Akademiforelesningen i humaniora og samfunnsfag
Sted: Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi, Drammensveien 78, Oslo
7. mars 2017 kl 18:00
From philology to history: Deciphering the language of ancient Afghanistan
Professor Nicholas Sims-Williams, Emeritus professor of Iranian and Central Asian Studies ved University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, (SOAS), Department of Religions and Philosophies holder årets Akademiforelesning.
Bactrian, the principal administrative language of pre-Islamic Afghanistan, fell out of use more than a thousand years ago and for many centuries was known only from short inscriptions in Greek letters on coins and seals. During the twentieth century, however, especially from the 1990s onwards, substantial Bactrian texts have come to light. These include both historical inscriptions from the 2nd century C.E., which are written in an easily legible 'monumental' script, and later documents written on leather or parchment in a locally developed cursive script which is hardly recognisable as Greek. In this lecture I will outline the process of the decipherment and interpretation of these texts, concentrating on the role of the philologist in providing access to their content and thus making it possible for the historian to reconstruct many aspects of the history of the region during the first millennium of our era.
Professor Nicholas Sims-Williams
Hans spesialitet er baktriske tekster fra Afghanistan, videre iransk, parthisk og sogdiansk; manikeismen i Sentral-Asia.
Dette arrangementet gjennomføres med økonomisk støtte fra N. A. Stangs legat