary Russia was distributed between three scholarly and learning centers: the Asiatic Museum, presently the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Russian Academy of Sciences (the bulk of the sources), the St. Petersburg State University and the Russian National Library. These materials either in Persian or Arabic take the form of manuscripts and lithographs. The article describes these materials and gives briefly the history of studies of these sources.
Key words: manuscript collections, Babi and Baha’i studies in Russia


Dmitriev S.V. Fond etnograficheskogo otdela Russkogo muzeia po kul’ture narodov zarubezhnogo Vostoka: Istoriia formirovaniia i sud'ba (1901–1930-e gg.). St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg State University, 2012, by David R. Shearer108

Schneider J. Eine buddhistische Kritik der indischen Gotter. Śaṅkarasvāmins Devātiśayastotra mit Prajnāvarmans Kommentar. Wien: Arbeitskreis für Tibetische und Buddhistische Studien, 2014. (Wiener Studien zur Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde), by Alexander V. Zorin111

Mandschurische Handschriften und Drucke im Bestand der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. Bearbeitet von Hartmut Walravens. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2014. 560 S, by Tatiana A. Pang114