Vol 7, No 2 (2021)

Original Papers

Miscellanea in the Brāhmī Script from the Berezovsky and Krotkov Collections (IOM, RAS) with an appendix: ВФ-4190 (Part II)

Lundysheva O.V., Maue D., Wille K.


The main part of this article provides a complete edition (description, transliteration, transcription, preliminary translation, annotation as well as the reproduction of the photographs) of forty-two fragments in different literary languages, circulated along the northern Silk Road, today in the territory of modern Xinjiang (PR China) in pre-Mongolian times: Sanskrit, Tocharian A/B, Old Uyghur [hereafter: Uyghur]. Their common feature is the use of the standard North Turkestan Brāhmī and its Tocharian and Uyghur varieties. In terms of content, the fragments include extracts from Buddhist texts such as Abhidharmadīpavibhāùaprabhāvçtti, Prajñāpāramitā, Prasādapratibhodbhava, Prātimokùasūtra, Pravāraõasūtra, Saüyuktāgama, Suvarõabhāsottamasūtra, Udānavarga. There are also some Tocharian B document fragments. Several of these texts are found on the back of Chinese scrolls. The Chinese texts have been identified. Where possible, a reconstruction of the relevant section of the scroll has been added. An introduction provides general background information. The lexis of the edited manuscripts is given in concordances.

Written Monuments of the Orient. 2021;7(2):3-106
pages 3-106 views

A Rediscovered Syriac Amulet from Turfan in the Collection of the Hermitage Museum

Dickens M., Smelova N.


Item ВДсэ-524 in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is an amulet scroll written in Syriac which was discovered by the Second German Turfan Expedition (1904–1905) and kept afterwards in the Museum of Ethnology (Museum für Völkerkunde) in Berlin. The artifact originates in the Turkic-speaking Christian milieu of the Turfan Oasis, probably from the Mongol period. The text, however, reflects a long tradition of magical literature that goes back to ancient Mesopotamia and can be categorised as a piece of apotropaic (protective) magic. The article contains an edition of the Syriac text with translation and a discussion of its place of discovery, its overall composition and specific words and expressions found in the text. The authors point out likely connections between the Hermitage amulet and the Turfan fragments SyrHT 274–276 kept in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin — Preußischer Kulturbesitz and briefly discuss its similarity with amulet H彩101 discovered in Qara Qoto by the 1983–1984 expedition of the Institute of Cultural Relics, Inner Mongolia Academy of Social Sciences.

Written Monuments of the Orient. 2021;7(2):107-147
pages 107-147 views

The Heike Monogatari Hyōban Hidenshō Commentary in the Edo Period: Discussion, Criticism, and Education

Lushchenko A.Y.


This article presents several passages from the anonymous 17th c. commentary Heike monogatari hyōban hidenshō. This understudied commentary on the medieval Tale of the Heike shows the didactic aspect of this work’s reception in the Edo period. Based on comparison with similar texts, such as the commentary Teikanhyō, the claim is made that didactic works of this kind have group authorship and are related to group discussions (kaidoku) by warriors interested in matters of leadership and statecraft. Commentaries such as the Heike monogatari hyōban hidenshō were linked with educational settings throughout the Edo period: in the 17th c. they were used for lectures to daimyo lords, and in the 18th–19th cc. they were found in domain schools (hankō) since their content made them suitable for educating young warriors.

Written Monuments of the Orient. 2021;7(2):148-171
pages 148-171 views

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