20th Meeting Leiden, 1977: Report

Source: Acta Orient. Hung. XXXII. 1978 pp. 113–114 Chronica

The Twentieth Meeting of the Permanent International Altaistic Conference (P.I.A.C.)

The twentieth meeting of the P.I.A.C. was held in Leiden, Netherlands, from August 15 to 19, 1977, and there were 50 participants from about 15 countries.

The conference was inaugurated by Ane N. Nauta, the president of the twentieth P.I.A.C.

On this occasion, interest centred around Turcology, while some very valuable papers were also delivered on the field of Mongolistics.

Some papers dealt with the problems of Turkish and Mongolian history; to mention only some of them: The Sarts in the Khiva-Khanate by Yuri Bregel; Preliminary Survey of Turks in China in the Mongol period by Igor de Rachewiltz; Les causes des victoires mongoles d’après les auteurs occidentaux du XIIIe siècle by Jean Richard; The origin of the institution of the basqaqs by István Vásáry.

Important questions concerning Turkic linguistics were examined by A. Karahan. A. Dubinski spoke about the Karaim manuscripts preserved in Polish collections. Marcel Erdal spoke about some aspects of Old Turkish grammar. H. Scheinhart dealt with Turkish place-names, together with other themes dealt with by O. Sertkaya, S. Tezcan, D. Aksan and others. T. Tekin’s paper on /lǰ -s in the Altaic languages produced a lively discussion. Emel Esin’s study was the only one on iconography analyzing the honorific Turkish belt with beautiful illustrations. E. Tryjarski’s ethnolinguistic study on the dog in the Turkic area also created considerable interest among the audience.

Problems of Mongolian folklore were the topics of the papers of Owen Lattimore (An Inner-Mongolian version of a well-known legend), Klaus Sagaster, who reported on a Chahar folklore collection, and J. Andrew Boyle (The 13th century Mongols’ attitude towards nature). Questions of Mongolian linguistics were dealt with by Michael Weiers, P. Vietze, and Mary Frances Weidlich, to mention only a few of the contributors. H. Okada provided a new insight into how Kungtaiji came to the throne.

Henry G. Schwarz’s brief progress report on Bibliotheca Mongoliae, a bibliography on Mongolia and the Mongols attracted keen attention. This work aims to include works on all subjects: culture, history, society, science and technology. It will be of considerable assistance to all those dealing with Mongolian studies.

During the «confessions» the participants heard reports on the present state of Mongolian, Turkic and Manchu studies in certain countries. M. Weiers reported on a new periodical, Manjurica, to be published in Bonn. That a special paper will be available on this so far neglected field of Altaistics was warmly welcomed.

The participants were given a soirée by the Director of the Near East Institute, where they had the opportunity to become acquainted with the rich material of the library. The visit to Messrs E. J. Brill’s bookshop and to the Printing House, this important «birth-place» of books on oriental studies, was an unforgettable event for all those who took part.

Delightful sightseeing in historic Leiden and a visit to the valuable collections of the Ethnographical Museum enriched the programme.

On the occasion, the gold medal of Indiana University was awarded to Gunnar Jarring for his fruitful and long activity in the field of Turkology.

And thanks are expressed to the organizers for their hospitality and efforts to ensure the success o f the Conference.

Alice Sarközi