Merchants in Central Asia in pre-Islamic times

With the rise of the Han Dynasty in China, the Silk trade between China and countries as far away as Iran flourished. However, silk was by no means the only merchandise that was traded between China and the West. The merchants, who were envied, esteemed and despised, led dangerous nomadic lives. Their caravans were often joined by missionaries, and merchants played a crucial role in favouring cultural exchange and the propagation of religions.


Manichaica in the Asiatic Museum

The first researcher of the Manichaean texts kept in the Asiatic Museum was it director (from 1890 to 1916) Academician Carl Germanovich Salemann (1849–1916). From the beginning of the 20th century up to his demise, he studied the Manichaean texts from Eastern Turkestan in the Middle Iranian languages: Middle Persian, Parthian and Sogdian. The collection of the Asiatic Museum (IOM RAS) included a considerable number of fragments of Manichaean texts in those languages, as well as in Chinese and Uighur...


Japanese Researchers of Russian Collections from Central Asia

In 1960 the participants in the International Congress of Orientalists in Moscow were offered an excursion to Leningrad. During the trip, two Sinologists (one of them from a western country, the other from the East) visited the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of the Peoples of Asia of the USSR Academy of Sciences (now the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences) and discovered for themselves the collection of manuscripts from Dunhuang, of which nearly nothing had been previously known abroad.


The Tangut Collection of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts: History and Study

The Tangut Collection of the IOM RAS originated from the dead city called Khara-Khoto by the Mongols, Heishuicheng by the Chinese and Ejina by the Tanguts themselves. The ruins of Khara-Khoto are located at a distance of about 40 km from the aimag (district) Ejina of the Autonomous Province of Inner Mongolia in the People’s Republic of China.


The Arabic language: its linguistics and philology

The Arabic language spread all over the former Islamic State from the Atlantic Ocean to the banks of the Indus. The advent of Islam, therefore, marked a crucial stage in the history of the Arabic language. Contacts between the Arabic world and modern Europe in the 18th/19th century left major imprints on the Arabic language and converted classical Arabic into modern Arabic. Also Arabic grammar and lexicography went through different stages of development in the last centuries. 



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