Usman Al-Amin: Ṣūfī Manuscript Cultures in Western Borno: A Critical Analysis of Themes and Contents of 20th Century Works of Nguru Ṣūfī Scholars
This work is a first-time examination of the Ṣūfī manuscript cultures in the twentieth-century Nguru, Nigeria. The specific focus is on the themes and contents found in the works of Sheikh Muḥammad Ghibrīma al-Dāghirī al-Ghūrāwī al-Barnāwī at-Tijânî (19.02.1902 CE/15.01.1323 AH) and Sheikh ʻUthmān al-Fallātī al-Ghūrāwī al-Barnāwī at-Tijânî (1909 CE/1330 AH) who were the leading Ṣūfī figures. Although their works are famous in the Tijāniyyah Ṣūfī order in Sudanic Africa, what they wrote is almost unknown to both African and Western scholars. Most of these works were written in classical Arabic and Ajami and touched on different subjects such as Jurisprudence (fiqh), esoteric sciences and Ṣūfīsm. Some of them have been published, while the majority are still in manuscript form. By tracing their circulation and popularity, and by carrying out a critical analysis of the themes and contents of their works, this study will try to bring the Ṣūfī Manuscript Culture of Western Borno of the 20th century into the limelight. To achieve the goals, this study will adopt a multi-disciplinary approach based on the methods of anthropology, codicology, and history.
Djibril Dramé: Mapping Dialectal Variation in Soninke Manuscripts
Many early Islamic manuscripts in Arabic from Mali, Guinea, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau contain annotations in Soninke, one of the trans-border languages in West Africa. The Soninke glosses written in Arabic script (Ajami) feature many similarities in morphology, syntax and lexicon. However, there is considerable variation across the manuscripts, especially noticeable at the graphemic level which somehow reflects phonological structures. This research will group a dozen of digitalized manuscripts with the Soninke annotations according to their palaeographic patterns and linguistic variation. The phonological, grammatical and lexical features thus reconstructed for each of the established subgroups of the manuscripts will then be mapped to linguistic features of the spoken Soninke dialects. The study will contribute to our understanding of the historical development of the Soninke dialects and the sociolinguistic reasons behind the distribution of variation in the manuscripts.
Chapane Mutiua: Bridging the Land to the Sea: Tenzi Literature, Oral Historiography and the Construction of Identities from Late 19th Century Angoche
This study is focused on a local Swahili composed tenzi poem, Utenzi wa Kubula. Firstly, it aims to make a descriptive analysis of the text (with emphasis on the content, typology and style). Secondly, it will use Utenzi wa Kubula as a case study for the analyses of the historical process of the construction of identities in the region of Angoche and its hinterland, from the late nineteenth century onwards. The main objective of the study is to analyze the typology and style of the poem, including: a) motifs of poetic composition and the content; b) Spelling – how Arabic script was re-adapted for local spelling of Swahili, Portuguese and Makhuwa words; c) Metric composition and structure of the manuscript; d) Analyses of the handwriting, physical aspects of decoration and ownership inscriptions. These methodological steps may help to explain the social role of the manuscript as a cultural artifact containing aspects of a collective memory and how it can be used as a source for the study of history. The Comparative approach with the nineteenth century correspondence that I studied in my previous research and further tenzi manuscripts collected in the region may help regarding the understanding of the changing patterns within the writing system as well as the dating of the events in the poem. Oral history and tradition may be important for the reconstruction and mapping of the history of a manuscript transmission as well as the relationship with its sociocultural context. The study is based on a historical approach within an interdisciplinary perspective.
Darya Ogorodnikova: Islamic Education Among the Mande Mediated by the Soninke Ajami Manuscripts
The proposed research will be concerned with West African Islamic manuscripts annotated in Soninke written in Arabic-based script (Ajami). The subject matters, specific layout and peculiarities of the language of annotations suggest that the manuscripts were used at advanced stages of Islamic learning, with Soninke being used as an explication language for educational instructions. The study will focus on paratextual elements as they give insight into the functional dimension of the manuscripts, allowing us to reconstruct learning practices. As the research will be dealing with the still living manuscript tradition, the data obtained from the primary written sources will be supplemented by the data collected during fieldwork. The outcome of the study will be a detailed description of the educational practices mediated by the Soninke Ajami manuscripts. The research will advance understanding of written and spoken transmission of Islamic knowledge in West Africa.
Abande Mohammed Shettima: Morphosyntactic Variation and Scribal Practices in the Old Kanembu Manuscripts
Many Islamic manuscripts from Nigeria, Niger and Chad have annotations in Old Kanembu – one of the earliest written languages in West Africa, related to the modern Kanembu and Kanuri languages. Beyond general similarities in syntactic and morphological structures featured in Old Kanembu glosses, there is a considerable amount of variation across the manuscripts. This study will group eleven digitised Qur’an manuscripts from historical Borno according to their linguistic and palaeographic features and map morphosyntactic variation in manuscripts to the regional Kanembu and Kanuri dialects. This will help us understand the relation between different scribal schools and different dialects.
Archaeology Ann-Lauren Osthof: Immersive City Scripts: Inscriptions and the Construction of Social Spaces in Miletus (Asia Minor)
In the cities of Roman Asia Minor, inscriptions were omnipresent. They are a comparatively complex medium whose perception was influenced by the particular text as much as by its formal design, its material or its location. The spectrum ranged from the hastily engraved graffiti on the wall of a room to the extensive imperial epistle carved in careful letters on the outside wall of a temple. Since persons from different social status commissioned the inscriptions in various situations, it can be assumed that these contributed to an agent-based structuring of public space. For example, inscriptions with large letters embedded in metal could have generated a surplus of meaning that made a square appear 'central' regardless of its position in the city map, thus requiring certain patterns of behaviour. So called topos-inscriptions, with which dealers marked their public stands, structured a street and permanently represented a group of people that was otherwise only temporarily present in the cityscape. Hence, the distribution of the inscriptions and their design can reveal spatial constructions resulting from competing agents. Apart from providing an elaborate case study of the Greco-Roman period, the project will serve as an example for transcultural and diachronic comparison of inscribed spaces, involving perspectives and methods from classical archaeology, ancient history and human-computer interaction.
This dissertation project is part of RFB02.
Mojtaba Mahmoudi Khorandi: Investigation of the Dyes and Pigments Applied in Persian Manuscripts of Timurid Dynasty with Non-Invasive Analytical Methods
The knowledge of the materials used to write and decorate Persian manuscripts is available thanks to ancient treatises about illumination, calligraphy and paper decoration. From the point of view of an analyst, colorants in Persian manuscripts can be detected by an instrumental analytical approach. In particular, it is generally possible to recognize the inorganic pigments by combining non-invasive analytical techniques such as reflectance spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy. Organic dyes can be identified in situ by UV-visible diffuse reflectance spectrophotometry (FORS), spectrofluorimetry and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF).
This research will be a study of Persian manuscripts with special focus on Timurid manuscripts, and one of the main purposes of this study is to provide tables and previews of the colours used in the Persian manuscripts. In fact, the target is to render a palette of colours used in the Persian manuscripts based on the analysis carried out by using FORS, FOMF and p-XRF methods revealing the ingredients used to create each colour. The next factor which makes this study distinct from the others is that a more comprehensive analysis of the dyes has been conducted in the Persian manuscripts by employing the FORS and FOMF methods. According to the Golestan-e Honar (written in the 18th century AD) and the Art of bibliopegy in Islamic civilization, which include information about different stages of making manuscripts, it is quite obvious that a large number of dyes was used to make the manuscripts.
Karin Becker: The Psalter in Use. Page Layout and Word Images in Medieval Psalter Manuscripts
An integral part of medieval religious life in Christian Europe was a practice of worship and prayer that structured the course of day and night, the so-called Liturgy of the Hours. It is not only linked to clerical institutions and to monasticism, but also – especially during the later Middle Ages – to private devotional practices. The manuscripts related to this practice are Psalter Manuscripts that did not just include the biblical psalms but also additional devotional material.
In some manuscripts the layout encourages a liturgical use, for example by dividing the psalms into smaller sections that had to be read on a specific day or by including liturgical instructions. In other codices, however, the layout as well as pictorial elements point towards a different use. So-called word images can either correspond to specific verses, words or to syllables with or without consideration for the broader context of the psalm. Psalter manuscripts can include these literal depictions of the text in the form of historiated initials, marginal illustrations or images inserted into the text columns. The beginning of Psalm 68 (69), for instance, reads “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck.“ (Ps 68, 1); the corresponding initials often depict a human being whose body (up to the neck) is under water and a godly figure above who saves the human being by a blessing gesture or by pulling him out of the water. Another example would be the illustration of a sparrow next to the word passer (sparrow). These word images do not stand alone, rather they are part of the visual organisation of the full page: by being embedded in a different layout, the same illustration can fulfil various functions.
This project aims to investigate the correlation between visual organisation, word images and especially specific uses of Latin Psalter Manuscripts; it will also take a closer look at the function of word images, in particular regarding the question how word images can enhance ritual practices.
Fridericke Conrad: Borders, Frames, Spaces. Narrative Border Design and Reflection on Media in Late Medieval Manuscript Painting
The manuscript NKS 50h 8° from the Kongelige Bibliotek in Copenhagen is a fragment of a prayer book which was written and illuminated around 1510. It contains the penitential psalms accompanied by a cycle of images of King David’s misdemeanours. To name a few, the story of David and Bathseba, David’s conduction of a census of population and the killing of his son Absalom. These seven double-page illuminations include extraordinary borders serving as narrative image zones. While previous research has often regarded them as subsidiary to the central fields, they appear to have been designed to be of equal significance. There are complex relationships between both image zones on the levels of form, structure and content. Rather than displaying a simple picture – frame relationship, the central field appears like a layer placed on a larger image below it, which is usually seen and defined as the border. One part of my PhD project is to study and examine the forms and functions of these “borders”. To achieve this, it is necessary to take into account the historical context and semantics of borders in the layout of medieval books. Additionally, the images themselves show multi-part narratives set in segmented and multifarious painted spaces. Drawing on previous art-historical research on narrative, the structure of the images and the narrative spaces of the pages shall be analysed. Besides the relation between the alleged border and the central field, the relationships between the pages in the context of the whole manuscript are also part of the investigation. My PhD project focuses on the fragment in Copenhagen and another incomplete manuscript at the British Library (Add. Ms. 31838). It is likely that the two fragments originally formed a single codex, which was presumably taken apart in the 19th century.
Marzia Martino: Jean Pichore: Reconstructing the Working Practice of a Commercial Atelier of Book Illumination
The aim of this project is to discover more about the organization and the working methods of commercial workshops of book illumination through the study of the manuscript production ascrib-able to Jean Pichore (ca. 1501–20). Pichore has been only recently rediscovered by scholars and is currently considered the head of a large workshop that produced more than one hundred manu-scripts. As illuminator he is documented as working on two manuscripts, the first volume of Augus-tine’s De civitate Dei (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, lat. 2070 - c. 1501/03) and the Chants royaux du Puy de Notre Dame d’Amiens for Louise of Savoy (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 145 - 1517). Starting from the two surviving miniatures of De civitate Dei, scholars have attributed several manuscripts to him, especially books of hours, but also classical and secular texts. Pichore is assumed to have led a large and well-organized atelier, primarily because of the huge number of manuscripts he can take credit for, and secondly for a document recording the payments to him and to his enffans et serviteurs (Amiens, Bibliothèque municipale, Archives de la ville d’Amiens, CC 95, c.151-152). Therefore, every manuscript attributed to him seems to have a distinctive combination of Pichore’s stylistic elements that undoubtedly points to his entourage, but at the same time every manuscript is set apart so that the artistic personality of Pichore remains quite elusive. While much remains unknown about manuscript production during this period, it is likely that multiple illuminators had worked on his books with the probability of an “assembly-line” procedure, but at present we can not say anything more; there have been lots of commercial ateliers, particularly in Paris, but we still do not know much about the organization of large and marketable workshops. Through codicological, palaeographical and artistic examinations of a critical selection of Pichore’s extensive work, it is intended to obtain further information and to advance in knowledge of half-serial production process of illuminated pages in Parisian ateliers during the fifteenth and early sixteenth century.
Jana Wolf: Image, Script, and Death: Inscriptions on Painted Portraits in Medieval Europe and their Semantic Reference Systems
The portrait type that determines our current perception of this pictorial genre first took form in the 14th century: The depiction of a living person painted initially on an independent panel, and later on canvas. Many such portraits bear painted inscriptions that typically refer to the person depicted, although a significant number also refer thematically to memento mori and vanitas. Remarkably, these inscriptions often allude to forms of script and types of material beyond the matrices of wooden panel or canvas. They imitate, for instance, stone inscriptions or slips of parchment with manuscript texts that often deliberately reflect specific epigraphic traditions, notably traditions that correspond to the contents of the inscriptions themselves. For example, inscriptions and their formats often relate to the literary and formal conventions of epitaphs and sepulchral monuments. These connections demand study, and the painted portraits need to be analysed as a deliberate form of an image-text-system.
Considered across the full range of late medieval and early modern pictorial media (or better, image-text-media), the inscribed portrait is virtually unexplored as an independent area of historical research. Problems yet to be considered include: 1) the interaction and co-action of image and inscription; 2) the perception and awareness of “Inschriftlichkeit” (i.e. the semantic status of inscriptions as distinguished from other manifestations of script on a meta-level); 3) the authoritative character of the reference systems ‘inscription’ and ‘manuscript’ with their specific forms of script and materiality; and 4) the meaning of image and script with regard to the memoria of the living as it corresponds to those media that serve the memoria of the dead.
The project aims at a systematic compilation of relevant source material from the 14th to early 16th century in Europe, and following that an analysis of the semantic reference systems of ‘inscription’ and ‘manuscript’ in relation to the textual contents and the pictorial messages embodied in each example.
This dissertation project is part of RFB04.
Polina Yaroslavtseva: The Relationship between Illustration, Text and Commentary in the Hamburg Apocalypse, Codex In Scrinio 87. A Manuscript Containing the Revelation John from the State and University Library Hamburg Carl von Ossietzky
The Hamburg Apocalypse is a manuscript from the first quarter of the 14th century. It is a part of the collections of the Hamburg State and University Library. The manuscript contains the text of the Revelation of John with a prologue by Gilbertus Porretanus and it is vividly illustrated. The Hamburg Apocalypse belongs to a small group of German Apocalypses within which it has a unique status. It becomes clear at first glance that the manuscript was created under the influence of various sources. Although the illustrations of the manuscript are clearly made in the German style, the compositions and the selection of some scenes probably refer, among others, to English templates. However, it should be noted that the principles of the organisation of English manuscripts have been greatly transformed in the Hamburg manuscript, which offers a complete new system of visual organisation and interplay of the text with illustrations.
The main goal of this project is to understand and explore the new and innovative concept of the Hamburg cycle and to describe its uniqueness. The focus lays on the relationship between text, image and commentary in the Hamburg cycle. The main task of the project is to determine the connection between the original text of the Revelation of John, the explanatory texts in the banners and the texts between the figures, the selection of certain scenes and the choice of certain iconographic motifs for their representation. Based on defining these relationships, conclusions can be drawn regarding the function of this cycle, the logic of its structure and interpretation of the Revelation of John which the creators of this manuscript wanted to present to the reader/viewer/listener. Furthermore, this project aims to identify text and illustration templates that may have influenced the creation of this cycle. To do so, it will identify criteria for its comparison with other apocalyptic cycles and draw connections between the Hamburg manuscript and potential templates.
Based on this research, the example of the Hamburg manuscript allows examining the perception of the Revelation of John and how it was interpreted in Germany in the 13th and the beginning of the 14th century.
This dissertation project is part of RFD10.
Theresa Müller: Originals Created by Copying. Letters from Heaven as Magical Manuscripts in World War I
The project deals with the manuscript genre Letters from Heaven (Himmelsbriefe) and examines the significance of handwriting as a precondition for the historical emergence, further development and societal impact of this popular form of sacred communication. The currently relevant material consists of about fifty manuscripts from the 15th to the 20th century, which are now scattered in museums, libraries and (private) archives in various regions of Germany, but also in Europe and the USA. The question at stake is what role the ritual handwritten (re-)production played for the status and agency of those manuscripts as ‘originals’ in their differing contexts of origin and use. Copying by hand seemed to be a central part of the material production, circulation and use of this type of manuscripts. Furthermore, copying was also fundamental for the attributed agency of these replicas and their function as ‘originals’ in magical practices over time. The practice of copying negotiates the ontological ground of Himmelsbriefe by turning them on the one hand into copies and on the other hand, by circulation and donation from a scribe to the new owner, into originals again. The project reconstructs the process of handwritten copying in order to understand these performative practices of replication and their material und social consequences, especially in the historical contexts of war and threat since the 15th century. The question will be how to specify and contextualize the parameters of valorization of copy/original – i.e. reliability, authenticity and agency of the artefact not as result of ascription, but of production – by looking at the materiality itself as well as at the production and the usage or consumption of these artefacts. How does a copy become an original? What is the specific aura of an original? At what point of the process and how does a copy change into an original? Since there is some historical evidence of (broadsheet) printed editions of Letters from Heaven, the project will examine the transition process and the relationship between handwritten copies/originals and mass production. Identifying the age and the material and writing surface of the manuscripts demands close cooperation with research field A: Artefact Profiling, as well as with research field E: Archiving Artefacts regarding problems of recording and sampling of the manuscripts.
Sina Sauer: Compensation Practice in the Making: Formatting, Usage and Agency of Forms in a Compensation Procedure in German Post-War Administration 1948–1959
After the end of the Second World War in Germany in 1945, paper documents were of central importance for the establishment of an administrative compensation practice with regard to Nazi crimes. Due to their semiotic and graphic specificity, these documents assumed the task of ordering and standardising the field of compensation for anti-Semitic and racist expropriation policies, which was not yet comprehensible.
Based on a case study, the PhD project examines the formatting, usage and agency of forms in a compensation procedure in the German post-war financial administration in the period 1948 to 1959. The main material consists of files containing the correspondence between financial authorities and the community of heirs as well as material evidence of the Nazi expropriation policy from the years 1939 and 1941.
The study highlights the fact that forms are not passive information carriers, but the result and folio of discursive formative processes that reflect the values and norms of their originators. A comparison of the forms reveals at what time which information was considered relevant to a decision with regard to compensation claims. Forms are documents with the specific format to transform and transmit content. Depending on their personal experience, applicants had various options for dealing with the asymmetric dialogue situation between the questioner and the respondent. With the subsequent transmission process, the forms also contain administrative processing traces such as stamps, numberings, comments, signatures, work instructions, underlines and colour codes, which can be used to reconstruct administrative layers of action and decision-making.
The aim of the PhD project is to decode and deconstruct the forms as multilayered artefacts in order to reveal the attempt to administer compensation and hence to outline the establishment of a compensation practice in German post-war bureaucracy in the 1940s and 1950s.
Leah Mascia: The Transition from Traditional Cults to the Affirmation of Christian Beliefs in the City of Oxyrhynchus
The aim of my research is the study of the transition from the traditional cults to the affirmation of Christian religion in the city of Oxyrhynchus (modern El-Bahnasa), around the second and the fourth century C.E. Although the site has been known since the Pharaonic era as the capital of the XIX nomos in Upper Egypt, it is the richness of the Greco-Roman period documentation that gives us adequate data for a clear historical reconstruction. The exceptional state of conservation of the Oxyrhynchus texts offers an ideal model rarely achieved in other contemporary settlements. The recent archaeological investigations have identified different cult structures, dated between the Ptolemaic to the Byzantine periods, until now known only from the papyrological documentations. In light of these, I propose to integrate the textual sources with the analysis of the archaeological contexts and the related material documents for a clear comprehension of the historical-religious dynamics that led to the transition from traditional cults to Christianization. I will begin with a critical examination of the source material available, the collected data will be compared to the “written artifacts” and the related archaeological contexts (such as: temples, churches, oratories, tombs and structures related to public and private feasts). The results produced by the systematic study of these testimonies may be applied to other Egyptian cities that do not have the same findings as this settlement, permitting an evaluation of Oxyrhynchus inside the Egyptian context and to compare it to other realities contemporary to the site.
Jonas Karlsson: The Formation of the Dəggʷā
This project aims to investigate the textual and manuscript history of the Dəggʷā, the main antiphonary of the Ethiopian Christian tradition. Traditionally attributed to the 6th-century saint Yāred, the Dəggʷā is a collection of antiphons used in the Divine Office in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It contains antiphons for the major liturgical celebrations of the year, including the feasts of the Lord, a number of Marian feasts, and feasts for major saints. Unlike significant parts of Classical Ethiopian literature, the Dəggʷā is not considered a translation from Greek or Arabic, but an original Gəʿəz composition. Although of great importance for the life of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and widely attested in the manuscript material, the Dəggʷā has received little scholarly attention until now. Basic questions, such as the age of the composition, its sources, its historical developments (including abridgments and reorganizations of the material) and the question of authorship, still remain to be answered. As part of this study, the tradition of the Dəggʷā manuscripts as physical artefacts will also be investigated. Dəggʷā manuscripts typically share a number of layout features, such as the large size, the usage of small script, and the occurrence of mələkkət, an indigenous musical notation, written in very small script above the lines of text. The development and history of these manuscript features will be studied in conjunction with the development and history of the text. The project also includes a sample edition of a part of the Dəggʷā, which will allow an in-depth study of a selected portion of the textual and manuscript transmission.
B. Ivusic: An Ottoman Manuscript Dating Back to the End of the 16th Century Which Contains Texts Written in Arabic Script in Serbo-Croatian, Hungarian, German and Latin language – Linguistic and Manuscriptological Research on its Origins and Function
The manuscript Flügel 2006 (A.F. 437) from the Austrian National Library (ÖNB) is an Ottoman multitext manuscript dating back to the end of the 16th century. Apart from texts in Turkish, Arabic and Persian language, it also contains texts in German, Hungarian, Latin and Serbo-Croatian – all written by the same hand in Arabic script in accordance with Ottoman writing conventions. The date and place of its origin as well as the persons involved in its creation are unknown. It is dated according to a folio bearing the date 997 anno hegirae (1588/89 AD) and a list of the Ottoman sultans ending with Murad III. (1574-1595). In the early 17th century it was included in the collection held at the ÖNB. However, a documentation of the exact circumstances of its purchase does not exist. My Ph.D. project aims at identifying the manuscript’s date and place of origin as well as possible compilers and scribes by analyzing linguistic features of the texts contained and their transmission paths as well as paleographic, codicological or other aspects of the manuscript. Another aim is to improve text accessibility by a planned edition and commentary of the manuscript.
Gaia Castaldi: Aristotle’s Politics: Manuscripts and Scholia
While Aristotle’s Politics, his most relevant work of political philosophy, has had great influence even beyond philosophy and political science, a thorough examination of both its textual transmission and its scholia according to current standards is still missing. Whereas the manuscript tradition of many Aristotelian works has already been extensively analysed, the existing comprehensive palaeographical and codicological studies of the Politics are largely incomplete. This mainly results from all previous editors’ having considered only a small number of the extant manuscripts. In addition, paratexts and their content have not yet been investigated in depth. Up to date, it remains uncertain who their authors are.
Thus, the first aim of this project is to investigate all manuscripts of the Politics that bear evidence of marginal and/or interlinear annotations. On the one hand, scholia represent a crucial factor in explaining mutual relationships between manuscripts. On the other hand, a precise inquiry can help understand the role the Politics had within the cultural and intellectual environments that produced and studied or used the respective manuscripts.
Furthermore, this project strives to provide a more detailed evaluation of these manuscripts in order to elucidate their interconnections and shed new light on important, yet still unknown commentaries and exegetical aids. Moreover, examining the exegetical activities of Byzantine scholars regarding Aristotle’s work will provide new insights into different intellectual environments and knowledge of the Politics reception during both the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The results from this project are to eventually provide a reliable textual basis towards a future critical edition of the entire scholia corpora accompanying the Politics.
Alessandro Musino: The Transmission of Orion’s Etymologicum
Orion’s Etymologicum is the earliest Greek etymological lexicon (5th century CE) and represents a fundamental link between Hellenistic/Late Antique and Byzantine scholarship. It is indeed an inestimable witness for previous erudite works and, at the same time, it served as a model and major source for the later Byzantine Etymologica. Despite the importance of this lexicon, a comprehensive study of its manuscripts, and therefore a modern critical edition, are still lacking. The transmission of the Etymologicum is extremely intricate: The lexicon has come to us in a ‘long’ version (though still shorter than the original one) through an apparently very late codex and in at least two ‘shorter’ versions through seven (or eight) miscellaneous codices; These versions vary widely from one another and each one has its own textual transmission. The indirect transmission is also very rich and complex, as the compilers of many erudite works of the Byzantine era had still access to more complete versions of the Etymologicum, which they exploited in different fashions.
The Aim of this project is to thoroughly study all the manuscripts of Orion’s Etymologicum and to investigate its main indirect witnesses, in order to finally sketch a complete picture of its transmission; Moreover, since all the manuscripts are, to a different extent, products of Byzantine learning, their content, sources, dating, place of origin and reception must also be investigated, in order to help improving our knowledge of scholarship in the Byzantine period.
Therefore, as a result of the prospected study, it will be possible not only to finally outline the textual transmission of Orion’s Etymologicum, thus providing the basis for a future edition, but also to shed some light on the transmission of its sources and witnesses and to deepen our knowledge of this particular field of Greek and Byzantine scholarship.
Boryana Pouvkova: The Iatrosophia and Their Gynaecological Contents – A Heuristic Survey of Greek Folk-Medicine Manuscripts up to the 17th Century
Iatrosophia, i.e. manuals of „medical wisdom“, constitute practical texts that have been used for centuries from the Byzantine era to modern times. The texts typically consist of a varying number of chapters offering remedies for ailments of the different parts of the human body arranged “a capite ad calcem”. An interesting phenomenon concerning the contents of these texts is the mixture of medical practices with magical and religious elements. The vivid production and widespread distribution of manuscripts containing such texts shows the important role they played for the contemporary community. The survey will consist of a heuristic analysis of the catalogues of manuscript libraries in order to assess the approximate number of manuscripts which contain iatrosophia. Palaeographical and codicological methods will be used in order to analyse relevant issues such as the production and diffusion of the manuscripts, the transmission with other texts in the same codex, as well as layout aspects. Paratexts and scribal notes will also be taken into consideration in order to comprehend the function and usage of these manuscripts and learn more about the compilers and users of these texts. The analysis of the contents of iatrosophia will concentrate on a close examination and comparison of different versions of text passages concerning gynaecology and obstetrics.
Cosima Schwarke: The Problemata Physica in the Corpus Aristotelicum: Manuscripts and Transmission
The examination of the Problemata physica transmission remains a gap in philological research. This collection of texts which deals with interesting phenomena in natural philosophy and science belongs to the Corpus Aristotelicum. The treatise was not written by Aristotle himself, but emerged from Aristotle's school. The collection was essentially created in the 3rd/2nd century BCE, but over the centuries it was extended until Late Antiquity. The technique of question and answer in scholarly discussion which is the characteristic feature of the Problemata physica had a huge impact on later authors (e.g. Plutarch, Alexander of Aphrodisias, Cassius Iatrosophista and others). The Arabic and Hebrew tradition as well as the Latin translations and elaborated Latin prints from the 15th century reflect the permanent interest in the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Early Modern Times. Palaeographical and codicological methods will be used in order to analyse the production and diffusion of the manuscripts as well as the transmission together with other texts in the same codex. Byzantine and Humanistic scholars have dealt with the Problemata physica and incorporated different readings into the manuscripts. All previous editors have considered only a small number of the extant manuscripts in their reconstruction of the text, all in all only twelve of them have been taken into consideration until now, but there are more than fifty extant. Incorrect dating of an important codex (i.e. the manuscript of Ioannikios Laur. Plut. 87,04 which was formerly dated to the 14th cent., but was in fact written in the 12th cent.), requires new examination. The study of all textual witnesses of the Problemata physica will allow to create a stemma codicum and to reconstruct the history of the text.
Hannah Boeddeker: Parliamentary Shorthand Writing as Material and Political Practice
During the 19th century, a new form of written artefacts rapidly grew in popularity in Europe: manuscripts written in shorthand. Although the concept to protocol speech verbatim is known since Roman Antiquity, its sudden divulgation was closely linked to a novel form of political communication: Stenography swiftly turned into an indispensable tool for recording parliamentary debates. At the same time, the technical details and conceptual implications of shorthand protocolling political affairs remained contested throughout the 19th century. My project will investigate the material culture and political impact of shorthand manuscript cultures as they developed in German Parliaments in the decades between 1819 (first stenographed debate in Bavaria) and the early 1930s (introduction of the Deutsche Einheitskurzschrift and political turning point). The overall aim is to explore shorthand as a writing and material practice. For my period of investigation, it was embedded in a “shorthand milieu” within the German states. Professional associations, institutions and journals, as well as personal networks and a distinctive set of social practices surrounding the different shorthand systems, emerged. The nucleus of the project, however, will be the examination of the remaining parliamentary shorthand notes as well as the analysis of the procedure right up to the finished print. A comparison of the different stages of parliamentary manuscripts from shorthand to longhand to the printed version will highlight the various settings, actors, materialities and practices involved. To broaden the view, these protocols will also have to be taken into account as a part of the wider debate about Parliamentarism. Private letters of shorthand writers, newspaper articles and last but not least the parliamentary debates themselves are full of remarks about the political overtones of shorthand protocolling: Should everything be divulged? Could shorthand protocolling be trusted? Were parliaments accountable to the wider public, and, if so, was publishing their oral debates the best way to do this? These questions have to be considered in order to gain a deeper understanding of the connection between politics, publicity, and handwriting in the 19th and early 20th century.
Ann-Sophie Hellmich-Schwan: Buildings, Rooms and Furniture – Material and Spatial Dimensions of Early Modern European Archives
In early modern Europe, changing attitudes towards administrative practice and an increase in paper-based communication together spurred on a growing archival culture. With an increased significance of knowledge management, the organization and storage of archival records necessitated record-keepers to systematically arrange objects in space. It is one of my project’s central premises that these storage arrangements’ spatial structures and the predominant archival practice of a certain time and location mutually shaped one another. This project systematically studies how they did and how that mutual dependence may have changed over time. It focuses on archival furniture, rooms, and buildings in noble and princely archives created by noble families and ruling houses in parts of the early modern Holy Roman Empire. My research combines an analysis of three types of sources: textual evidence (e.g. inventories), visual evidence (plans, drawings), and, crucially, an autopsy of material evidence ranging from paper tools over archival furniture to spaces used for record-keeping (both remaining on site and reconstructed from written evidence). It revolves around four thematic areas: Firstly, a survey of archival building structures and their location within noble households and manors will be conducted. Another set of research questions focuses on the different types of furniture used in archives and studies how their usage changed over time. A third area of research brings the spatial arrangements into conversation with systems of document classification. Noble and princely archives both contained familial (attributed “secret”) as well as administrative (“public”) records which became increasingly separated. While demands of secrecy seem to preclude that owners used archives to display social status, quite a few existing cases demonstrate that those who planned and built early modern archives paid considerable attention to representational aspects. A fourth area studies these dynamic tensions in detail. Overall, the project promises to study for the first time how material and spatial dimensions undergirded early modern archival practice in the Empire.
Till Hennings: East-Frankish Anthologies of the 9th Century: Latin Poetry at the Intersection of Cultural and Material History
Poems were passed down in the form of collections almost by default – their short nature making them “collectibles” like no other genre of medieval literature. Because of their small format they also form part of larger collections together with texts of different genres. These short pieces were also easily shared and transcribed. As such they are suitable for a study of manuscripts as collections and collections in manuscripts. The specific set of texts such as classic poems from antiquity and contemporary verse from the 9th century is exceptionally well researched in terms of editions and manuscript catalogues. By tapping into this reservoir of classical scholarship, I hope to integrate traditional methods with the new emphasis of contemporary manuscript studies.
This is especially apparent in multiple text manuscripts (MTM) with their wide variety of texts also known as “one volume library”. The combination of texts in these manuscripts is crucial to understanding them in their socio-cultural setting. For example, a text, which is part of an educational collection, must be read differently than one from an authorial collection. However, recent studies on MTMs have often been limited to the analysis of a single volume and its codicological properties, but codicological units may also obscure the relationship between the texts, especially in the case of repeated copying. Only a comparative analysis of manuscripts containing the same texts can reveal the associations of the larger textual tradition. Connections between manuscripts and their texts are also connections between people and institutions. The circulation and proliferation of a text show the inner workings of the cultural networks of the Carolingian age.
The usage of a text may be obscured as well in the context of a larger manuscript; on the other hand, a family of manuscripts of similar use can reflect the use of single texts. By establishing a typology of collections we get closer to the intended use of the texts and the role of the manuscript in the transmission of learning and literary culture.
Vladimir Angirov: Jñānaśrīmitranibandhāvali as a Multiple-Text Manuscript
The project will investigate the so called Jñānaśrīmitranibandhāvali (JNA) as a ‘multipletext Manuscript’ (MTM). It had been discovered in Tibet and contains twelve works by the 11th century philosopher Jñānaśrīmitra, who was one of the prominent teachers at Vikramaśīla, a famous Buddhist University in East India. JNA is the codex unicus for the Sanskrit text of all the works. This written artefact appears to consist of three codicological units, two of which include one work each, while the third unit is itself a collection of shorter and longer treatises. Nonetheless, it actually has been treated as one object both by its Tibetan owners and by modern scholars. Moreover, the format and layout of the units bear significant similarity not only to each other, but to a certain set of manuscripts which all might have been produced within an institutional framework of East Indian Buddhist universities.
The problem of the complex multi-layered structure of this collection should be studied – through comparing its textual materials within the one multiple-text unit, between the units themselves as well as against texts of other related manuscripts, both collectively and individually. Methods of studying MTM are already well established in Western philologies, though they have not yet been widely employed in Indian studies. For this research project, some of them should be adopted and adjusted if necessary. Finally, this project aims at a critical edition of one of the texts in order to test the observations and methods in application to JNA. Īśvaravāda appears to be the most appropriate for this role.
Shanshan Jia: The Study of Chapter 10, Paratexts and Organization of the Nepalese Manuscripts of Laṅkavatātarasūtra in the 17th Century
This study aims at a critical edition of chapter 10 of Laṅkavatātarasūtra, and focus firstly on the paratexts (including the introductory matters, colophons, interlinear and marginal annotations, demarcation devices, numbering methods) and secondly on the organization (including the arrangement and re-arrangement of chapters, subsections within the chapters, the titles of the chapters, by which the understanding of the logical structures of different topics is conveyed, and information provided by the annotations about the structures) in Sanskrit manuscripts of Laṅkavatātarasūtra. Laṅkavatātarasūtra, considered to be composed in the 4th century, is one of the nine central Mahāyāna texts in Nepalese Buddhism, which has been often transmitted, studied and cited. It has been transmitted not only in original Sanskrit, but also in three Chinese translations, two Tibetan translations and two Sanskrit commentaries which only exist in their Tibetan translations.
Anna Kavaleuskaya: Rituals and Knowledge Transmission Involving Manuscripts (As Written Texts and as Objects) in Early Medieval Tantric Śaiva-Śakta Traditions
This project investigates roles and functions of manuscripts as a written form of knowledge preservation and transmission within Indian Śaiva-Śākta tantric early medieval traditions. The main focus of this research is on methods employed by these traditions in their written texts, the objective of which was to find a balance between keeping esoteric knowledge secret and simultaneously benefiting from the manuscript culture in practice. In the analysis of techniques attempting to reduce the breach of confidentiality in the process of written transmission, both theoretical and practical issues will be addressed. Theoretical issues will be tackled by examining the terms and concepts relevant for evaluating the role of written texts in accumulation, development and diffusion of knowledge, as well as its intended concealment and perversion liable for later decipherment. When approaching practical issues included in the scope of the study, I will investigate evidences of written texts as icons and as sacred objects in ritualistic or meditative contexts. The textual basis for this research is a voluminous compendium entitled Jayadrathayāmala and other related texts for initiates in North-Indian and Nepal Śaiva-Śākta tantric traditions characterized by their prominently esoteric character.
Jooyoung Lim: The Transmission of Sāṃkhya Philosophy through Manuscripts - A case Study of South Indian Multiple Text Manuscripts, with a New Critical Edition of Śākara’s Jayamaṅgalā
Sāṃkhya is one of the most influential schools of classical Indian philosophy with a rich history of interplay with other philosophical schools. Its teachings are epitomized in its foundational text, namely the Sāṃkhyakārikā (“Aphoristic Verses on Sāṃkhya”), and in a number of commentaries. In my doctoral research, I intend to focus on multiple text manuscripts containing Sāṃkhya texts which are originally from South India, in particular from the areas of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. I will investigate the various forms of codicological interaction between the primary text and its commentaries in terms of their distribution within the manuscripts. Furthermore, I will search for paratexts that may further the understanding of the nature of the scholarly milieu in which these objects were produced. This will help outline the different aims (teaching, individual studying, etc.) pursued by the written copies of these texts. I will also test on philological grounds the hypothesis according to which individuals involved in producing manuscripts containing Sāṃkhya texts were opponents of that school, who were interested in familiarizing themselves with the philosophical view of a rival school. The study will be accompanied by a new critical edition of Śaṅkara’s Jayamaṅgalā (“The Victorious Blessing”), one of the commentaries of the Sāṃkhyakārikā. This text, which seems to have been transmitted in Kerala only, was probably one of the privileged means for scholars of that area to approach the contents of the Sāṃkhyakārikā.
Kerstin Lindenberg: The Īśvarapratyabhijñāvimarśinī of Abhinavagupta: A Study of the Text and its Exegesis in Annotated Sanskrit Manuscripts
The presence of marginal and interlinear annotations in Sanskrit manuscripts is one of the least studied features of manuscripts produced in Sanskritic cultures. While such notes, written in the margins and between the lines of a text, have been largely overlooked by Sanskritists, they may contain valuable information on how a text was transmitted, studied and understood by members of traditional Sanskritic cultures. A typical and important example of a text transmitted in annotated manuscripts is the Īśvarapratyabhijñāvimarśinī of Abhinavagupta (10th–11th century), a commentary on the Īśvarapratyabhijñākārikā of Utpaladeva. Both of these texts are canonical texts of the Pratyabhijñā philosophy, a nondualist Śaiva philosophy that originated in 10th century Kashmir and has been particularly influential in tantric circles. The annotation in the Vimarśinī manuscripts, added to the text, and thereafter copied, by adherents of Śaiva traditions in the course of the text’s transmission, takes the form of longer explanations of text passages, quotations from other texts and short glosses. These additions to the text are representative of the exegetical activity of those engaged in the text’s study and transmission and provide insight into the ways the text was understood by learned readers within the tradition. Reading the Vimarśinī together with the annotation in the manuscripts may therefore open up lines of interpretation from within its native contexts of transmission. In order to provide a detailed study of Abhinavagupta’s Vimarśinī and its exegesis by learned readers preserved in the margins of manuscripts, this PhD project has as its task to critically edit and translate a part of the text (Vimarśinī I,5–6) together with the annotation in the manuscripts.
Indonesian and Malay Studies
Herman Hermansyah: Manuscripts Propagating Holy War in Acehnese Society
Aceh located at the northern tip of the island Sumatra’s most western region of Muslim Southeast Asia, has a history abounding in human (war and conflict) and natural (earthquake and tsunami) disasters. This study will focus on manuscripts containing Prang Sabi (holy war) texts produced in connection with the Dutch-Aceh war of 1873-1942. In general, these texts deal with the conditions that would allow and require the Acehnese to wage against infidels who invaded their lands. The manuscripts are very popular and were used to motivate the Acehnese to fight the Dutch colonial forces around the turn of the 20th century, as well as the Indonesian army in the 21th century. My proposed project is to research manuscripts of the Acehnese holy war, especially those containing exhortations and advice to spirit up the fighters, doctrine of jihad, war strategies, and how to survive in battle, as compiled by Acehnese religious leaders. The aim of this research is to analyse the Prang Sabi manuscripts both from a textual perspective, to find out what this text consists of, and a cultural anthropological perspective, to redefine interpretations of holy war in the Acehnese society in the past and present.
Siti Nurliyana Taha: Adapting to Changing Times: Situating Ahmad Beramka’s Manuscripts within the Malay Oral-Written Tradition
Foremost amongst the chief aims of this project is to provide a detailed study of the last few manuscripts produced for and by a mid – late 19th century manuscript lending library facility. The six manuscripts, written and/or copied by Ahmad Beramka, are part of the manuscript collection owned by Beramka’s family, more popularly referred to in scholarly articles as the ‘Fadli collection’, originally consisting of at least 75 manuscripts. Whilst much credit has been given to modern print technologies in the spread of information and knowledge in Southeast Asia, it is critical to also examine indigenous networks and systems of knowledge dissemination. In its entirety, the Fadli collection allows us a unique opportunity to examine the intimate relationship between the scribe and his community, the interests of indigenous readers (in influencing the scribe’s works), and the business transactions that occur on a micro scale. By examining these last vestiges of the Fadli lending library through Beramka’s manuscripts, we are able to identify the final desperate attempts of the Malay manuscript tradition to remain relevant in the 20th century.
This project will place Beramka’s six manuscripts in a broader socio-economic framework to examine the pressure the Malay manuscript tradition faced in the time of print. This will additionally allow us to understand Beramka’s reliance on certain patronages that heavily influenced his work. The primary aim here is to identify possible factors influencing the Malay manuscript tradition such as social backgrounds, economic consideration, aesthetic and/or literary preferences.
Roberta Zollo: A Study of Unpublished Manuscripts of the Batak People of North Sumatra: Selected Parbuhitan Texts
The project focuses on the tree-bark manuscripts (pustaha) produced by the Toba Batak people of North Sumatra during the pre-colonial period, with particular emphasis on the language and the script. Adhering to the perception of philology as “Kulturwissenschaft based on texts”, the original manuscripts will be taken as a primary source and contribute to the knowledge of Batak culture in general, and Batak mythology in particular, on the basis of a rigorous philological investigation.
I will analyse one particular typology of the existing pustaha, the parbuhitan manuscripts, texts containing instructions for divination by slaughtering a buffalo as a ceremonial offering during some sacrificial ceremonies. Besides the primary interest on the specific topic of these manuscripts, this study will also look into some social circumstances of the ritual and the performative aspect of the associated ritual. Particular attention will be given to the connection between the manuscripts and the parbuhitan ritual, and to the description and analysis of the mythological references and their relationship with the performance of the ritual and the performer himself. The research will be carried out in different sequential steps and will be based on a multidisciplinary approach in which philology, linguistics and anthropology are combined with the aim of providing an elaborate and comprehensive catalogue and analysis of the parbuhitan manuscripts.
Salome Beridze: The Qurʾān Manuscripts of the First Centuries of Islam
The Qurʾān, as the first Arabic text besides the Arabic pre-Islamic inscriptions, has survived in form of a large range of manuscripts. The study of the oldest surviving manuscripts of the Qurʾān is essential to trace back the written transmission of this text. The early Qurʾānic manuscripts are only fragmentarily preserved and do not cover the whole text. These fragments lack colophons and therefore are missing any information about the origin, date, scribe or patron. The question of the origin of the material, the geographical spread and the problem of dating form the core of this project. The orthographical forms and variants which are preserved in the manuscripts indicate the origin of the material. In addition, the verse numbering system can also give us further information. From the palaeographical point of view, the study will focus on the manuscripts which can be linked to the group of the Kūfī B.I-II according to the classification of François Déroche. As for the codicological approach, the fragments will be analysed on the writing material, format and binding, as well as the inks used in the manuscripts. The aim of this project is to examine the earliest witnesses of the text of the Qurʾān using an interdisciplinary approach to contribute to the research on the early history of Islam. The earliest surviving manuscripts of the Qurʾān provide a unique insight into the history of the corpus of this important Arabo-Islamic script.
Stelios Aspiotis: Understanding Written Artefacts on Inorganic Supports at the Atomic-Scale Level: Weathering and Crystal Chemistry of the Rock-Forming Minerals
The primary goal of the project is to develop a novel method based on Raman spectroscopy for unravelling vanished or hardly readable inscriptions on inorganic rock-base writing supports via mapping the lateral distribution of crack-enhanced weathering products. For this purpose the weathering processes in marble, limestone, and diorite in different atmospheric environments are going to be comprehensively analysed. In addition, the relationship between the crystal chemistry and Raman scattering of selected layered silicates will be thoroughly studied as a first step towards a followed-up long-term project on non-destructive material profiling of clay tablets to elucidate their provenance and history.
This dissertation project is part of RFA02.
Elisabeth Hufnagel: Proportion Signs in the Manuscripts of the So-Called Ars subtilior: Musical Notation between Individualisation and Standardisation
In the late 14th and early 15th century, composers of polyphonic music in France and Italy introduced proportion signs into musical notation in order to depict complex rhythms. Proportion signs, which can be symbols, Arabic numerals or fractions thereof, appear in great variety and shape, not only in Ars subtilior music manuscripts but also in treatises on music from the same period. Even though these treatises were intended to help standardise musical notation (in addition to functioning as reference books for students in educational institutions), the use of proportion signs in Ars subtilior music remained highly individual, which manifests itself in the fact that the same proportion is sometimes represented by a number of different proportion signs in the same manuscript and occasionally even in the same piece. This project aims to make a comparison of all proportion signs used in Ars subtilior manuscripts with the intention of shedding light on practices of composers, theorists, students and scribes in different Ars subtilior circles.
Nadine Bregler: Collecting Literary Works: Types of Medieval Chinese Multiple-Text Manuscripts (MTMs) from Dunhuang (9th and 10th centuries)
This dissertation will conduct a comprehensive study of literary Multiple-Text Manuscripts (MTMs) from Dunhuang (in Gansu province in present-day China). Based on the manuscript evidence, this study explores changing collections of various kinds of literary texts such as transformation texts (bianwen 變文), rhapsodies (fu 賦), poems, children's primers and educational texts. In doing so, this study examines for what purposes MTMs were produced and used. Furthermore, it aims to assess overall principles of collecting and structuring texts in different types of MTMs.
The interplay of multiple factors will be considered, including codicological features, scribal hands, layout of texts, titles, dates, and involved persons and institutions. Both MTMs that share similar text combinations and have similar features as well as MTMs that cannot be easily assigned to formulated types of MTMs will be scrutinized.
Given that certain MTMs containing similar combinations of texts of a specific layout were produced under the same circumstances and used for similar purposes, which features are most decisive in distinguishing them from other types of MTMs containing literary works? Which MTMs show codicological peculiarities (such as irregular sheet lengths and caesura in the texts), and what do they say about the MTMs as textual collections? Do MTMs exist that cannot be assigned types, and what can be said about them? Furthermore, previously established genres of literary works will be reconsidered: What does it mean, if the same text or group of texts appears in different types of MTMs and under different titles or with different layouts? Which texts could have been used for what kinds of purposes?
Xiaomeng He: A Study on the Nature and Function of Qin Ordinances in the Manuscript Collection of the Yuelu Academy
Until now, the knowledge about the Chinese law at the end of the Warring States Period (475 - 221 BCE) and the short-lived Qin dynasty (until 207 BCE) is extremely limited. This is especially true for the ordinances that are one of the two main forms of legislation at that time. Only a few ordinances have been found in the received literature as well as in existing manuscripts. During the last years, several collections of inscribed bamboo and wooden slips that can be dated to the Qin and the succeeding Han dynasty (206 BCE - 220 AD) have been published. This PhD project will be a study on Qin manuscripts containing ordinances that are mostly part of the collection of the Yuelu academy (Hunan). In doing so, one of the main aims is to advance the understanding of ordinances during Qin dynasty. By analysing the codicological, paleographical and textual features of the manuscripts, as well as by comparing their content with other ordinances from Qin and Han times found among the materials of Liye in Hunan (2002) and Zhangjiashan in Hubei (1983), I try to answer the following questions: What are the nature and function of the relevant manuscripts? How did the legislation process of the ordinances in Qin times take place? What is the relation between ordinances and other forms of written legislation at that time? What is the place of the ordinances in the development of traditional Chinese Law?
Shutao Wang: An Analysis of Dunhuang & Turfan Manichaean Manuscripts (7th-10th Century)
This project aims at researching Dunhuang & Turfan Manichaean manuscripts in Chinese, Parthian, Middle Persian, Sogdian and Old Turkic, and comparing them with Manichaean manuscripts of other regions. The original Manichaean texts in Syriac-Aramaic and Middle Persian were translated into different local languages in adaption to various cultures and religions through the process of worldwide dissemination. The Manichaean manuscripts of Dunhuang and Turfan were somewhat influenced by Buddhist writings and styles of Inner Asia. This project will assess the meaning of manuscripts in Dunhuang & Turfan Manichaean communities within their multi-cultural milieu, and identify scribal practices associated with writing and reading paratexts. The bilingual or trilingual fragments of Manichaean manuscripts will cast new light on the research about the originality of the texts, the techniques of translation and the recovery of missing parts of the fragments. I will provide cross-cultural and comparative insights into the roles manuscripts and images played in the transmission of Manichaean knowledge eastwards and in fostering devotion among Manichaean communities, and into the use of the texts and images as ritual objects in the artistic traditions of Eastern Manichaean cultures. As to the content of doctrines, I would like to investigate the religious symbols mentioned in Dunhuang & Turfan Manichaean manuscripts, for example the tree, the ship and the ocean, in comparison with that of other Manichaean traditions, through which we can know more about the change of Manichaeism in different cultural contexts. The Dunhuang & Turfan Manichaean manuscripts visually reflect the frequent interreligious communication as well as the complicated political, social and economic situation of the Silk Road towns during medieval time. The selected Dunhuang & Turfan manuscripts for my research include Bōsī Jiào Cánjīng (the Fragmental Scripture of Persian Religion), the Compendium of the Teachings of Mani the Buddha of Light,Hymns for the Lower Section of the Manichaean Religion (in Chinese); Huyadagmān, Angād Rōšnān (in Parthian); Xuāstvānift, Great Hymn to Mani (in Old Turkic); and some other Manichaean fragments in Sogdian, Parthian, and Middle Persian, also from the region.
Thi Xuan Tran: Vietnamese Imperial Written Communication and Document Archiving: The Thuong Du of Emperor Tu Duc (r. 1847-1883)
This dissertation attempts to provide a comprehensive study of the Thuong du上諭 (instruction of the highest), a type of administrative documents produced by the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945). It will deal with their production and archiving as well as with the significance of their “paratexts”.
The first part will explain the reasons why Thuong du first emerged during the reign of Emperor Minh Menh (r. 1820-1841), and the ways they became an effective communicative tool to increase the emperor’s authority in the early Nguyen period (1802-1883). I will go on to explore the production of Thuong du within the procedure of decision making at the Nguyen court. Then, by analyzing the formulas of the documents and the characteristics that distinguish the three types of Thuong du (draft, document, and duplicate copy), I will reconstruct the principles of composing and producing imperial documents.
The second part of this study focuses on the Thuong du of Emperor Tu Duc (r. 1847-1883) in two collections, the Nguyen vermilion records or Chau ban collection, which is stored in the National Archival Center No 1 in Hanoi, and the EFEO collection of transcripts, which is kept at Han Nom Institute Library in Hanoi. After providing a historical survey on the archival activities concerning the two collections, I will look insight into the internal connection of Thuong du documents with the whole collection, as well as compare the transformation of contents and physical appearances of Thuong du in each collection. The results will help to explain how different interests changed the setup and presentation of both collections.
Duo Xu: The Spread of Central Asian Music towards the East
In the early 20th century, as an instrument of Central Asian origin, several short lute music scores were excavated in Dunhuang Mogao grottoes. The music scores exhibit notation, melody, and rhythm system and can be dated back to the 10th century CE In addition, a number of the ancient short lute scores found in Japan contain features，which suggest they were produced in China (sometime between the 7-9th century CE),copied and transported to Japan. Many of the signs and symbols in the Dunhuang music scores are very similar to the ones discovered in Japan.
This project will explain and reconstruct how the music in Central Asia spread across the East, through medieval China, and to Japan. It will take a close look at the history of music in Central Asia and the importance of ancient manuscripts and music scores. The project is focusing on coding the Dunhuang music manuscripts, with the aim of understanding their tuning systems as well as the function and cultural value of the music scores. It includes a manuscript study of the preserved short lute music scores in the Dunhuang Manuscripts and those in the manuscripts in Japan, in order to apply the relevant adaptation theories. Illustrated manuscripts and mural paintings are considered to be invaluable materials for a visual demonstration of how music in Central Asia and its instruments have changed and developed. The extraordinary mural paintings from Buddhist grottoes in Xinjiang and Dunhuang contain some of the most intriguing images of musical instruments and music performers. Similarly, the illustrated Manichean manuscripts from Turfan (9th century CE) and the Sogdian manuscripts from Bezeklik (10th century CE) provide a wealth of evidence about the music in Central Asia. Therefore, this research will use these sources to investigate the types of musical instruments and the significance of musical performance for Central Asian music history and music manuscripts.
Dimitri Pauls: The Bodhicittabhāvanā and It’s Placement within the Organizational Schemes of Various Canonical and Extra-Canonical Collections
For my Ph.D. thesis I focus on the work Bodhicittabhāvanā, “Meditation on Bodhicitta”, an influential text presumably dating back to the 8th century which was translated into Tibetan during the first dissimilation of Buddhism in Tibet. This text has been transmitted in at least four different types of collections extant in the form of both manuscripts and block prints, namely “The Collected Tantras of Vairocana” (Bai ro’i rgyud ’bum), “The Tibetan Buddhist Canon” (bsTan ’gyur), “The Treasury of Esoteric Instructions” (gDams ngag mdzod), and especially “The Collection of the Ancient Tantras” (rNying ma rgyud ’bum) of which ten different editions are available up until now and which is the focus of the Tibetology subproject of the SFB. The work has been classified in different ways within the doxographical organisational schemes of these collections. In some it is regarded as a treatise, i.e. a work composed by a scholar, and in others as a tantra, i.e. a work believed to have been spoken by the Buddha himself. In “The Tibetan Buddhist Canon” it is placed in the section of Yogatantra, in the three other collections in the section of Atiyoga – the pinnacle of all spiritual teachings according to the nine-fold doxographical scheme of the rNying ma school. Moreover, there also exist a short as well as an enlarged version of this work. As a case study within the overall investigation of the organisational scheme of the rNying ma rgyud ’bum I examine the correlation between the content of the text and it’s different placement within those collections. With this case study I hope to shed some light on the development of these schemes and on motives and strategies that were applied by Tibetan editors to organise huge and steadily growing manuscript and block print collections.
Mustafa Altuğ Yayla: The Role of Manuscripts in the Evolution of Ottoman Sufi Culture in the Ottoman Empire from the 16th to the 19th Century: The Story of Lamii Çelebi's Nafahat al-Uns
Lamii Çelebi (1472-1532) is an outstanding figure of 16th century Ottoman textual culture being the author of more than 20 books. One of his most well-known books is his work Nafahat al-Uns (Breaths of Fellowship). Nafahat al-Uns was originally written by Jami (1414–1492), one of the leading Sufis of this period, and contains biographies of Sufis who lived up to the 15th century in Western Asia. My hypothesis is that this book with its more than 90 surviving manuscript copies, which are preserved in the collection of several libraries throughout the world, was one of the central factors in shaping the development of Sunna-minded Sufism from the 16th century onwards in the Ottoman Empire. In order to better contextualize the manuscript copies, I will be investigating all manuscript copies with a seal indicating that the copy belongs or belonged to the historical manuscript collections of the Empire related to the court or to Sufi institutions. In this framework, all manuscript copies matching my criteria will be examined comprehensively and all paratextual elements and other elements reflecting their usage will be analysed to better understand what kind of Sufi field or milieu they constructed and shaped through their own agencies. Consequently, considering the current state of Ottoman studies, this study will be a completely new approach by examining manuscripts and their agency as such.
Liem Vu Duc: Texts in the Making of the Empire: Bureaucratic Manuscripts and Political Culture in Vietnam (1820-1841)
For decades under the management of the National Archives in Hanoi, bureaucratic texts of the Nguyen, the last dynasty in Vietnam (1802-1945), were considered politically sensitive. Therefore, academic accessibility was strictly prohibited. This situation recently experiences gradual change and scholars now have permission to access a large part of this invaluable manuscript collection. This is a study of early nineteenth-century Vietnamese administrative manuscripts and the practice of bureaucratic textual production as part of the Vietnamese political culture. The use of multiple bureaucratic textual forms will be explored with the aim of revealing patterns, character, and functions of these texts, figuring out the correlation between political performance and textual production in imperial Vietnam, and theorizing the dialectic relationship between bureaucratic texts and the state’s operation. The development of the political system in early nineteenth century Vietnam brought back a discontinued tradition of promulgating Confucianism as official ideology. Since the political system operated within a bureaucratic framework, elite authority dominated intellectual landscape, and Confucian scholars were the embodiment of the state’s authority, textual practice therefore became a medium of governance and an expression of power relationships. The existence of these administrative texts well consolidated with the canonical textuality of the court and imperial examination to form a distinctive feature of the Vietnamese imperial state: the use of writing as a crucial technology of administration and statecraft. In other words, those manuscripts present as self-referential form of the power structure of the state under which political authority was conveyed through the textual medium. Going beyond a means of information, those documents were visual forms of power hierarchy, defining the way in which the empire operated through the connection between central and local levels. The well-organized and sophisticated regulations of administrative texts produced between 1820 and 1841 highlights political centralization and clarifies the interrelation between textual use and bureaucracy, a defining feature to understand Vietnam’s political culture in the 19th century.