Sonderforschungsbereich 950

Manuscript Cultures in Asia, Africa and Europe

01/2016manuscript of the month

Long Live the King (and His Manuscripts)!
A story of rituals and power from medieval Kathmandu

Wooden cover of NAK 1-1075 with scenes of liṅga adoration

Early manuscripts containing Sanskrit texts sometimes provide us with details about how they were made, but generally tell us very little about their use after copying. Although it is not always easy to gather this sort of diachronic information directly from such manuscripts, there are cases in which they can disclose more particulars about their backgrounds to anyone who looks at them closely enough. A medieval manuscript from the National Archives of Kathmandu, which shows clear traces of its being used throughout the centuries, is an intriguing case in point. What exactly does it tell us about the long life it enjoyed once it was copied?


CSMC mailinglist
Subscribe to our mailinglist 'Manuscript Cultures':
Manuscript Identification Service
Do you own a manuscript you would like to learn
more about? Visit us and ask our experts at the
Manuscript Identification Service.


New Ph.D. scholarships

The Graduate School 'Manuscript Cultures' of CSMC invites applications for 3 Ph.D. scholarships scholarships (2+1 year) starting 1 October 2016.
The application deadline is 30 June 2015.
Application details and further information

New volume in the series 'Studies in Manuscript Cultures'

Volume 5 of the series Studies in Manuscript Cultures has just been published by de Gruyter. In “Variance in Arabic Manuscripts - Arabic Didactic Poems from the Eleventh to the Seventeenth Centuries” the author Florian Sobieroj investigates how and to to what degree texts from a specific corpus vary when transmitted as manuscripts. Volume 5 is the third volume of the series to be available as open access.
Details and eBook

Open Day 2016

On June 3, 2016 the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (CSMC) openes its doors to the public. The programme includes presentations, lectures and workshops on different manuscript cultures.

Invitation and programme for the Open Day 2016 (in German)

Summer School in Ethiopian and Eritrean Manuscript Studies

From 27 September to 1 October 2016, the Hiob Ludolf Centre for Ethiopian Studies, with the support from CSMC, the ERC projects TraCES and Beta maṣāḥǝft: Manuscripts of Ethiopia and Eritrea, organizes its first Summer School in Ethiopian and Eritrean Manuscript Studies.
The school aims at training graduate students and junior scholars in Ethiopian and Eritrean manuscript studies. Lectures and seminars in topics ranging from History to Philology to Codicology to Cataloguing shall cover the most central aspects of research and help in developing skills necessary for theoretical and practical tasks in the study of manuscripts.
25 participants shall be selected from all qualified applications.
The application deadline is 31 May 2015.
Further information and application

Workshop: Manuscripts as Magical Agents
10 - 11 June 2016

Manuscripts, and particularly manuscripts of magic (for example amulets, magical recipes or manuals of magic) are not only objects of cultural practices, but can be understood as having a socioculturally mediated capacity to act by themselves. This is often subsumed under the concept of agency or Wirkmacht. The workshop aims at advancing our understanding of how the materiality and the design of magical manuscripts contributes to their Wirkmacht or agency as magical artefacts and how the assumed magical efficacy of manuscripts vice versa affects their production, possession, and use.
Participation is free, please register.
Details and Registration

New Petra Kappert Fellow in April 2016

Dr. Kallia Lempidaki, PhD in Classical Philology, studied Greek and Latin epigraphy at the Section of Greek and Roman Antiquity of the National Hellenic Research Foundation (NHRF) and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Her main field of research is ancient Greek and Latin epigraphy, especially the juridical aspects of the epigraphic records from mainland Greece. The aim of her stay at Hamburg is to analyse the relation between the manuscript models for inscriptions and their execution on funerary monuments. Dr. Lempidaki will stay at CSMC until the end of June 2016.


3 June 2016, 2-6pm | Open Day
The Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (CSMC) opens its doors to the public.
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26
Invitation and programme (in German)

10 - 11 June 2016 | Workshop
Manuscripts as Magical Agents

Details and Registration
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

17 - 18 Juni 2016 | Workshop
Tracing Evidences for Manuscripts in Rituals

CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

20 June 2016 4pm | Informal Talk
Dr. Kalliopi Lempidaki
Petra Kappert Fellow at the CSMC
Funerary Inscriptions with Fines from Mainland Greece: Evidence Regarding the Use and Reuse of the Funerary Monuments.
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 2002

7 July 2016 6pm | Lecture
Prof. Dr. Ludger Lieb
University of Heidelberg
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001

27 September - 1 October 2016 | Workshop
Summer School in Ethiopian
and Eritrean Manuscript Studies

Further information
Hiob Ludolf Centre, Alsterterrasse 1

9 - 12 November 2016 | Conference
The Emergence of Multiple-Text Manuscripts

CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

14 - 15 November 2016 | Workshop
Himalayan Papers

CSMC, Warburgstraße 26