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An Old Turkic Epitaph in Runic Script from Xi'an (China). The Epitaph of Qarï čor tegin

Pages 115 - 128



In the surroundings of Xi'an (Chang'an), China several Chinese epitaphs dedicated to the memory of Uigur officials of the Tang court have been discovered. The bilingual (Chinese, Old Turkic) epitaph under discussion here was discovered in the surroundings of Xi'an, too. It is a unique epitaph, as it is the only one discovered so far in the central parts of the Tang empire containing an Old Turkic inscription in Runic script. The Old Turkic part of the epitaph stands at the left end of a much longer epitaph in Chinese; both are engraved on a Chinese tombstone of the Tang dynasty. By content, the Old Turkic and Chinese parts of the epitaph are only loosely connected with each other. The Old Turkic part consists of seventeen lines, each line consisting of one to two words. It can be divided into three sections: Section one tells the name of the deceased as well as the names of some of his relatives; section two states that a funeral feast had been held by the Chinese emperor; section three gives the date when Qarï čor tegin was buried.



1 [C 72] = Sir G. Clauson: An Etymological Dictionary of Pre-Thirteenth Century Turkish. Oxford 1972.

2 Erdal, M. 1991: Old Turkic word formation. I–II. Wiesbaden (Turcologica 7).

3 Räsänen, M. 1969: Versuch eines etymologischen Wörterbuchs der Türksprachen. Helsinki (Lexica Societatis Fenno-Ugricae XVII, 1).

4 Röhrborn, K. 1977 ff.: Uigurisches Wörterbuch. Wiesbaden.

5 Rybatzki, V. 1999: “Punctuation rules in the Toñuquq inscription?” In: J. Janhunen / V. Rybatzki (eds.): Writing in the Altaic World. Helsinki (Studia Orientalia 87), pp. 207–225.

6 Rybatzki, V. 2000: “Titles of Türk and Uigur rulers in the Old Turkic inscriptions.” In: CAJ 44, pp. 205–292.

7 Rybatzki, V. 2006: Die Personennamen und Titel der mittelmongolischen Dokumente. Eine lexikalische Untersuchung. Helsinki (Publications of the Institute for Asian and African Studies 8).

8 TMEN = G. Doerfer: Türkische und mongolische Elemente im Neupersischen. Wiesbaden 1963–1975.


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