Pis'mennye pamiatniki Vostoka

The periodical "Pis'mennye pamiatniki Vostoka" is an international peer-reviewed journal, which is focused on the study of written legacy of Asia. From  1970  till 1987, it was published annually by the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Russian Academy of Sciences. In 2004, the IOM, RAS resumed "Pis'mennye pamiatniki Vostoka" as an academic journal; in 2015 the English version of the journal appeared; since 2016 it has been published quarterly.

The main direction of the journal is the study of the manuscripts, early printed editions and archival heritage of the peoples of the Orient, as well as of a wide range of problems in history, philology, source study, historiography, codicology, paleography, epigraphy, textology.

The main topics of the journal are represented by the following headings: "Publications", "Research", "Book Culture", "Collections and Archives", "Restoration and Keeping", "Academic Life", "Reviews". The journal publishes translations of the written monuments of the Orient from the world's manuscript collections, libraries, archives, and museums, as well as various research articles, based on written sources, studying history, literature, religions and culture of the Orient. The Editorial Board accepts articles on the problems of Oriental textology, written monuments, manuscript collections and repositories, problems of manuscript preservation and restoration. Notes on the current academic life events and activity of institutions studying written monuments of the Orient, conferences, research plans, and reviews are also accepted.

The edition is aimed for Orientalists and specialists in various fields of the Oriental studies.


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Current Issue

Vol 20, No 3 (2023)


“A Guide for the Perplexed” by Sayyid Kazim Rashti. Translated from Arabic and Persian. Part 6
Ioannesyan Y.A.

The article presents a part of a 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 and two Persian translations of the treatise.

Pis'mennye pamiatniki Vostoka. 2023;20(3):5-18
pages 5-18 views
Ten Newly Identified Fragments of the Sanskrit Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra (SI 6780) in the Serindia Collection (IOM, RAS)
Mesheznikov A.V.

The present paper deals with ten previously unpublished Sanskrit fragments that have been identified with the Buddhist text of the Mahāyāna tradition — Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra, or Lotus Sūtra. These fragments have had no call numbers until recently and were found among the non-inventoried materials of the Serindia Collection (IOM, RAS), which were set aside for restoration. The fragments are written in the South Turkestan Brāhmī type of script, which was in use for recording Sanskrit texts in the Southern Serindia in the 8–9 centuries A.D., primarily in Khotan, one of the largest Buddhist centers in Central Asia in the 1st millennium A.D. The largest part of Sanskrit texts in the Serindia Collection is presented by the manuscripts from Khotan, which, according to contents, reflect the popularity of Mahāyāna texts in the Southern Serindia, with the Lotus Sūtra texts in Sanskrit being especially popular, numbering over 30 storage units. The fragments under study, which are currently stored in the Serindia Collection under the call number SI 6780, contain extracts from three chapters of the Lotus Sūtra: Chapter XVIII (Anumodanāpuṇyanirdeśa-parivartaḥ — “The Chapter Describing the Religious Merit [Obtained through] Joyful Participation [in Dharma]”), Chapter XIX (Dharmabhāṇakānṛśaṃsa-parivartaḥ — “Benefits of a Dharma Preacher”) and Chapter XX (Sadāparibhūta-parivartaḥ — “[Bodhisattva] Sadāparibhūta”). This paper includes a description of the fragments, their transliteration and comparison with two currently known Sanskrit Lotus Sūtra versions, as well as a Russian translation, and a facsimile.

Pis'mennye pamiatniki Vostoka. 2023;20(3):19-42
pages 19-42 views
Documents of the embassy of the Persian Messenger Haji Muhammad-‘Ali to Russia in 1642-1643
Pischurnikova E.P., Shorohov V.A., Yastrebova O.M.

The paper aims to introduce four Persian documents (a farman and three petitions) from the Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts, Fund 77 “Relations between Russia and Persia” into scholarly discourse. These documents are directly related to the visit of Haji Muhammad-‘Ali, messenger from Iranian Shah ‘Abbas II, to the Tsardom of Russia. He was delegated to travel to the Russian state in relation to Shah Safi I’s death in order to meet with the kupchina (official Shah’s tradesman) Bijan-bek in Moscow in 1641–1643 and hand over the gifts to the ruler of the Russian state on behalf of the new Iranian Shah. In this paper, the farman and petitions are translated into Russian; the Persian original and translation are preceded by a historical and linguistic commentary.

Pis'mennye pamiatniki Vostoka. 2023;20(3):43-56
pages 43-56 views

Research works

Two Traditions in the Madhyamaka-Prāsaṅgika School: Buddhapālita and Candrakīrti
Burmistrov S.L.

There are two schools in the Mahāyāna Buddhist school of Madhyamaka, namely Prāsaṅgika, the more radical one, according to which absolutely all propositions and theories are empty, for every concept in them refers only to other concepts but not to the extraconceptual reality, and Svātantrika that allows the existence of propositions sensible on the level of relative reality. But in Prāsaṅgika itself there were two traditions that differed not in the principles of philosophy but in the character of commenting the basic Madhyamaka text, “Root stanzas on the Middle Way” by Nāgārjuna. These traditions were represented in the commentaries by Buddhapālita (the 5th–6th centuries) and Candrakīrti (the 7th century). Candrakīrti’s commentary is based on Nāgārjuna’s autocommentary Akutobhaya to a much greater extent than Buddhapālita’s one. The latter presents a tradition of commenting Mūla-madhyamaka-kārikā that originates not from Nāgārjuna himself but from a disciple of his.

Pis'mennye pamiatniki Vostoka. 2023;20(3):57-69
pages 57-69 views
Some Information about Urartian Army
Medvedskaya I.N.

The article presents historical and archaeological data that confirm the existence of two of the four social categories in the population of the Urartian kingdom. Both categories originally made up the Urartian army: the šureli were indigenous Urartians, armed community members, while the huradineli were warriors who were recruited in the lands conquered by the Urartians. In the 8th century B.C., the members of the former group ceased to be drafted. Gradually, this category began to be filled with representatives of the elite from the countries conquered by the Urartians. This is confirmed by Urartian texts and archaeological finds in the Mannaean kingdom.

Pis'mennye pamiatniki Vostoka. 2023;20(3):70-87
pages 70-87 views
A fragment of an Ancient Egyptian architrave in an old Japanese catalogue
Bogdanov I.V.

The article contains the publication of a fragment of an architrave from the Yamanaka (Osaka) catalogue of 1924. According to a number of criteria, it is attributed to the right part of the architrave of Mereru (mrrw) from the State Hermitage collection. Judging by the inscription, the architrave could come from Zawiyet el-Mayetin, although the location of the tomb of Mereru at Saqqara is just as probable. All the titles of Mereru are found both on the monuments of the Memphite region and in the province; they characterize his status as an official above the average rank. On the Yamanaka fragment, one official title has been preserved: zS a-nswt pr-aA “Palace scribe of the royal chancellery”. The current location of the Yamanaka fragment is unknown.

Pis'mennye pamiatniki Vostoka. 2023;20(3):88-95
pages 88-95 views

Collections and Archives

Nikita Ya. Bichurin (Fr. Iakinf). Extract from a Letter from Kiakhta of September 19, this 1831 Year
Popova I.F.

This paper by Nikita Yakovlevich Bichurin (Father Iakinf, 1777–1853) was first published in the periodical Moscow Telegraph, in the “Miscellanies” column (1831, part 42, pp. 141–144) without mentioning the author’s name. The title “Extract from a Letter from Kiakhta of September 19, this 1831 year” was given to the paper by Bichurin’s bibliographers later. The reason for writing this small note was a language examination at the School of Chinese Language in Kiakhta on September 13, 1831. Bichurin himself was teaching at that School for 18 months in 1830–1831 and for one year in 1835–1836. The note is remarkable for one of the earliest mentions of the contact border language — the Kiakhta (Maimaicheng) pidgin and the first introduction of 15 phrases from it.

Pis'mennye pamiatniki Vostoka. 2023;20(3):96-103
pages 96-103 views
Bichurin N.Ya. (f. Iakinf). Everyday Exercises of the Chinese Monarch
Pang T.A.

One of the earliest papers by N.Ya. Bichurin, “Daily Exercises of the Chinese Monarch,” was published in The Moscow Messenger journal in 1828. It is one of the numerous popular science publications by Fr. Iakinf about the life in the China of his time. The article was devoted to the inner life of the imperial court, regulations concerning ceremonies and the emperor’s private life. The text is based on the Da Qing huidian (“Collected Statutes of the Great Qing”) that was translated into Russian by Iakinf Bichurin. The text of the article was partly used in Bichurin’s book China in Its Civil and Moral Condition published in 1848, and was included in a chapter on court ceremonies.

Pis'mennye pamiatniki Vostoka. 2023;20(3):104-110
pages 104-110 views
M.S. Andreev’s Collection of Tamil Manuscripts in IOM, RAS
Tanonova E.V.

The article presents the history of acquisition, processing and a brief review of Andreev’s collection of Tamil manuscripts from IOM, RAS. New data have been found as the work on the article proceeded. It concerns A. Grünwedel and V.S. Vorobiov-Desiatovski’s participation in the description of the collection under consideration. In fact, this is the first publication dedicated to Dravidian manuscripts from the Institute’s Indian Collection, and it is likely that it will not be the last.

Pis'mennye pamiatniki Vostoka. 2023;20(3):111-125
pages 111-125 views

Academic Life

Conference in Memory of O.F. Akimushkin (St. Petersburg, February 22, 2023)
Ioannesyan Y.A.
Pis'mennye pamiatniki Vostoka. 2023;20(3):126-130
pages 126-130 views
pages 131-136 views
pages 137-145 views
pages 146-149 views
Seminar in Memory of A.A. Freiman–2023 (St. Petersburg, May 31, 2023)
Chunakova O.M.
Pis'mennye pamiatniki Vostoka. 2023;20(3):150-152
pages 150-152 views


pages 153-156 views

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