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Notes on Uighur Medicine, Especially on the Uighur Siddhasāra Tradition

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Abstract

There are many primary sources that allow us to reconstruct Old Uighur medicine. This article considers those that demonstrate the following influences: folk medicine, Syriac medicine, Indian and Chinese medicine. The article includes general remarks on the Uighur translations of the Siddhasāra and its role in the history of Uighur medicine: the bilingual version, a list of the preserved parts of the monolingual Uighur version, medicinal plant names, and comments on general translation methods. The Uighur translation deviates considerably from the Sanskrit, but it exploits the medical knowledge it contains in interesting ways. A translation of such a medical compendium like the Siddhasāra was, nor is, an easy task. That we observe equivalents, substitutes and Turkic equivalents in the Uighur version is no wonder. Each of these has to be evaluated carefully. Much scholarly work has already been carried out by H. W. Bailey, R. Emmerick and D. Maue. In particular I would like to mention the contribution of the first editor Reşid Rahmeti (Arat) [Rachmati] who read the texts first and translated them without knowledge of their real source. At that time he had already surmised that the model for the translation must have been a substantial work.

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... "one-country", probably referring to Khotan. 4 In the North of the Tarim basin we have fragments of a Tocharian translation, see Carling 2003. 5 For the extant Old Uyghur fragments, see Zieme 2007. Moreover, the Jīvakapustaka seems to be extant in Tocharian, see Maue 1990. ...
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Bei der Durchsicht der Brāhmī-Handschriften der “ Mainzer Sammlung / [Mz]1 entdeckte einer der beiden Verfasser [Maue] mit Mz 639 ein Fragment, das neben Sanskrit eine Übersetzungssprache enthielt, die aufgrund einiger Indizien dem Iranischen, am ehesten dem Sogdischen, zuzuordnen war. Anhand einer ersten vorlä ufigen Umschrift konnte Professor R. E. Emmerick (Hamburg) das Sakische ausschlieβen. Der zweite Autor [Sims-Williams] erkannte darin zweifelsfrei das Sogdische. Somit ist nun auch dieser mir. Dialekt in Brā hmī belegt und erstmals ein sogd. Textstück, das definitiv auf eine Sanskritvorlage zurückgeführt werden kann. Der besondere linguistische Wert liegt in der durch die Schriftart erzwungenen vollen Vokalisierung. Das neu entdeckte Bruchstück nährt die Hoffnung auf weitere sogdische Materialien in Brāhmī.2 Die lesbaren und verständlichen Teile des Blattfragments lassen klar erkennen, daβ esp. sich um einen Heilkundetext handelt, vermutlich einen Abschnitt über Augenkrankheiten.3 Wir haben Reste von vier Rezepturen oder Paragraphen, wie die erhaltenen Zahlen beweisen, die es auch erlauben, Vorderund Rückseite zu bestimmen. Im übrigen aber ist das Blatt so sehr fragmentiert und die Schrift teilweise so stark abgerieben, daβ das gewohnte Schema (zu behandelnde Krankheit, Zusammensetzung des Medikaments und dessen Dosierung) an verschiedenen Stellen zwar noch durchscheint, aber im einzelnen nicht rekonstruiert werden kann. Dies beeintrachtigt die Sicherheit und das Verständnis der Lesungen. Hier kann der entscheidende Fortschritt nur vom Mūla-Text oder zumindest von Paralleltexten kommen Die Suche danach, an der sich freundlicherweise auch R. E. Emmerick beteiligte, hat bisher nur zu einem negativen Ergebnis geführt:
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The introduction of foreign medical science into Tibet has hitherto not been the subject of any detailed study, although Tibetan histories of medicine contain much information on the early development of medical science in the Tibetan Empire. In the present paper, an attempt is made to interpret all of the relevant passages from available Tibetan sources concerning the Greek school, the most important of the foreign systems of medicine introduced into early Tibet.
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