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La conversione degli Uiguri al Manicheismo: la versione cinese. [The Conversion of the Uighurs to Manichaeism: The Chinese version]

Palumbo, Antonello (2003) 'La conversione degli Uiguri al Manicheismo: la versione cinese. [The Conversion of the Uighurs to Manichaeism: The Chinese version].' In: Gnoli, G., (ed.), Il Manicheismo. Volume I, Mani e il Manicheismo. Fondazione Lorenzo Valla & Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, pp. 249-277.

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Abstract

The essay offers an annotated translation of columns VI-X and XXII of the Chinese side of the trilingual inscription of Qarabalghasun (early 9th century), which is the principal source on the Uighurs’ adoption of Manichaeism as a State religion between the 8th and the 10th centuries. The inscription had been integrally translated by G. Schlegel in 1896 (in German) and, for the section concerning Manichaeism, by E. Chavannes and P. Pelliot in 1913 (in French). The new translation, which is accompanied by an introduction and a lengthy historical commentary, is meant to supersede these studies. Through a closer scrutiny of the Chinese text, and using several documents from Central Asia discovered in the course of the 20th century, it reaches a substantially revised understanding of this significant episode in the religious history of Central Asia. Rather than a historically accurate record of the introduction of Manichaeism among the Uighurs, as it has long been taken to be, the inscription is revealed as a document of the ideological struggle between the Uighur Qaghan and the aristocracy, with the Manichaean religion playing the role of an instrumentum regni to bolster the autocratic claims of the former.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of the Study of Religions
ISBN: 8804504064
Depositing User: Huei-Lan Liu
Date Deposited: 07 May 2008 13:34
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/4076

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