Category Archives: Palaeography

She association circulars from Dunhuang

“She association circulars from Dunhuang.” In Antje Richter, ed., History of Chinese Epistolary Culture. (Handbuch der Orientalistik.) Leiden: Brill, 2015: 853–877. This is an article published in Antje Richter’s volume on the history of Chinese epistolary culture, which is a … Continue reading

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Punctuation marks in medieval Chinese manuscripts

This article about punctuation marks mainly in the Dunhuang manuscripts came out recently. It is sort of an inventory of the most important types of marks used in the manuscripts, although it is certainly not complete in its scope. Imre … Continue reading

Posted in Codicology, Corrections, Dunhuang, Palaeography, published papers, Punctuation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Studies in Chinese manuscripts – A new book

My new edited volume came out recently with the title Studies in Chinese Manuscripts: From the Warring States Period to the 20th Century (Budapest: Institute of East Asian Studies, ELTE). It has twelve studies all related to Chinese manuscripts. The bulk … Continue reading

Posted in 20th century, archaeology, Dunhuang, Mistakes, Orthography, Palaeography, published papers, Scribal habits | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Correction marks in the Dunhuang manuscripts

With their span of six hundred some years, the Dunhuang manuscripts are a valuable witness of the process of textual transmission in medieval China. Beside looking at this process from the perspective of texts and their many versions or editions, … Continue reading

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Taboo characters in Buddhist manuscripts from Dunhuang

This is an article that came out in China so the font is a bit–but it is still readable. In the article, I examine how consistently imperial name taboos were observed in Buddhist texts from Dunhuang. Many scholars in the … Continue reading

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Odd variants in a Buddhist manuscript

There is a Dunhuang copy of the Da fangbian Fo baoenjing 大方便佛報恩經 (The sutra of requiting kindness) at the National Library of China (shelfmark BD01534) which has a number of interesting character variants. One of them is the character 爾 … Continue reading

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Grid lines in medieval Chinese scrolls: Functionality or design?

Medieval manuscript scrolls are often ruled with grid lines to guide the hand of the calligrapher. These lines are a basic feature of most standard Buddhist and Taoist scrolls, which typically have 17 characters per line and 27-28 (or 31) … Continue reading

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Manuscripts and Travellers in your local bookstore

Sam van Schaik and Imre Galambos, Manuscripts and Travellers: The Sino-Tibetan Documents of a Tenth-Century Buddhist Pilgrim (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2012). Our book is finally out. It all started about 5 years ago when Sam asked me if I wanted to join … Continue reading

Posted in archaeology, Aurel Stein, books, Dunhuang, Palaeography, published papers, Scribal habits, Tibetan, Travel | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The earliest Chinese manuscript corrections

The Houma covenant texts (Houma mengshu 侯馬盟書) are a large group of jade and stone tablets from the early 5th century BC. Accordingly, they are 2,500 years old and were written approximately during the last years of the life of Confucius. … Continue reading

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Reversed inscriptions: Chinese writing going from left to right

I have come across an inscription which is read in reversed order, that is, from left to right. This is a famous inscription called Mogaoku ji (Record of the Mogao Caves) on the wall of the antechamber of Cave 156 … Continue reading

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