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The fringes of the Ancient Iranian World: lectures by Ching Chao-jung and Ogihara Hirotoshi

Monday 28 August 2023
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

The warfare between Ancient Kucha and the Eastern Han Empire in 74-91 AD

Ching Chao-jung 慶昭蓉

In 73 AD, Ban Chao 班超 seized the Hami oasis during a battle against the Northern Xiongnu and “liberated” Shanshan and Yutian 于闐 (Khotan) from the control of the Xiongnu. He then continued to conquer Shule 疏勒 (Kashgar) which had just become a puppet state of the kingdom of Qiuci 龜茲 (Kucha). The tug of war between Qiuci and the Han-Yutian alliance around Kashgar and Yarkand lasted more than a decade, and resulted in an unsuccessful attack against the Han by the Kushan Empire in 90 AD and then in the total surrender of Qiuci to Chinese troops. In this talk, I will analyze this international conflict which involved most of the major powers around the Tarim Basin by reading the Book of the Later Han from a broader historical perspective.

The variation of the Viśvantara-jātaka in Central Asia: some observations and perspectives

Ogihara Hirotoshi

This talk will provide a textual comparision of the Kuchean (Tocharian B) version of the Viśvantara-jātaka with parallel texts in other languages. The comparison reveals that B370, a Kuchean fragment of the same jātaka, does not match the Sanskrit Jātakamālā so well. Some discrepancies between the two versions, such as the episode of Māndri’s lamentation, are significant and worthy of a broader examination throughout the Buddhist literature in Chinese and other Central Asian languages. As for A70, an Agnean (Tocharian A) fragment of the same story, it generally agrees with the Jātakamālā as initially indicated by Sieg and Thomas. The variation between B370, A70 and other fragments suggests multiple traditions on the northern rim of the Tarim basin during the spread of this Buddhist story. In particular, the Sogdian version leads to the supposition that several elements so far unseen in the Indic versions were incorporated in the course of its transmission into Central Asia and China.

Online attendance

Online attendance is possible. Please register by sending a message to m.peyrot@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

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