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Re: inercultural artefact

Portrait of an Artist: (Martin Schaffner)


Dana Scott

"Rafal T. Prinke" wrote:

> Jorge Stolfi wrote:
> > Now we only need to find out where
> > his pharmacy teacher Martin Schaffner did his missionary work, in Tibet or in
> > Annam... 8-)
> I like your "Popol Vuh theory" seeing the VMS as an intercultural
> artefact.
> Browsing through my copy of Diringer's _Alphabet_ (Polish 1972 edition),
> I noted a number of languages/scripts which I find suspect - but
> as they are not illustrated (not in this edition, at least), I thought
> I might mention them so that more knowledgeable linguists might
> comment:
> 1. Syriac languages in Asia:
>    a. Nestorians - in 1265 there were 70 bishoprics along the trail
>            from Baghdad to Peking. They were active in Kurdistan,
>            Turkistan, Mongolia, China, etc. In 1885 cemetaries
>            from the 13th and 14th c. with nestorian inscriptions
>            were discovered in southern Siberia (over 630 tombstones).
>    b. Assirians or Chaldeans - in Kurdistan and Iraq.
>    c. Jacobites and Melchites - in Near East and Egypt.
> 2. Mandeans - in Mesopotamia; there are many mandean MSS from
>            the 16th-18th c. in the British Library, Oxford, Paris,
>            Berlin and Vatican; they are magical, astrological,
>            ritual and lithurgical; they were a gnostic sect and
>            their most important scripture (The Book of Adam)
>            is full of fantastic stories; the alphabet is quite
>            different from other aramaic scripts and is considered
>            to be sacred
> 3. Manicheans - the famous relion founded by Mani, of gnostic nature,
>            with complicated cosmogony; they survived until circa
>            1500 in China and Turkiestan; the origin on manichean
>            script is uncertain; the manuscripts from Turkiestan
>            are beautiful, colourful, on good paper, written in
>            various languages (Iranian dialects and Old-Turkish).
> 4. Yezidis - a sect often (unjustly) called "satanistic", now in
>            Northern Iraq, Syria, Turkey and the Caucasus; they have
>            a cryptographic writing used only for one of
>            the scriptures (published in Anthropos VI, 1911).
>            Some think it is a 19th c. forgery.
> 5. Kok turk runes - used for Old Turkish (38 characters)
> 6. Old Hungarian or Seklerian - in Transylvania, used by Seklers,
>            an ethnic group known as "border guards"; oldest
>            documents known from 1501; some think it was
>            cryptographic
> 7. Uygurs - in Mongolia and later modern Turkiestan; they were
>            shamanists, then buddhists, then manicheans, then
>            nestorians, and finally moslems; in the 13th c.
>            their alphabet was used as the official script of
>            the Chenghis Khan's empire.
> 8. Mongolian - in 1310 it was used for mongolian translations
>             of buddhist scriptures and became the basis of
>             later Mongolian.
> Best regards,
> Rafal