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Scribal Errors and “Layout Genetics” in Dunhuang Buddhist Manuscripts

In: T'oung Pao
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  • 1 École française d’ Extrême-OrientFranceParis
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Abstract

This essay explores the mechanisms linked to the production of specific mistakes and textual alterations in Dunhuang Buddhist manuscripts, which provide information of codicological interest, in particular on the formal characteristics of a manuscript archetype, on its production phases/techniques, and its formal evolution. It also draws attention to the importance of surveying the alterations in the arrangement of textual and paratextual elements by means of a structural analysis revealing manuscript filiation based on formal characteristics, an approach that can help to explore not only the codicological evolution of a book in manuscript form, but also its philological ties with branches of a specific tradition.

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