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  • Author or Editor: Michaël Peyrot x
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The collection of Buddhist legends entitled Daśakarmapathāvadānamālā (DKPAM) is attested in several native languages of Central Asia (Tocharian A, Tocharian B, Sogdian, Old Uyghur). While the Old Uyghur version is rather well preserved, only fragments remain of the DKPAM in Tocharian A, Tocharian B, and Sogdian. The article identifies two small fragments in Tocharian B as belonging to the avadāna of Hariścandra. They are interpreted with reference to the corresponding Old Uyghur version of the tale.

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The collection of Buddhist legends entitled Daśakarmapathāvadānamālā (DKPAM) is best preserved in Old Uyghur. According to the colophons of this Old Uyghur version, it was translated from Tocharian. In this paper, two Tocharian B fragments that are parallel to the Supāraga-Avadāna of the Old Uyghur DKPAM are presented, together with a third Tocharian B fragment that may belong to the same avadāna, but is so far lacking a parallel in Old Uyghur.

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According to the colophons of the Old Uyghur Daśakarmapathāvadānamālā (DKPAM), this collection of Buddhist birth legends was translated from a Tocharian A (tohrı) source which in turn was based on a Tocharian B (küsän) original. A Tocharian B fragment from the Paris Pelliot collection presents a close parallel to the legend of Kalmāṣapāda and Sutasoma of the Old Uyghur DKPAM. This legend is so far not attested in Tocharian A. Although the existence of a Tocharian A intermediary text cannot be excluded, the parallel is so close that the Old Uyghur text may also have been translated directly from Tocharian B.

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The Tocharian A Maitreyasamitināṭaka, a long dramatic text about the future Buddha Maitreya that is translated into Old Uyghur prose as the Maitrisimit, is one of the most important texts of Tocharian and Old Uyghur Buddhism. It is of crucial importance for Tocharian studies because even smaller fragments can often be interpreted successfully with the help of the better preserved Old Uyghur parallels. In this paper, the beginning of the 11th act about the birth of Maitreya is studied, comparing the Tocharian A and Old Uyghur fragments which are in part parallel and in part complementary.

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Building on collaborative work with Stefan Baums, Ching Chao-jung, Hannes Fellner and Georges-Jean Pinault during a workshop at Leiden University in September 2019, tentative readings are presented from a manuscript folio (T II T 48) from the Northern Tarim Basin in Northwest China written in the thus far undeciphered Formal Kharoṣṭhī script. Unlike earlier scholarly proposals, the language of this folio cannot be Tocharian, nor can it be Sanskrit or Middle Indic (Gāndhārī). Instead, it is proposed that the folio is written in an Iranian language of the Khotanese-Tumšuqese type. Several readings are proposed, but a full transcription, let alone a full translation, is not possible at this point, and the results must consequently remain provisional.

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