12 July 2012


Imre Galambos

Dr Imre Galambos,
Petra Kappert Fellow at CSMC

Informal talk on the codicology of Tangut manuscripts from Khara-Khoto

The dead city of Khara-Khoto in northwestern China yielded a multitude of handwritten and printed texts in Chinese and Tangut. It is especially the large number of Tangut texts, discovered here at the early part of the 20th century, that arouse the interest of academic community, as they evidenced wide-scale literacy in a hitherto unknown language and script. By now, the language and script have been largely deciphered and many of the texts read and translated. Less attention has been paid, however, to the non-textual features of these works.
In this talk I will focus on the codicological aspects of Tangut manuscripts from Khara-Khoto and show the main typologies for features such as bookbinding format, gridlines, text layout, the script, punctuation and other marks. I will also highlight their connection with the medieval Chinese manuscript tradition and draw attention to their relevance for the philological study of the texts.