Book Series Berliner Turfantexte, vol. 37

Buddhistische Erzählungen aus dem alten Zentralasien

Edition der altuigurischen Daśakarmapathāvadānamālā

Jens Wilkens

  • Pages:3 vols, 1688 p.
  • Size:210 x 297 mm
  • Illustrations:250 b/w, 250 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):German, Uygur
  • Publication Year:2016

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-56776-1
  • Paperback
  • Available


“Dem Herausgeber und dem Verlag ist für diese schöne, mit viel Sorgfalt erarbeitete Edition sehr zu danken.” (Erdem Uçar, in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, 113/1, 2018, p. 89)


Jens Wilkens is Turkologist, Indologist and Buddhologist. A specialist for the research on Old Uyghur Buddhist texts.


The Buddhist collection of stories entitled Daśakarmapathāvadānamālā (“garland of legends pertaining to the ten courses of action”) is the most important narrative work of Buddhist Central Asia as it is not only attested in Old Uyghur (the best preserved version) but also in Tocharian A and B as well as in Sogdian. Volumes one and two present the reconstructed text in Old Uyghur in transcription (more than 12.500 lines) and facing German translation accompanied by a philological commentary and 250 illustrations of joint fragments. The third volume contains a glossary and the transliterations. The text is a treasure trove of Buddhist jātakas (stories of former lives of the Buddha) and avadānas (heroic deeds) sometimes told in variants unknown from other Buddhist works. In addition, it contains instructions referring to Buddhist ethics. Next to the Maitrisimit, the Daśakarmapathāvadānamālā is the second fundamental text translated from Tocharian A and is thus of major importance for Tocharian studies.