A particular feature about the German Turfan
The great concentration of material from sites around the modern city Turfan (Tulupan) is immediately obvious but a close look at the languages listed there will show the limits of this kind of presentation. Each language has its own symbol but, since all the symbols have the same size, no indication is given about the quantity of material in a particular language. Toyuq is a case in point. Fragments of texts in the languages Tocharian
As a more extensive example of what is represented in the Berlin Turfan Collection let us turn now to the multilingual situation revealed by Manichaean texts in the Turfan Collection. Manichaeism is a religion founded by Mani (216–276 CE) who included missionary activity as a central component of his church and stated that his religious texts were to be translated, a position quite the opposite of that in many other religions. Though we have little direct historical evidence for the activities of Manichaean missionaries we can gather much from the Manichaean texts they and their converts produced in various parts of the world. We know that Manichaean missionaries were active in China
From the context of the conversion it seems that the Manichaean missionaries were Sogdians working in China. It seems that they, or the Sogdian community they served, were responsible for the “Chinese compendium” of 731 mentioned above. However, it is difficult to say how close the connections between Chinese Manichaeism and the Manichaeans in Turfan were.
Chinese Manichaean texts were found in Dunhuang
This mixture of languages in the titles will, at least for the Greek and Aramaic terms, go back to Mani himself. However, a Middle Persian text attributed to Mani by An-Nadīm, the Šābuhragān, is not mentioned in the Chinese Compendium. This is not very surprising in itself because it is a Middle Persian compilation put together by Mani or at his command but without replacing any of his other works or achieving the status of a canonical work. But the omission is important because pages from this book (in Middle Persian in Manichaean script) were found in Turfan. This discovery was one of the reasons why F. W. K. Müller in 1904 was able to so confidently proclaim that the fragments just arrived in Berlin from Turfan contained original Manichaean literature.6 Does this indicate that the Manichaean community in Turfan were very different from the community that had the Chinese Compendium made? Or did the Compendium omit to mention the Šābuhragān
The bi-folio M 172 illustrates this very well.7 It contains a Middle Persian text with an interspersed Sogdian version and, on the other page, an Old Turkish text. This bi-folio clearly belonged to a book used by speakers of Old Uigur
However, the linguistic composition of Manichaeism is even more complicated. This concerns Aramaic and Parthian
14.2 Table of the multilingualism of Manichaean texts as seen from Turfan, combined with chronological and geographical components. Note: A question mark indicates doubt about the production of new texts in a given language in a particular period. However, older texts in the same language were still being passed down. Only in the case of Aramaic and Bactrian texts is it clear that no new texts were added.
Middle Persian, the language of one text, the Šābuhragān, closely associated with Mani and possibly with others—the extent of the Šābuhragān in the Turfan collection is disputed because it can be defined as texts with the specific headline or texts with a content likely to have been in the Šābuhragān—is not only retained but added to in order to translate Aramaic texts by Mani, surely already in Mani’s lifetime—such as the Middle Persian version of the beginning of Mani’s Gospel, the Middle Persian version of the beginning of the qšwdgʾn ʾfrywn9 and the Middle Persian version of the canonical books such as Giants
The reason for the gap in the production of Middle Persian texts (at least as reflected in the Turfan collection) is the Manichaean mission to Parthian-speaking areas and subsequently to areas further east. This began during Mani’s lifetime, as the text M 2 tells us.13 The mission has some remarkable aspects. Parthian is the language of the northern part of Iran and, as the language of the Arsacid
Nevertheless there are terminological differences between the Middle Persian and Parthian Manichaean texts which show slightly different routes taken by what are, after all, two different communities. Although the Middle Persian texts were transmitted
The most remarkable fragments are the Bactrian and Tocharian B ones because of the implications that derive from their existence. There is one Bactrian fragment in Manichaean script. Some further Bactrian fragments in Bactrian script (a derivative of Greek
There is only one Tocharian B Manichaean text.20 It is written, together with an Old Turkish Manichaean text, in a carefully prepared Indian style book. Though there is only one text, part of it is also preserved on two fragments of paper that were either part of a scroll or belonged to a codex book. The date of the text is not clear. Whatever the origin of the known copy, which, accompanied by an Old Turkish version, cannot be from before the late eighth century and is probably later, the question is whether the Tocharian B text is evidence for a Manichaean mission in a Tocharian B-speaking area before or after the establishment of Manichaeism at Turfan
Digital images of the Berlin Turfan Collection of texts from Eastern Central Asia (Turfan and other sites on the northern branch of the Silk Road visited by the four German Turfan-Expeditions between 1902 and 1914) can be found at http://turfan.bbaw.de and there Digital Turfanarchiv I and II. Direct access to the database is also possible at http://idp.bbaw.de for the German version or http://idp.bl.uk for the English version, but the language can be chosen anew in any version of the database.
Colditz, I. (1992). “Hymnen an šād-Ohrmezd: Ein Beitrag Zur Frühen Geschichte Der Dīnāwarīya in Transoxanien.” Altorientalische Forschungen 19 (2): 322–41.
Durkin-Meisterernst, D., and E. Morano (2010). Mani’s Psalms: Middle Persian, Parthian and Sogdian Texts in the Turfan Collection. Berliner Turfantexte 27. Turnhout: Brepols.
Durkin-Meisterernst, Desmond (2003). “Late Features in Middle Persian Texts from Turfan.” In Persian Origins: Early Judaeo-Persian and the Emergence of New Persian, edited by Ludwig Paul, 1–13. Iranica 6. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
Haloun, G., and W. B. Henning (1952). “The Compendium of the Doctrines and Styles of the Teaching of Mani, the Buddha of Light.” Asia Major N. S. 3: 184–212.
Hitch, D. (1993). “The Kuchean Hymn in Manichean Script.” Tocharian and Indo-European Studies 6: 95–132.
Klimkeit, H.-J. (1993). Gnosis on the Silk Road: Gnostic Texts from Central Asia. San Francisco: Harper.
MacKenzie, D. N. (1994). “‘I, Mani …’.” In Gnosisforschung Und Religionsgeschichte, edited by H. Preißler and H. Seiwert, 183–98. Marburg: diagonal-Verlag.
Mikkelsen, G. B. (2004). “The Fragments of Chinese Manichaean Texts from the Turfan Region.” In Turfan Revisited: The First Century of Research into the Arts and Cultures of the Silk Road, edited by D. Durkin-Meisterernst, Simone-Christiane Raschmann, Jens Wilkens, and Marianne Yaldiz, 213–20. Monographien Zur Indischen Archäologie, Kunst Und Philologie 17. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer.
Müller, F. W. K. (1904a). “Handschriften-Reste in Estrangelo-Schrift Aus Turfan, Chinesisch-Turkistan. Teil 1.” Sitzungsberichte Der Preußischen Akademie Der Wissenschaften, Phil.-hist. Klasse. Berlin, 348–52.
——— (1904b). “Handschriften-Reste in Estrangelo-Schrift Aus Turfan, Chinesisch-Turkistan. Teil 2.” Abhandlungen Der Preußischen Akademie Der Wissenschaften. Berlin, Anhang, Nr.2.
Sims-Williams, N. (2004). “A Greek-Sogdian Bilingual from Bulayïq.” In La Persia E Bisanzio, Convegno Internazionale, Roma 14–18 Orrobre 2002, edited by A. Carile, 623–32. Atti Dei Convegni Lincei 201. Rome: Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.
——— (2009). “The Bactrian Fragment in Manichaean Script (M 1224).” In Literarische Stoffe Und Ihre Gestaltung in Mitteliranischer Zeit. Kolloquium Anlässlich Des 70. Geburtstages von W. Sundermann, edited by D. Durkin-Meisterernst, C. Reck, and D. Weber, 245–68. Beiträge Zur Iranistik 31. Wiesbaden: Reichert.
Sundermann, W. (1992). Der Sermon Vom Licht-Nous. Eine Lehrschrift Des östlichen Manichäismus. Edition Der Parthischen Und Sogdischen Version. Berliner Turfantexte 17. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.
——— (1993). “An Early Attestation of the Name of the Tajiks.” In Medioiranica, edited by W. Skalmowski and A. Van Tongerloo, 163–71. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 48. Leuven: Peeters.
——— (1996). “Dīnāvarīya.” In Encyclopædia Iranica Vol. 7, Fasc. 4, 418–19. New York: Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation.
——— (2007). “Eine Re-Edition Zweier Manichäisch-Soghdischer Briefe.” In Iranian Languages and Texts from Iran and Turan: R. E. Emmerick Memorial Volume, edited by M. Macuch, M. Maggi, and W. Sundermann, 403–21. Iranica 13. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
Yoshida, Y. (1983). “Manichaean Aramaic in the Chinese Hymnscroll.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 46 (2): 326–31.
“The Chinese compendium,” see Haloun and Henning (1952).
Müller (1904a, 1904b).
See http://www.bbaw.de/forschung/turfanforschung/dta/m/images/m0172_seite1.jpg, accessed April 3, 2017. See MacKenzie (1994).
See Durkin-Meisterernst and Morano (2010).
See Sundermann (1996).
M 1, see Klimkeit (1993) and Durkin-Meisterernst (2003).
See Klimkeit (1993, 203 ff.).
Sermon vom Licht-Nous; Sundermann (1992).
See Sundermann (2007).
See Sims-Williams (2009).
M 2, see Klimkeit (1993, 204).
See Hitch (1993).
Table of Contents
Markham J. Geller, Jens Braarvig
Markham J. Geller, Jens Braarvig
Part I: General Reflections
2 Dependent Languages
Part II: Europe
4 Konrad of Megenberg: German Terminologies and Expressions as Created on Latin Models
5 What Language Does God Speak?
Florentina Badalanova Geller
6 Islamic Mystical Poetry and Alevi Rhapsodes From the Village of Sevar, Bulgaria
Florentina Badalanova Geller
Part III: Ancient Near East
8 Sumerian in the Middle Assyrian Period
9 The Concept of the Semitic Root in Akkadian Lexicography
Markham J. Geller
10 Multilingualism in the Elamite Kingdoms and the Achaemenid Empire
12 Some Observations on Multilingualism in Graeco-Roman Egypt
Alexandra von Lieven
Part IV: India and Central Asia
14 Aspects of Multilingualism in Turfan as Seen in Manichaean Texts
Part V: China
15 Multilingualism and Lingua Franca in the Ancient Chinese World
William G. Boltz
Part VI: The Americas
18 Multilingualism and Lingua Francae of Indigenous Civilizations of America
Lars Kirkhusmo Pharo
This publication is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 Germany (cc by-nc-sa 3.0) Licence.