The essay is devoted to the visit of two Soviet historians, Apollon Davidson and Irina Filatova, to South Africa in December 1989, long before diplomatic relations were established between our two countries. The authors recall the exciting atmosphere of the time and the deep interest of their South African interlocutors to the Soviet Union.
The transformation of political thought in the national borderlands of the Russian Empire in the early twentieth century featured a variety of ideas, trends and projects. The imperial crisis which manifested itself at the turn of the century contributed to the discussions on future state formations. Although the autonomist discourse is usually located in the sphere of Soviet policy, regional intellectuals who synthesized local and global ideas worked out their political projects independently of the Soviet power. Comparing political activism of Siberian (Buryat-Mongol) and Central Asian (Alash or Kazakh) intellectuals, this article discusses the articulation of political unity in national terms which was caused by their struggle against discrimination, desire for greater representation within the existing power structures, as well as for protection of native languages, traditions and other forms of cultural expression.
The main security problems on the African continent include intrastate conflicts between certain groups of population over access to natural resources, intercommunity clashes, the spread of Islamic and Christian terrorism, electoral conflicts and the continuing activity of pirates in the Gulfs of Aden and Guinea. As the European Union, China and the African countries represented by the African Union expand their influence on the processes taking place in the world, they also begin to make an increasing contribution to the establishment of a new multi-polar world and to the growth of the global economy. This trend is of particular importance in relation to Africa, which until recently was considered solely as a continent that permanently experiences developmental backwardness and political instability. So far, EU member states have been the main trade, economic and political partners of African countries, as well as contributors to UN peacekeeping missions in Africa. However, China’s accent to the status of a global power and its desire to strengthen its global influence prompts Beijing to become increasingly involved in solving security problems of the African continent. In addition, China’s cooperation with African countries, previously described as “decisive non-interference in the internal affairs of partner countries while safeguarding China’s economic interests”, is undergoing a gradual shift towards Beijing’s involvement in peacekeeping operations in Africa. While the agreements signed by the People's Republic of China with African countries remain predominantly economic, the growing dependence of China in the implementation of its trade and economic interests on the vicissitudes of African politics and, simultaneously, on the pressure of the world community encourages Beijing to increase its activity on a global scale and leads to a revision of Chinese approaches to cooperation with this or that particular region. The participation of European countries in peacekeeping missions under the auspices of the UN has significantly decreased since the mid-1990s. Against this background, the role of developing countries, including China, in ensuring security on the African continent has increased. The expansion of security cooperation in the EU-China-Africa format is largely a European initiative. Although the extent of trilateral cooperation is still limited, primarily due to a certain discrepancy in China and the EU's approach to events in Africa, it is nevertheless gradually being established as part of peacekeeping operations, as well as the fight against piracy and terrorism.
The article aims at verification of one of one of the hypotheses of the literary interpretation of the traditional concept of “wen” (“elegance”) in early medieval Chinese literature. Treatise “Wen xin diao long” (“The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons”) by Liu Xie (ca. 460‒522) occupies an exceptional place among the sources for studies of traditional Chinese literature typology and, in particular, its early medieval period. It is generally accepted that in 20 chapters of the treatise Liu Xie described contemporary literature as an ordered system of genres based on aesthetic principles of elegance (“wen”) and plainness (“bi”) that could be consequently interpreted in terms of their form. The translation of the two chapters was made to verify this thesis, and the descriptions of the two dialogue genres in “Wen xin diao long” were compared. They are “duiwen” (answer to a question) in Chapter XIV “Za wen” (“Mixed Works”) presumably from the category of “the fine literature” (“wen”) and “dui” (examination answer to the question posed in a special imperial decree) in Chapter XXIV “Yi dui” (“Meeting and answer”) from the ordinary, or plain literature (bi) category. To identify features of the genres, historical material and preserved texts were used. The analysis revealed that stylistic features of the works (rhyme, parallel phrases) were not essential for their attribution to one or another genre. Other significant genre features have been indicated. The author of the article notes the shortcomings of the modern interpretation of some passages from the text of Liu Xie, which either indicate the inconsistency of his approach, or the imperfection of existing translations into modern languages.
Dong Qichang is one of the central figures in the history of calligraphy, painting and theory of art of the Ming Dynasty period (1368-1644). Dong Qichang's art gave rise to a separate movement known as Songjiang Pai that strongly influenced the visual arts of the XVII-XVIII centuries. Dong Qichang’s life was focused on two ambitious goals: taking the post of the empire’s high-ranking dignitary and becoming the first calligrapher and painter of his era. Dong Qichang's biography is unique in that he succeeded in achieving both goals, for he saw no contradictions between the two. Art critics consider Dong Qichang's art separately from his career path. The purpose of this study is to understand which aspects of traditional calligraphic aesthetics and Dong Qichang's own views allowed him throughout his life to successfully combine his work with the time-consuming career as an official. The study subject is Dong Qichang's album known as “Own Uncial Transcription of Imperial Decrees on Appointments to Public Positions” from the Shanghai Museum Collection. In his art, Dong Qichang aspired to the ideal of "naturalness of celestial reality" combined with the requirement for constant hand movement control that provided a healing effect of the creative process on the author's psychosomatic state. Dong Qichang regularly presented his works to influential people at court, cultivating the right connections for career purposes. Creativity allowed Dong Qichang to cope with temptations and risks of the high social status. Art elevated Dong Qichang over the harsh social realities, without disengaging him from them. The path of solitary seclusion was not something that appealed to Dong Qichang; instead, he was inspired by examples of socially active calligraphers and painters of the past. It is natural, therefore, that Dong Qichang's life and creative experience continue to be relevant for many artistically gifted businessmen and politicians of modern China.
From the Middle Ages till present days, the “Biography of Sultan Jalal al-Din Mankburny” by his secretary Muhammad an-Nasavi is considered to be one the most important Arab-Persian sources about the Mongol conquest of Central Asia and Iran. Eyewitness of the Mongol invasion, an-Nasavi provides a good deal of valuable information which are not found in other synchronous historical works. Despite the fact that this historical source has been introduced into scientific circulation for a long time and is well known to the researchers, there are still some questions about the information contained in it. This article is devoted to the question of double dating of the same events in the “Biography”, which has not been the object of special study. For the battle on the Turgay plain between the troops of Khorezmshah Ala ad-Din Muhammad and the Mongolian corps under the command of Juchi Khan, an-Nasavi cites two different dates: 616 and 612 AH, and the battle near Isfahan between Jalal al-Din’s troops and Mongols he dates as 624 and 625 AH. Nowadays, I propose a preliminary hypothesis on the origin of these contradictions. In the both cases, an-Nasavi wanted to correct the faults of his contemporary Ibn al-Athir whose work he cited in his own. In the first case, an-Nasavi may have confused two Mongolian campaigns about which he could have heard only rumors: against the Merkites (in 1215/16) and against Kuchlug Khan (in 1218). By contrast, the later Arab-Persian historians don’t confuse these campaigns, being familiar with Chinese and Mongolian sources. And in the second case, Ibn al-Athir erroneously cites two battles near Isfahan (in 1226/27 and in 1228). An-Nasavi, as he knew this event much better, wanted to correct this fault. But having corrected the date in the text, he may have forgotten to correct it in the chapter’s head where he had already copied the wrong date from Ibn al-Athir’s work.
The paper is an attempt of a new interpretation of the term saqaliba that Ahmad ibn Fadlan, who was a 10-century Arab traveler, used in his Kitab as a designation of the population of the Middle Volga region. The most likely is that saqaliba in this region in the beginning of 10th century was a demonym, ie designation of certain territory residents, regardless of their genealogy and characteristics of the material and spiritual culture.
Genesis of the demonym could be associated with Imenkovo archaeological culture of 4-7th centuries AD, which is similar to authentically Slavic cultures. From VIII this culture was replaced by Turkic and Finno-Ugric cultures.
Volga Bulgaria emerged in the late 9th – early 10th century as the union of different ethnopolitical groups led by the Bulgars. In the 920's Almış, the ruler of the Bulgars, followed by Ibn Fadlan designated by the term "Sakaliba" ethno-political group in aggregate subordinated to Almış.
In the process of consolidating power of Bulgar leaders demonym saqaliba was replaced by the term bulghar in the writings of Ibn Rustah, al-Mas‘udi, Estakhri etc.
The article contains an analysis of the problem of interrelation between the nomadic and settled peoples of Middle Asia at the time of Mongolian invasion. Special attention has been given to the influence of the relations between these peoples on the formation of the Khorezmshah-Anushteginids' state and also on the further history of this state and on its conquest by the Mongols. The author also pays attention to the formation of the image of a "nomad" in the Arabic and Persian sources of the epoch of the Mongolian conquest: the study of the evolution of this image allows to see the attitude of settled peoples to nomads depending on time and the political situation. In the author's opinion it was important to disclose how quickly some nomadic peoples became part of the Moslem society and what were the conditions of this process. On the basis of the information of the sources he emphasizes the fact that the Mongol conquerors became part of the Middle Asian society quickly enough whereas the nomadic Turks mostle continued to remain "alien" for the settled population of this region.
The article considers a serious problem in the research of major Egyptian hieroglyphic sources dating to the Greco-Roman period (priestly decrees, historical inscriptions): many of them were discovered still in the heroic period of the Egyptology, before the late 19th century, and their first publications were rather signal and were not accompanied by comprehensive research. Thus, a number of interpretations (hieroglyphic writings, lexical meanings of words and syntactic connections between them, etc.) were not initially given a full motivation, though they were accepted by scholarship and did not cause further doubts. The article considers two fragments of the Satrap Stela, the hieroglyphic text originating from Buto and preserved now at the Cairo Museum (No. 22182), which describes the deeds of Egypt’s actual ruler at the time, the Satrap Ptolemy (in particularly it registers the guarantees on the estate “Land-of-Uto” to the temples of Buto). A detailed analysis of the semantics and the syntax in the passage allows reconstructing the initial perception of the fragments by their earlier scholars that founded a number of standard translations of these pieces. The analysis given in the article brought to confirm some established interpretations of the writings, lexica and syntax in lines 8–9 and 10–11 of the text (xnt an s(w) xft(y) #SryS “before the adversary #SryS turned it away”; HAt nTrw xpr(w) Hr-sA “the foremost of gods (that) came into existence afterwards”; the absence of a passive construction of the verb wdi in line 11); the article shows contradictions within a recent reinterpretation of these passages by Dr. Alexander Safronov. The conclusion of the article is that any serious correction to an established interpretation of this and other Egyptian texts should take a good account of earlier experience in their research
The article deals with the history of a center for the xylographic edition of Tibetan and Mongolian books in the capital of Northern Mongolia, Ikh-Khure (Urga) in the seventeenth century, as well as features of its activity prior to the beginning of the twentieth century. The first printing house was opened at the time when Ikh-Khure was a nomadic monastery—the residence of the head of the Mongolian Church. By the beginning of the twentieth century, there were several large printing houses: the main printing house Ikhiin-Sumbum, printing houses at monasteries and monastic communities. Four catalogues of printed books in the Mongolian national archives, Mongolian national library, and the personal collection of the Mongolian scientist R. Otgonbaatar, show that the Ikhiin-Sumbum mainly produced works of Ganjur, books of main Lamaist teachers, prayer books for the monastic services, a popular prayers for personal use. The monastic printing houses published books on medicine, astrology, Buddhist philosophy. Monastic communities edited books dedicated to various Buddhist deities. In Ikh- Khure the Tibetan Ganjur was xylographed; the work on the second canonical collection of books Danjur did begin. Alphabets, dictionaries, stories and other books in Mongolian language were also published in the capital of Northern Mongolia. The Mongol-Tibetan bilinguals were printed. The close examination of xylographs reveals characteristics of publishing traditions in Ikh-Khure. Many of the texts of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries had no title. There are bilinguals that have but colophons in Mongolian language. However, in most cases bilingual books have colophons in two languages. In some Tibetan books, publishers made explanations in Mongolian. In addition, a method of woodcutting, not found in other areas, was common in Ikh-Khure. Among the printed books of Ikh-Hure there were private publications. Some residents of Ikh-Khure cut book's boards themselves or ordered it to other masters.
In this article, we consider the current developments in the educational systems of the Arab world using quantitative data for the period from 1980 to 2014. Building upon our analysis we can distinguish four major periods of educational expansion in the Arab world between 1980 and 2014: (1) the 1980s – the most substantial expansion, this period actually began in the 1970s and was tightly connected with the oil boom; (2) the late 1980s – the 1990s – a relative slowdown of the education expansion in connection with a prolonged decline of oil prices, whereas an especially low expansion rate was observed in 1995-2000 when oil prices reached their bottom levelsrecession; the 2000s – a new acceleration of growth associated with a new wave of acceleration of the economic growth in the Arab World in connection with both a new wave of oil price growth and effective economic reforms in some Arab countries; from 2011 – a sharp slowdown of educational expansion in connection with a systemic crisis in the Arab World caused by tragic events of the Arab Spring. Apparently, the educational situation in the region is extremely asymmetrical. In several countries, adequate quantitative coverage of population by education has not been reached so far. First of all, these are Yemen, Mauritania, Sudan and Morocco. On the other hand, in countries like Jordan, Qatar and Libya the educational quantitative coverage of the youth by 2005 had already reached the saturation level, which caused the administration of these countries to take measures in order to decelerate the educational expansion. Hence, the major educational goal for these countries is not the quantitative educational growth, but the improvement of the quality of their education.
In the article author considers the role of Egypt in establishing the League of Arab States. Analyzed the most probable realization of projects of Arab unity of the first half of XX century. Particular attention is paid to the figure of the Egyptian Prime Minister Nahhas Pasha. His role and contribution in carrying out bilateral talks with representatives of the six Arab states, as well as his presidency at the Preparatory Committee took place in Cairo in the summer of 1944.
Due to commercial difficulties happened in the beginning of the 21st century China was not particularly interested in rapprochement with Mexico, preferring other Latin American countries. For the last years Mexican-Chinese relations are developping. Donald Trump's presidency, characterized by the absence of a long-term Latin American policy, as well as the gradual curtailment of Washington's presence in the region, led to the intensification of cooperation between Beijing and Mexico City. This provides China with opportunity to bridge the gap appeared after deterioration of U.S.-Mexico relations, without looking back at past failures.
The article deals with some meta-logic technigues which used in nowadays Arabic oratorical speech and have effective and expressive-emotional impact on the recipient. The research shows a number of means of language expressiveness through which the emotive function of language is implemented.
The changes since the breakup of the USSR had a significant impact on the social composition of African migrants in Moscow, as well as on their life strategies. In this article, we distinguish between two social groups of African migrants: “affluent” and “surviving”. Almost all affluent migrants are those who once came to study at Soviet universities. They have been living in Russia for at least twenty years, obtained Russian citizenship (mainly through marriage), speak Russian fluently, are very familiar with the Russian lifestyle, enjoy support from Russian family members and are respected in their home countries; they have native Russians as close friends, are happy to see their children being well integrated into Moscow city life, and are always welcome in their motherlands’ embassies in Moscow. The surviving Africans are mainly recent economic migrants and refugees, whose arrival became possible only in the post-Soviet era. For most of them, matters are complicated: they face the fact that their educational background and Russian language skills are considered insufficient, they have a poor knowledge of Russian lifestyle, and they also suffer from differences in climate; few, if any, have Russian friends, and their financial means are very limited, with little hope for any kind of support by the home country’s official representatives. The Africans from the two social groups usually use radically different life strategies to embroider themselves into the fabric of Russian society: while the affluent opt for maximum inclusion into the mainstream socio-cultural milieu, the survivors rely on cooperation amongst each other. While one group seeks integration into Russian society, the other limits itself to mere adaptation to life in Moscow.