易米尔·格拉姆波斯教授（Professor Imre Galambos）
Although we often think of East Asia in terms of the countries that make it up today, each with their own language, in reality languages (including written ones) have always been in contact with each other. Although manuscript traditions developed along with written languages, there has been a continuous interaction between different manuscript cultures. Some of these contacts were the result of religion interaction, such as the spread of Buddhism to China, and later to other countries in East Asia. But trade, diplomacy and warfare were just as important in creating exchanges between languages and cultures. Because of such contacts, manuscripts written in Chinese and other languages inevitably influenced each other. Along the Silk Road, in the region that forms the territory of China today, there was a variety of written languages, including Tibetan, Old Uyghur, Sogdian, Khotanese, Tangut, Mongolian, Sanskrit and Tocharian. Manuscripts surviving from the pre-modern period attest to the impact of manuscripts written in these languages on Chinese manuscripts. One of the most visible effects is the appearance of new bookbinding forms in Dunhuang during the ninth century, which at that point was no longer part of the Tang empire. The new bookbinding forms included the codex (cezi 册子), the pothi (fanjiazhuang 梵夹装) and the concertina (jingzhezhuang 经摺装), which have not been in use before for Chinese manuscripts. Another highly visible phenomenon was writing Chinese from left to right, which was, once again, something that we see in Dunhuang during the ninth and tenth centuries. Writing this way horizontally was clearly a Tibetan influence, whereas writing in vertical columns from left to right was probably the result of interaction with Old Uyghur or Sogdian manuscript culture. Finally, when the Tibetans took control over Dunhuang in the late 8th century, people started using a pen (yingbi 硬笔) to write Chinese characters instead of a brush, borrowing this from Tibetan culture.
龚鹏程：你曾在匈牙利求学，这让我想起了斯坦因。他之所以去敦煌，是受其老师洛克齐（Lajos De Loczy）的影响。洛克齐早在一八七九年就访问过敦煌，也被视为将敦煌介绍给欧洲的第一人。许多中国人可能不知道这个故事。你能浅谈一下在布达佩斯汉文写本研究的起源吗？以及目前的研究状况。
易米尔·格拉姆波斯：斯坦因（Aurel Stein）确实生于匈牙利，尽管他后来到奥地利求学，并辗转德国与英国等地。在毕业后，他并未在匈牙利找到工作，这也是为何他后来到了英属印度的拉合尔工作的原因。斯坦因四次对中国西部的考察之旅，也正是从那里展开的。约从十九世纪初开始，匈牙利人非常热衷于寻找自身民族的根，并想象自己的始祖来自亚洲。这使他们对亚洲产生了兴趣，尽管这个兴趣更与中亚而非中国有关。汉学在二战前才开始。有趣的是，匈牙利汉学的奠基人之一李盖提（Louis Ligeti）曾在巴黎师从伯希和（Paul Pelliot），而伯希和也曾在敦煌获取了部分重要写本。在此之前，尽管一直有旅行者与传教士到访中国，匈牙利人似乎对亚洲其他地区更感兴趣。也正因此，斯坦因的探险队只到了中国的西部地区，因为他自身的兴趣主要是印度与波斯诸文明之间的影响。他也曾在一九三零年造访南京，却只为了得到其时中国政府的许可，允许他进行第四次对新疆的考察而已。有趣的是，虽然作为一名波斯语与古梵语的学者，斯坦因却是汉文写本其中最主要的获取人。当然，随着这些发现令他声名大噪，他也逐渐意识到这些写本的重要性。这也是为何在展开第四次考察之前，时年六十八岁的斯坦因会积极学习中文的主要原因。
Aurel Stein was indeed born in Hungary, although later he went on to study in Austria and then Germany and England. After graduation, he was not able to get a job in Hungary, which is why he took up a post in Lahore, in British India. And it is from there that he led his 4 expeditions to Western China. Since at least the beginning of the 19th century, Hungarians have been extremely interested in their roots, which they imagined in various parts of Asia. This generated a steady interest in Asia, although this was more in the direction of Central Asia than China. Chinese language teaching only began before World War II. Interestingly, Louis Ligeti, one of the founding figures of Hungarian sinology, had been studying in Paris with Paul Pelliot, who had also acquired an important collection of manuscripts at Dunhuang. But before that time, the Hungarians seemed to be more interested in other regions of Asia, even though there had been travelers and missionaries who visited China. It is no coincidence, for example, that Aurel Stein led his expeditions exclusively to the western parts of China, as his own interests primarily lay in the influences of Indic and Iranian civilizations. He did travel to Nanjing in 1930, for example, but only to get permission from the Chinese government for his 4th expedition to Xinjiang. In a way, it is ironic that he, a scholar of Iranian and Sanskrit languages, was the one who acquired one of the most important collections of Chinese manuscripts. Of course, as these finds generated quite a bit of fame for him, he grew very much aware of their significance. This was also the reason why before he embarked on his 4th expedition, at the age of 68, he was actively learning Chinese.
Actually, I am no longer president of the association, I handed over the title to my colleague Prof. Attilio Andreini of Ca' Foscari University in Venice. I had been the president for several years before that, which also means that I had a chance to host a conference in Cambridge welcoming scholars working on Chinese manuscripts from around the world. Such conferences are always very inspiring, as they bring together people working on different periods and very different types of manuscripts.With regard to Tangut manuscripts and printed books, the Kozlov collection in St. Petersburg is the largest in the world, and Russian scholars have been at the frontline of research since the discovery of the ruins of Khara-khoto in 1908. The Stein collection in the British Library in London is considerably smaller but still quite important. Nevertheless, Tangut language and texts are much less studied in the West than in China. Or to be more exact, there are much fewer scholars who do research on Tangut. In Europe, the main countries where research happens are France, Britain, Russia and Germany, and the main areas are linguistics, Buddhist studies, art history and textual studies. Typically, scholars involved with Tangut studies also work on other languages, such as Chinese or Tibetan, I don’t think there is anyone who only works on Tangut. Despite the relatively small number of individuals actively contributing to this type of research, I do think that the results are excellent. Every year or every other year there is a conference in one of the European cities, and it is at these meetings that we have a chance to see what each of us is working on at the moment and what the most exciting new directions are. Of course, we are all in touch with scholars in China and Japan, and so we are aware of their results – we never have to work in isolation. It is undeniable that the future of the field lies in collaboration, and researchers in different countries can benefit immensely from working closer together.
My course on Dunhuang and the Silk Road is one of the optional courses 4th year undergraduate students can choose. It is a series of 16 lectures that provide an overview of the oasis city of Dunhuang along the Silk Road between the 5th and 10th centuries, with a particular emphasis on it being a meeting point between East and West. It examines the ways in which “Dunhuang studies,” an academic field that emerged from the study of Dunhuang manuscripts, contributed to our understanding of medieval Chinese history, society and culture. The course explores various aspects of contemporary life, including religion, literature, science and education. It also explains why the Silk Road holds such a fascination for the modern imagination both in East Asia and the West. Originally, I had planned the course as a way to introduce my own research to undergraduate students, to present my publications in a more digestible form for a less specialized audience. I also wanted to talk about Dunhuang manuscripts, which was my own area of research, but soon realized that I had to pair it with the idea of the Silk Road, which is a name much more recognizable in Britain than Dunhuang. However, as I was trying to create a rounded structure for the course, it became clear that I had to talk about so much more than what I have published or was writing on. Accordingly, to achieve a more or less comprehensive coverage of the Silk Road and its pre-modern history, I had to mostly rely on research done by others. Of course, this also meant that I had to gather a considerable amount of material I was less familiar with, and the course has been extremely educational for me, too. I am, of course, also glad to see when an undergraduate student who takes this course, continues with his or her studies and goes on to an MA or PhD degree in this field.
The area we know as China today has been the core region of East Asian civilization for the past two millennia. The states and dynasties in this region have used the Chinese script, which is why we see them today as “Chinese”, even though during the medieval period the concept of China had not yet developed. So the language and the script unifies this region as we look back at it. It is no surprise that over the centuries there were also many other groups who lived in close proximity with the cultures that used Chinese texts. This was particularly so along the so-called Silk Road, during the period I study, i.e. the 7th through the 12th centuries. In this period, we see a number of non-Chinese cultures that existed along or beyond the borders of the Chinese states. The most important ones (at least from my perspective) were the Uyghurs, Tibetans and Tangut, all of which were influenced by Chinese texts and the Chinese script. This influence is very visible in the Tangut script, which was clearly inspired by Chinese characters, and this is reason scholars sometimes call it a ”sinoform” script. It was not directly based on the Chinese script, and so there are no matching characters or even parts of characters. But the strokes are clearly Chinese, and so are the principles used for creating characters from components. Then, if we turn to the Uyghurs, we can see that they not only translated Chinese Buddhist texts into Uyghur but sometimes also transcribed them using the Uyghur script. In other words, the language stayed Chinese but it was now written phonetically with the Uyghur script. At times, the Uyghurs would also use texts written in Chinese and read them in their own language, similar to how the Japanese can read texts written in classical Chinese. The Tibetans also transcribed some Chinese texts using the Tibetan alphabet. Just as importantly, they also borrowed the Chinese scroll form to write Tibetan texts. There are actually quite a few similar examples of contact between Chinese and non-Chinese manuscript cultures. It was almost never a one-way influence, but an interaction that led to changes on both sides.