Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Manuscript in Khitan language

A Manuscript Codex Written in the Khitan Large Script from the Collection of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts,
Russian Academy of Sciences [Рукописная книга большого киданьского письма из коллекции Института восточных рукописей РАН]
Written Monuments of the Orient, № 2(15), autumn-winter 2011. Moscow, Nauka, Vostochnaya Literatura Publishers, 2011. P.130-150.

Zaytsev, Viacheslav Petrovich

This paper presents the preliminary results of the first published research into a unique manuscript codex that is stored among the Chinese manuscripts of the “Nova Collection” at the Department of Manuscripts and Documents at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, RAS. The paper not only gives a detailed description of the manuscript, but also suggests an identification of the language and script that it is written in. The manuscript is catalogued as a “Manuscript written in Jurchen” in the inventory (call number Н 176, inventory number 1055), but as it is written using cursive letters that are difficult to read, this identification has never been confirmed. On the basis of detailed analysis of the writing in the manuscript, and comparison with the writing found on Khitan funerary inscriptions, the author of this paper proves that the manuscript is in fact written in the Khitan language using the Khitan large script. No other printed or manuscript books in either Khitan large script or Khitan small script are known, and this manuscript is thus the first Khitan book to have been discovered.

 For the paper itself (in Russian), click HERE

1 comment:

Andrew West said...

And if you can't read Russian there is a Wikipedia article about the manuscript. It's a very exciting discovery, and I can't wait to see the complete manuscript.