Sonderforschungsbereich 950

Manuscript Cultures in Asia, Africa and Europe

04/2016manuscript of the month

A marriage (contract) to last a lifetime?

Front of the clay tablet
(excavation no. kt v/k 147).

Around 4,000 years ago in Central Anatolia, a young man called Kalua, the son of Akabšē, decided to marry Tamnanika, the daughter of Šū-Bēlum. Even at that time, people knew that marriages were not always made to last, so it was agreed that if their marriage did come to an end one day, whoever left the other person first also had to leave them a considerable amount of money. The marriage contract containing the proviso was written on a tablet of clay. This managed to survive the test of time, but the interesting question here is whether the marriage did, too.


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There is a vacancy for a researcher position in sub-project C10: For Readers and Collectors: Publishing Copies of Works on Demand in Peking between the Late 18th and the Early 20th Century.
The application deadline is 15 December 2016.
Job advertisement

Ph.D. Research Grant Announcement 2017

The Orient-Institute Istanbul invites applications for Ph.D. research grants for 2017 and for the academic year of 2017/18. The application deadline is 9 January 2017. Further information can be found here.

Anna Boroffka receives the “Karl H. Ditze-Preis 2016”

CSMC congratulates Anna Boroffka, researcher in sub-project B07, for having been awarded the “Karl H. Ditze Preis 2016” for outstanding master and Ph.D. theses in the Faculty of Humanities at Universität Hamburg. Her Ph.D. theses on “The 'Length of Christ’ in painting – Codification of authenticity in intermedial discourse” will be published in the series Vestigia Bibliae by the German Bible Archive in 2017.

Two new volumes of the series Studies in Manuscript Cultures (SMC)

Florinda De Simini surveys in “Of Gods and Books” (SMC 8) the relationship between religion and text in the manuscript culture of medieval India. Manuscripts as objects of worship are considered as ritualistic tools. The collective volume “One-Volume Libraries: Composite and Multiple-Text Manuscripts” (SMC 9) focusses on codicological aspects of manuscripts with more than one text, which provide insights into the production process, their structure and use. Find more information at Publications.

Professor Veltri member of the Ambrosian Academy

In November, Prof. Dr. Prof. h.c. Giuseppe Veltri , head of the sub-project B08 on Hebrew manuscripts, has been elected as full member of the Oriental Class by the venerable 'Ambrosian Academy' in Milan. The Ambrosian Academy was founded by the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Federico Borromeo, on 25th June 1620, under the name of The Drawing Academy (Accademia del Disegno), for teaching painting, sculpture and architecture. The CSMC offers its congratulations.

The University of Hamburg awards the title “Professor” to research associate of the CSMC

In November, the chemist Dr. Ira Rabin who is working in the sub-project Z02 was awarded the academic title “Professor” by the University of Hamburg. She will start teaching in the summer term 2017. The CSMC congratulates and looks forward to an even closer collaboration!

Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg funds long-term project on Early Medieval Templates for Charters and Letters

CSMC congratulates Prof. Dr. Philippe Depreux, Principal Investigator in sub-project C08, for being granted funding for the long-term research project 'Formulae – Litterae - Chartae.'. The objective of the project is a new edition of the early medieval Formulae including the unlocking of early medieval letters and charters in the Occident (ca. 500 – 1000). The project will be funded for 15 years.

New Petra Kappert Fellows in October 2016

David Ganz was Professor of Latin palaeography at the University of North Carolina, at King’s College London, and at the Medieval Institute University of Notre Dame. He has published on early Latin and Carolingian manuscripts, and is working on early Latin minuscule scripts.
Susan Rankin is Professor of Medieval Music at the University of Cambridge, Fellow of Emmanuel College and a Fellow of the British Academy. Her research engages with music of the middle ages through its manuscript sources and notations, and through its place and meaning within ritual.
The new fellows will stay at CSMC until the end of March 2017.


15 December 2016 6pm | Lecture
Dr. Ilse Sturkenboom
University of St Andrews
The Divān of Sultan Aḥmad Jalāʾir (d. 1410) and the Re-Appreciation of Chinese-Style Design in Persian Manuscripts
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001

12 January 2017 6pm | Lecture
Prof. Dr. Michele Bernardini
University of Naples
The Series Catalogorum, Presentation, Methodology, Future Projects
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001

19 January 2017 6pm | Lecture
Prof. Dr. David Ganz
Petra-Kappert Fellow at the CSMC Hamburg
Script as Character
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001

26 January 2017 6pm | Lecture
Dr. Britta Frede
Freie Universität Berlin
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001

14 - 16 August 2017 | Workshop
Working with African Arabic Script Manuscript
Further information can be found here.
In cooperation with the CSMC & the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Northwestern University organizes this workshop.
Program of African Studies and the Herskovits Library of African Studies, Northwestern University, Evanston IL

10-15 September 2017 | Summer School
Summer School manuSciences '17
In cooperation with the CSMC & BAM, the PSL Research University (France) organizes the German-French Summer School manuSciences '17
Le CAES du CNRS, la Villa Clythia, Frejus, France. Registration website coming soon.