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Codicological and Historical Studies of an Archaeological Find in Mustang, Nepal
In 2008, an international team of climbers discovered a large collection of Tibetan manuscripts in a cave complex called Mardzong, in Nepal’s remote Mustang district. The following year, the entire cache—over five thousand folios from some sixty different works of the Buddhist and Bön religions, some more than seven centuries old—were removed to the safe keeping of a monastery, where they were later examined by experts from different disciplines. This book is the result of their findings. The authors present what they have been able to discover about the content of these manuscripts, their age, the materials with which they were made, the patrons who commissioned them and the scribes and artists who created them.
Contributors include: Agnieszka Helman-Ważny, Charles Ramble, Nyima Drandul Gurung, Naljor Tshering, Sarah Skumanov, Emilie Arnaud-Nguyen and Bazhen Zeren
Ḫvāndamīrs Ḥabīb as-siyar im Handschriftenzeitalter
Author: Philip Bockholt
In Geschichtsschreibung im Handschriftenzeitalter, Philip Bockholt addresses the question of how history was written in the premodern Islamic world, and offers new insights into one of the most important chronicles composed in Persian, Khvāndamīr’s universal history Ḥabīb al-siyar. Taking into account the political events which occurred in Iran and India around 1500, he examines the manuscript tradition of the work, and gives an in-depth analysis of how the author adapted his chronicle to the Shiʿi and Sunni religio-political outlook of his Safavid and Mughal overlords. Making use of new approaches in the fields of history and philology, Philip Bockholt convincingly proves how texts were transmitted and modified for various audiences during premodern times.

In Geschichtsschreibung im Handschriftenzeitalter untersucht Philip Bockholt am Beispiel von Ḫvāndamīrs Weltgeschichtschronik Ḥabīb as-siyar, wie Geschichte in der islamischen Vormoderne geschrieben wurde. Vor dem Hintergrund der politischen Umbrüche in Iran und Indien um 1500 analysiert er die intentionale Ebene von Historiografie und zeigt auf, wie ein Historiker sein Werk in verschiedenen Fassungen sowohl für die Safaviden als auch die Moguln an schiitische und sunnitische Kontexte anpasste. Mit der Erforschung der Handschriftentradition eines der am häufigsten kopierten Geschichtswerke der islamischen Welt legt Philip Bockholt die Techniken des Autors offen, die Darstellung von Ereignissen im Sinne des jeweiligen Patrons zu verändern, wodurch Einblicke in den Prozess von Geschichtsschreibung sowie zu Textüberlieferung und Leserschaft im Handschriftenzeitalter möglich werden.
Author: Samarpita Mitra
In Periodicals, Readers and the Making of a Modern Literary Culture: Bengal at the Turn of the Twentieth Century Samarpita Mitra studies literary periodicals as a particular print form, and reveals how their production and circulation were critical to the formation of a Bengali public sphere during the turn of the twentieth century. Given its polyphonic nature, capacity for sustaining debates and adaptability by readers with diverse reading competencies, periodicals became the preferred means for dispensing modern education and entertainment through the vernacular. The book interrogates some of the defining debates that shaped readers’ perspectives on critical social issues and explains how literary culture was envisioned as an indicator of the emergent nation. Finally it looks at the Bengali-Muslim and women’s periodicals and their readerships and argues that the presence of multiple literary voices make it impossible to speak of Bengali literary culture in any singular terms.
In: Periodicals, Readers and the Making of a Modern Literary Culture: Bengal at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
In: Periodicals, Readers and the Making of a Modern Literary Culture: Bengal at the Turn of the Twentieth Century