Book Series Berliner Turfantexte, vol. 32

Biblical and other Christian Sogdian texts from the Turfan Collection

Nicholas Sims-Williams

  • Pages: 247 p.
  • Size:210 x 297 mm
  • Illustrations:17 b/w
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2014

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-55238-5
  • Paperback
  • Available


“Ce nouveau volume de la collection des textes du Turfan témoigne d’une avancée majeure dans la connaissance de la littérature produite par la communauté chrétienne d’Asie centrale dans l’une des langues vernaculaires de cette région, le sogdien.” (Samra Azarnouche, dans Apocrypha 26, 2015, p. 390)

« Cet ouvrage est d’un intérêt particulier pour les iranistes linguistes mais aussi les historiens et les chercheurs intéressés par l’Iran, l’Asie centrale, les études bibliques en général, la littérature syriaque et l’histoire de l’Église d’Orient. Il est le fruit d’une patiente étude d’un ensemble important de textes chrétiens sogdiens, qui sont ici édités et traduits la plupart pour la première fois.. » (Florence Jullien, dans Abstracta Iranica. 37-38-39, 2018)


This new volume in the series Berliner Turfantexte contains the edition, with translation and detailed commentary, of a series of important Christian texts in Sogdian, most of them previously unpublished. The emphasis is on Biblical texts translated into Sogdian from the Syriac Peshitta version: a Psalter in Sogdian script, fragments of Gospel lectionaries, and a double-folio from a lectionary of the Pauline Epistles. Other texts edited in the volume include a retelling of the story of Daniel, a text on the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, and the "Wisdom of Ahiqar", all of them in recensions which differ significantly from any known Syriac version. Two analytical glossaries, one for the Psalter and other texts in Sogdian script and one for the texts in Syriac script, cover not only the works edited in this book but also a number of Christian Sogdian texts published by the author in scattered articles over the last twenty years or so. The volume concludes with a bibliography, an index of words discussed in the commentary, and seventeen plates. This work will be of interest to specialists in Iranian languages, mediaeval Central Asia, Biblical studies, Syriac literature, and the history of the "Church of the East".