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?


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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 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.

New sub-project at CSMC

CSMC congratulates Dr. Stefanie Brinkmann on being granted funding by the German Research Association (DFG) for a new sub-project, entitled “The Leipzig manuscript B.or.227: Paratexts as witnesses of Islamic Ḥadīṯ scholarship”. It will contribute to the research area “Paratexts” and to the working group “Learning”.

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


09 - 10 May 2016 | Workshop
Old Mande Manuscripts
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

12 May 2016 6pm | Lecture
Father Columba Stewart, OSB, DPhil
Saint John's University, USA
Making Monks: Pedagogy and Manuscripts in the Gnostic Trilogy of Evagrius Ponticus (d. 399)
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001

10 - 11 June 2016 | Workshop
Manuscripts as Magical Agents

Details and Registration
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

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

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

CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

14 - 15 November 2016 | Workshop
Himalayan Papers

CSMC, Warburgstraße 26