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The Sogdian fragments of Leningrad

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 December 2009

Extract

The Leningrad branch of the Oriental Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R. possesses a collection of nearly 150 Sogdian fragments recovered from various sites in Central Asia between 1893 and 1915. During the first three decades of this century a few texts were published by F. Rosenberg and C. Salemann. Thereafter the collection was for a long time ignored, while Russian Sogdianists turned their attention to the important archive of Sogdian documents discovered in 1933 at Mt. Mugh in Tajikistan. Everyone concerned with the languages and culture of medieval Central Asia will be deeply grateful to A. N. Ragoza, whose efforts have finally resulted in the complete publication of these interesting fragments. Her edition, reviewed here, includes texts, translations, commentary, glossary, and 69 pages of facsimiles.

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Copyright
Copyright © School of Oriental and African Studies 1981

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References

1 Akademija Nauk SSSR. Institut vostokovedenija.Sogdijskie fragmenty central'noaziatskogo sobranija Institute vostokovedenija. Faksimile. Izdanie tekstov, čtenie, perevod, predislovie, primečanija i glossarij A. N. Ragoza. 183 pp. Moscow: Izdatel'stvo ‘Nauka’, 1980Google Scholar. Rbls. 2.30.

Although the edition is intended to be complete, at least two texts seem to have been over-looked: ‘S 40’, published in facsimile by Salemann, , ‘Manichaica III’, Izv. Imp. Akad. Nauk, 1912, 28–9Google Scholar, and ‘Kr. IV Soghd. 3’, from which Rosenberg, , Izv. Akad. Nauk SS8R, 1927, 1398, cited the word ptz-m'ntyh. The reverses of two fragments, Nos. 63 and 72a, have been omitted from the facsimilesGoogle Scholar.

Ragoza mostly refers to the fragments by their complex and inconvenient signatures. In the glossary she uses instead the running numbers 1–120, which represent their sequence in the edition, preceded by the abbreviation ‘Fr.’ (= ‘Fragment’). Here the latter system has been preferred, but the insufficiently distinctive ‘Fr.’ has been replaced by ‘L’ (= ‘Leningrad’). This prefix is omitted for brevity where no loss of clarity is likely to result.

2 My own preference is to distinguish y and x in all positions, cf. my appendix to W. Sundermann, Mitteliranische Texte kirchengeschichtlichen Inhalts der Manichäer (Berliner Turfantexte, forthcoming).

3 But the beginning of L39 seems to correspond to a much earlier passage in the Skt. text (f. 71), indicating a major omission or re-arrangement of material in the Sogd. version.

4 See further Sims-Williams, N. and Halén, H., ‘The Middle Iranian fragments in Sogdian script from the Mannerheim collection’, Studia Orientalia LI, 13, Helsinki, 1980, 7Google Scholar.

5 Not certain, possibly k'r'm = C. qrm ‘karma’, used as a technical term in an anti-Manichaean polemic, C3 = TiiB 8, R14.

6 This MS is written in a rather difficult cursive script and there are many misreadings in the edition. The following corrections (in addition to those mentioned in passing above) may be worth listing: wy'k wy'ky (61.7); wy'kw (61.9); r(ty) pcp'ty ‘suddenly’ (37.1–2); trš ‘fled’, cf. IIJ, XVIII, 1976, 58 (37.3)Google Scholar; ‘tβn (37.10); ‘xws'nt (37.12); [‘n]twxcn'k (37.14); c'nkw 'z-w ZKwh s'ny wy'k wyn'n rty ”r'k wβ('mk)’m ‘when I see the enemy's position I shall go berserk’ (37.16–17).

7 The dish in question is called γrm'ych, perhaps = NP (Asadī, ;, Luyat-i furs, ed. ‘Abbās Iqbāl, Tehran, 1940, 521, s.v. ), said by Iqbāl to be a food made of cooked milletGoogle Scholar.

8 cf. šyr'k δβr- ‘id.’, Padm. 3, considered erroneous by MacKenzie. Possibly šyr'h(k) is an adjectival derivative of WMIr. šahr (šīr) ‘realm’, in which case the phrase may be compared with Syriac tr‘ mlkwt’ ‘gate of the kingdom’ = ‘court, palace’ (a meaning very appropriate to the context in L83a).

9 So. 13401 is known to me from a photograph in the collection of Hamburg University, Seminar für Geschichte und Kultur des Vorderen Orients, Abteilung Iranistik.—Further corrections to the printed text of L67: prxβyrnyty (line 3), prxšynyt oo (line 6), prxšδ'shwn (line 7).

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