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Texts In The Kitan Small Script

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Chapter Summary

The three texts presented in this chapter, can represent the present state of decipherment of the Kitan small script. The first is a true bilingual, but it has taken the scholarly world half a century to agree on what corresponds to what, and about one third of the text is still somewhat uncertain. The second is a typical example of an epitaph of a Kitan noble, which lists his ancestors, official titles, family links, date of birth and death and occasionally other material. Much can be understood, much can not. The third is the Eulogy for Empress Xuanyi, which can be barely understood at all. Soon after the discovery and publication of the Shengzong and Renyi inscriptions from the Liaoshi imperial tombs at Qingling, Haneda noted that the scripts were the same, and consequently the Langjun inscription must have been in Kitan.

Keywords: Empress Xuanyi; Kitan script; Langjun inscription; Qingling inscription



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