Vol. 14 No. 2 December 2008

Manuscripta Orientalia. International Journal for Oriental Manuscript Research.


A. Gallop. From Caucasia to Southeast Asia: Daghistani Qur'ans and the Islamic Manuscript Tradition in Brunei and the Southern Philippines. II - 3
A. Kudelin. Arabic Literature: Poetics and Stylistics. IX: On Interpreting the Elements of "Miraculous" in "Life of the Prophet" by Ibn Ishaq - Ibn Hisham - 15
E. Rezvan. The Qur'an and Power in Russia. I: Manuscript - 21
A. Gori. Some Arabic Islamic Manuscripts from Shaykh Husayn (Bale, Ethiopia) (a Short Description Based on the MAE RAS Photographs) - 28
A. Grib. Toward the Analysis of the Early Monumental Qur'anic Scripts: Attribution of the Qur'anic Folios from the Archive of E. E. Herzfeld (Department of Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art) - 36
D. Ivanov. Buddhist Collections of Saint-Petersburg Kunstkamera. III: Kalmyk Thangkas in the Buddhist Collection of MAE RAS - 51
M. Yanes. Women's Nose Jewellery from Central Asia in the Collections of MAE RAS (on the Issue of the Origin and Functional Role) - 63
M. Dehqan. Tarikh-i Kurd: an Unknown Persian Manuscript of the Chronicle of Sanandaj in the Iranian National Library - 69
  Manuscripta Orientalia in 2008, vol. 14 (list of contributions) - 72

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A. T. Gallop

From caucasia to Southeast Asia: daghistani qur’ans and the islamic manuscript tradition in brunei and the southern philippines. II

The second part of the article is an appendix including descriptions of the Qur’an manuscripts. The manuscripts are arranged chronologically in two groups. Group A consists of Qur’ans with colophons linked to Southeast Asia. All other Qur’ans composes the group B.

Keywords: manuscript, Qur’an, Qur’anic illumination, British Library, Islamic, Caucasia, Daghistani, Brunei, Southeast Asia, Southern Philippines, Kuala Lumpur


A. Kudelin

Arabic literature: poetics and stylistics. IX: on interpreting the elements of “miraculous” in “life of the prophet” by ibn ishaq – ibn hisham

The article is aimed at describing narration elements related to miraculous events and appearances in al-Sira al-nabawiyya (“Life of the Prophet”) by Ibn Ishaq – Ibn Hisham. In Sira, as well as in many other medieval texts, historiographic and hagiographical components are closely related to each other creating a unique character of the record. The author notes that medieval Muslim scholars had no uniform concept of miracle. Two opposing points of view on the issue are considered.

Keywords: Arabic literature, al-Sira al-nabawiyya, Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham, Qur’an, miracle, al-Suyuti, al-Mawardi, Ibn Taymiyya


E. Rezvan 

The qur’an and power in russia. I: Manuscript

Archival materials indicate that the Qur’an was included in the personal libraries of Russian Tsars. The fate of publications, translations and rare manuscripts of the Qur’an was also bound up with the personal decisions of the supreme rulers of Russia. The article is devoted to the history of two ancient Qur’anic manuscripts, which were venerated by the Muslims of Central Asia as “Qur’ans of ‘Uthman”. The analysis of the historical sources shows that both manuscripts as the most valuable sacred relics were handed down within the structure of sufi brotherhoods. The “Qur’ans of ‘Uthman” remained symbols of supreme power over the centuries.

Keywords: manuscript, Qur’an of ‘Uthman, Russia, sufi, Naqshbandiyya, ‘Ishqiyya, Samarqand, Central Asia


A. Gori

Some arabic islamic manuscripts from shaykh husayn (bale, ethiopia)
(a short description based on the mae ras photographs)

In 1913 the St. Petersburg Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography sent a scientific expedition to South-Eastern Ethiopia. Head of the expedition was famous Russian poet Nikolas Gumilĕv. In 2008 the Museum sent another expedition that followed Gumilĕv’s itinerary. The article presents the description of Arabic manuscripts photographed in Shaykh Husayn which was one of the key points of both expeditions. The manuscript photographed by Gumilĕv in 1913 contains the famous hagiography of shaykh Husayn the most revered saint of Ethiopian Muslims, buried in his venerated shrine in the Southern Ethiopian region of Bale. The manuscripts photographed in 2008 present the first part of Tanbih al-anam, really famous and widespread in Ethiopia, as well as a fragment of the mushaf. The analyzed manuscripts give a good possibility to enhance the knowledge of the written legacy of the Ethiopian Muslim communities.

Keywords: manuscript, Arabic, Islamic, Shaykh Husayn, Bale, Ethiopia, MAE RAS, Nikolas Gumilĕv, Tanbih al-anam, mushaf


A. Grib

Toward the analysis of the early monumental qur’anic scripts: attribution of the qur’anic folios from the archive of e. e. herzfeld (department of islamic art, metropolitan museum of art)

Fragments from Ernst Emil Herzfeld’s Archive (Department of Islamic Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art) represent several types of early Qur’anic scripts, from cursive archaic to a distinctive form of monumental kufi or the proportional kufi. The article analyses seven separate folios from different Qur’anic manuscripts belonging to the earliest stages in the development of Arabic calligraphy (dated preliminary by the 9th century). The main purpose is to identify the script used in these fragments – “an archaic”, “a monumental”, a kufi, or any other type. The author suggests a classification of his own, summing up all the previous research and aiming at solving the existing confusion with terminology.

Keywords: Qur’anic script, Arabic script, Qur’an, calligraphy, kufi, Ernst Emil Herzfeld, Metropolitan Museum of Art


D. Ivanov

Buddhist collections of Saint-Petersburg Kunstkamera. III: kalmyk thangkas in the buddhist collection of MAE RAS

Kalmyks is the name adopted in the first decades of the 17th century by those Oirats who migrated from Central Asia to the territory between the Volga to the Don River in the southeast European part of Russia. Interacting with other peoples and preserving their religion, the Kalmyks created a unique and vivid culture, which is shown in its full force in architecture and painting. The Western Asian section of Kunstkamera museum contains several collections on the material and religious culture of the Kalmyks. The author presents the descriptions of ten samples of Buddhist art from Kalmyk collections and examines the main features of the style and iconography of Kalmyk Buddhist thangkas.

Keywords: Buddhist painting, Kalmyk, thangka, MAE RAS, Kunstkamera


M. Yanes

Women’s nose jewellery from central asia in the collections of MAE RAS (on the issue of the origin and functional role)

The collections of MAE RAS hold several examples of nose jewellery received at different time by the Museum from various regions of Central Asia. The comparative study of the items gives the author possibility to conclude that at the turn of the 15th – 16th centuries women of the Arab tribe which settled in Ma wara’ al-nahr already wore talisman rings in the bridge of the nose. From the Arab women this particular fashion for nose jewellery spread to other regions of Central Asia. By the 20th century the fashion has vanished completely everywhere but not in the Arabic milieu.

Keywords: nose jewellery, nose ring, Arab, Central Asia, Southwest Asia, MAE RAS


M. Dehqan

Tarikh-i kurd: an unknown persian manuscript of the chronicle of sanandaj in the iranian national library

The author presents the newly-found Persian manuscript of Tarikh-i Kurd (“The History of Kurds”) from the Iranian National Library. The whole structure of this chronicle clearly reflects the historical milieu of Sanandaj, the most important Sorani city of the late medieval period of Iranian Kurdistan. Mesture Kurdistani (1799? – 1843), the author of Tarikh-i Kurd, is the most well-known poetess of Sanandaj. She intended to argue in Persian on the model of the chronicles of the contemporary Persian historians who wrote in Persian and Arabic.

Keywords: manuscript, chronicle, Kurd, Persian, Sorani, Iranian Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iranian National Library



Mr. Mustafa Dehqan, MA - specialist in Kurdish Studies with an interest in the literature and religions of Kurdistan. He earned a bachelor's degree in Historical Studies and a master's in Historical Linguistics from the University of Tehran. Author of the numerous articles in the field.

Dr. Annabel Teh Gallop - Head of the South and Southeast Asia section at the British Library, London. Her current research interests are in Malay letters, documents and seals, and the art of the Qur'an in Southeast Asia.

Dr. Alessandro Gori - Department of Linguistics, University of Florence (Italy). Specialist in Arabic Islamic literature of the Horn of Africa. Author of a series of articles and monographs in this field.

Mrs. Anastasia S. Grib - post-graduate student of the Oriental Department at the State Hermitage Museum. Specialist in the Qur'anic calligraphy and indigenous art in West Africa. Author of the internet-based Guide to Islamic Calligraphy (www.khatt.ru); formerly a special reporter in Cairo for the "Around the World" magazine, an intern at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Department of Islamic Art), managing editor of the "Hermitage Magazine".

Mr. Dmitriy D. Ivanov - Chief specialist of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian of Academy of Sciences, curator of the Foreign Asia storages of the Museum, specialist in Buddhist art.

Prof. Dr. Alexander B. Kudelin - Full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Director of the World Literature Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, specialist in the history of the Arabic literature; author of the series of monographs in the field.

Prof. Dr. Efim A. Rezvan - Deputy Director of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences, specialist in Arabic and Islamic studies, author of a number of monographs and numerous articles dealing with Russian-Arab relations, history of Islam and Oriental studies computing.

Mrs. Maria A. Yanes - post-graduate student of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) Russian Academy of Sciences and the Senior Coordinator of the Museum Exhibition Department. Fields of research: ethnographic studies, cultural history and traditional handicraft of the Arabs of Uzbekistan.


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