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The Sogdian "Ancient Letters" (I, III)

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image of Iran and the Caucasus

The "Ancient Letters" is a conventional term applied to a group of Sogdian paper documents (five letters and a number of fragments) found by Aurel Stein in 1907, in the remains of a watch-tower on the Chinese frontier wall. The letters were written, most likely, in the first decades of the 4th century A.D. The "Ancient Letters" are the earliest Sogdian handwritten texts and the oldest available paper documents.

The author presents the translations of the first and third letters dictated by a woman named Mēwnāi (lit. "tiger cub"), whose husband Nanaidāt (lit. "Created by goddess Nanai") had left her in Tun-huang.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg


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