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树皮手稿:世界上遗存的最古老的佛经  

2013-02-05 20:27:12|  分类: 修学园地 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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树皮手稿:世界上遗存的最古老的佛经 - 明藏菩萨 - 上塔山房de博客
 Bark Manuscript : LMU  树皮手稿:慕尼黑大学


慕尼黑大学印度研究院的学者们在慕尼黑着手研究拥有2000年历史的印度佛教徒资料,最近才初见端倪。这些珍贵的手稿产出了大量举世瞩目的发现。

世界上遗存的最古老的佛经,被保存在长卷桦树皮里,它用犍陀罗语写成,这是一种现已失传已久的早期印度地方语系。这些树皮卷轴发源于如古印度王国犍陀罗等地,就是位于今天的巴基斯坦西北部地区。

由于研究者们对早期佛教历史感兴趣,这些手稿一定程度上代表了一种轰动的发现。原因如下:第一个原因是它们的年龄,有很多文件可以追溯到公元前第一世纪,它们的内容是至今为止印度佛教文学最古老的列证。但是对专家而言,它们的内容同样具有吸引力。这些文本文本为我们研究一种失传已久的文字传统提供了更深刻的理解,它们帮助研究者重建印度佛教发展的关键时期。此外,树皮卷证实了佛教从犍陀罗地区向中亚和中国传播发展的重要位置。

手稿编辑

在慕尼黑大学一支由印度学者哈特曼教授(Jens-Uwe Hartmann)和柏林自由大学的哈利.福克教授(Harry Falk)领导的研究小组刚刚开始进行手稿编辑的艰巨任务。大部分遗存的文本只是一些碎片,必须首先收集和重新组装。此艰巨的任务计划在21年内完成。巴伐利亚科学和人文科学学院接受了学院项目的860万欧元资助,该项目由德国科学和人文科学学院联合会主办,这也是联邦共和国在人文学科领域进行的最大研究项目之一。

研究者们不仅仅只是研究手稿,还有数字扫描。遗存手稿不但易碎,还是从全世界各处搜集起来的片段。很大一部分遗存的资料保存在了伦敦的大英图书馆。这个项目的终极目标是建立一个关于所有犍陀罗语的现代化百科全书,以使它们对将来的研究有用。此外,研究者们计划创建一个犍陀罗语字典并研究犍陀罗语语法。然而,这项工程将首先涉及有启发性的犍陀罗文学的发展和犍陀罗时期佛教的历史。一旦竣工必将引领对印度早期佛教史全新的理解。

这个项目的核心是建立一个综合数据库,所有相关的信息、结果可搜集、储存、链接在一起。这个数据库作为电子和印刷出版物的主要来源并通过定期更新来给国际研究群体提供最新的结果。


原文:

Experts in Indological Studies at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich are in the process of analyzing 2000-year-old Indian Buddhist documents that have only recently come to light. The precious manuscripts have already yielded some surprising findings.

The oldest surviving Buddhist texts, preserved on long rolls of birch-tree bark, are written in Gandhari, an early regional Indic language that is long extinct. The scrolls originate from the region known in ancient times as Gandhara, which lies in what is now Northwestern Pakistan.

For researchers interested in the early history of Buddhism, these manuscripts represent a sensational find, for a number of reasons. The first is their age. Some of the documents date from the first century BC, making them by far the oldest examples of Indian Buddhist literature. But for the experts, their contents are equally fascinating. The texts provide insights into a literary tradition which was thought to have been irretrievably lost, and they help researchers to reconstruct crucial phases in the development of Buddhism in India. Furthermore, the scrolls confirm the vital role played by the Gandhara region in the spread of Buddhism into Central Asia and China.

Editing the manuscripts

At LMU Munich a team of researchers led by LMU Indological scholar Professor Jens-Uwe Hartmann and Professor Harry Falk of the Free University of Berlin has just begun the arduous job of editing the manuscripts. Most of the texts survive only as fragments, which must first be collated and reassembled. The magnitude of the task is reflected in the planned duration of the project – 21 years. The project of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities is being funded by a total grant of 8.6 million euros from the Academies Program, that is coordinated by the Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities. It is one of the largest research programs in the field of the Humanities in the Federal Republic.

The researchers work not with the manuscripts themselves, but with digital scans. The originals are not only extremely fragile, but are held in various collections scattered around the world. A large fraction of the surviving material is stored in the British Library in London. The ultimate goal of the project is to prepare a modern edition of all the Gandhari manuscripts, thus making them available for further investigation. In addition, the researchers plan to produce a dictionary of the Gandhari language and a survey of its grammar. However, the project will be primarily concerned with illuminating the development of Gandhari literature and the history of Buddhism in Gandhara. It is already clear that the results will lead to a new understanding of the earliest phases of Buddhism in India.

At the core of the project is the construction of a comprehensive database in which all relevant information and results are collected, stored and linked together. The database will serve as the major source of electronic and printed publications on the topic, and regular updates will give the international research community access to the latest results.

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