Humanities and Social Sciences

Rocznik Orientalistyczny/Yearbook of Oriental Studies


Rocznik Orientalistyczny/Yearbook of Oriental Studies | 2019 | T. LXXII | No 1 |

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The Article contains thematic survey, index of Vedic, Sanskrit, Pali, Latin and Greek quotations and bibliography to Jan Gonda’s treatise Remarks on Similes in Sanskrit Literature published in 1949 by Brill, Leiden.

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Authors and Affiliations

William Bollée
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Early Buddhism was a predominantly spiritual movement which should ideally culminate in Enlightenment. Yet, it was embedded in the specific social environment of ancient India which included a hereditary caste system. Using the Buddhist Pāli texts and non-Buddhist literature from up until the last centuries BCE the article examines the four main hereditary categories (vaṇṇa, jāti, gotta, and kula) and how Early Buddhism related to them. We conclude that the Buddha and Early Buddhism did not oppose but rather confirmed the hereditary systems in society as well as its designations within the monastic community. The Buddha hereby followed the customs of earlier ascetic movements and imposed no specific rules on the monastics to eradicate their former social identity.

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Gabriel Ellis
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The topic of Polish diaspora in Japan, a community with which Poles in Japan identify as Poles, recognize Polish heritage and connection to what it means to be Polish is one of important, but practically unresearched issues in Poland-Japan relations. From the 1970s a growth in Polish population in Japan can be observed. They began to organize meetings, establish formal and less official groups and have helped and maintained connections to Poland. This paper will focus on the post-war history of Polish diaspora in Japanese islands.

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Ewa Pałasz-Rutkowska
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Aramaic receipts and title-deeds on clay tablets are formally distinguished in the 7th century B.C., although they are closely related juridical documents. Only two receipts are known at present and both have a triangular shape like loan contracts. Instead, titledeeds, often called sale acts, have a rectangular shape and are narrowest along the lines of writing. They are sealed on the upper edge of the tablet or in the upper part of the obverse. So far, there is only one Aramaic title-deed concerning a field and a second one fixing the boundary between two properties. Instead, four or five deeds concern the acquisition of persons, not necessarily slaves. Considering the state of the clay tablets and their somewhat inadequate edition, a new transliteration and translation of the operative parts of the deeds are provided below, omitting the lists of witnesses. Short comments are proposed also for the fragment of a title-deed dated in the 34th year of Nebuchadnezzar II.

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Authors and Affiliations

Edward Lipiński
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The paper first gives a survey of all the etymologies proposed so far for the Greek term for „pyramid” within the Greek language and the Oriental languages. Then the elaboration of a wholly new suggestion is ventured on the basis of phonological criteria in the context of the supposed Late Egyptian source language.

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Gábor Takács
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Nowadays Hebrew is the main official language spoken in Israel (beside Arabic and English) and lingua franca of Jews living in the diaspora. It has undergone some significant changes and has been exposed to influences from other languages throughout all the stages of its development – since the Biblical times, through the Babylonian exile, the Middle Ages, the Haskala period, its revival in the 19th century, till the modern times. Despite not being used for every-day conversation for more than two thousand years, Hebrew kept developing in literature (mostly liturgical) due to its constant contact with numerous languages that were spoken by Jews: Aramaic, Arabic, Ladino, Yiddish and others. Nowadays it is developing dynamically and, as some authors claim, is losing its Semitic nature – although the grammar is still based mainly on Ancient Hebrew, numerous foreign lexical, syntactical and phonological influences may easily be observed in Modern Hebrew. This paper is an attempt to explain the reason for such diversity of influences in Hebrew, with special focus on Israeli Hebrew. Some examples of foreign components in the colloquial language will be presented, mostly of Yiddish, Russian and Arabic origin.

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Angelika Adamczyk
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Regaining independence by each country (Tunisia, Morocco 1956, Algeria 1962) and the publication of relevant documents (codes of family law, constitutions) created opportunities to speak more widely about social and economic rights, or about political rights for women. However, the rights granted to women were characterized by the principle of inequality, especially in Algeria and Morocco. In this difficult and complex situation, the emancipation movement of women went through various phases. In Algeria, its strength began to appear at the turn of the seventies and eighties of the twentieth century and has been constantly increased. In Morocco, in principle, the awakening took place in the early nineties of the twentieth century. Women themselves played a significant role in the activities for emancipation, engaging in various undertakings, organizations and associations, and in activating Non Profit Organizations (Organisation Non-Gouvernementale -ONG) with women participation from the end of the 80s of the twentieth century, which, in its turn, created opportunities for legal reforms, which would not exist without activities carried out by various associations, including women’s associations. The Jasmine Revolution, also known as the Arabic spring, was initiated in Tunisia, and has had a significant impact on the contemporary activities of women.

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Authors and Affiliations

Anna Barska
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In her reflections on cultural memory, which “is based on communication through media,” Astrid Erll uses the term “remediation” in order to “refer to the fact that memorable events are usually represented again and again, over decades and centuries, in different media: in newspaper articles, photography, diaries, historiography, novels, films, etc.” Some of these events may even become sites of memory. In my article, in relation to cultural memory studies, I contemplate the genocide of the Yezidis in the Sinǧār district, which was committed by ISIS militants in August 2014 and in the following months, as reflected in four Iraqi novels written in the Arabic language. They are: Raqṣat al-ǧadīla wa-an-nahr (“The Dance of the Braid and the River”, 2015) by Wafā’ ‘Abd ar-Razzāq, ‘Aḏrā’ Sinǧār (“Sinǧār’s Virgin”, 2016) by Wārid Badr as-Sālim, Šamdīn (“Šamdīn”, 2016) by Rāsim Qāsim, and Šaẓāyā Fayrūz (“The Shattered Fragments of Fayrūz”, 2017) by Nawzat Šamdīn. By analysing the ways in which these writers depict ISIS persecution of the Yezidis, I aim to answer, among others, the following questions: What are their reasons for a literary documentation of these events? Is the iconic image of the genocide which emerges in the four novels similar to that outlined in the West media coverage? Therefore, the first part of the article concentrates on attitudes of the above-mentioned Iraqi writers to the Sinǧār tragedy. In the second part, the plots of their novels are briefly described with the focus on how the reality intermingles with fiction. In the third and in the fourth parts, literary modes of expression, which serve to create a symbolic resistance of Yezidi victims against their oppressors, by giving them voice and showing alternative realities and fantastic events, are examined.

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Authors and Affiliations

Adrianna Maśko

Editorial office

Editorial Committee:

Marek M. Dziekan (Editor-in-Chief)

Marta Woźniak-Bobińska (Secretary)

Jaakko Hämeen Antilla

Agata Bareja-Starzyńska

Eduard Gombár

Lidia Kasarełło

Agnieszka Kozyra

Ewa Siwierska

Lidia Sudyka

Gábor Takacs

Editorial Board:

Janusz Danecki (Poland)

Edward Lipiński (Belgium)

Alfred F. Majewicz (Poland)

Piotr Taracha (Poland)

Przemysław W. Turek (Poland)

Vladimir Uspenky (Russia)

Witold Witakowski (Sweden)

Mykhaylo Yakubovyvh (Germany)


Rocznik Orientalistyczny / Yearbook of Oriental Studies

Faculty of Oriental Studies

University of Warsaw

Krakowskie Przedmiescie 26/28

00-927 Warsaw 64

Prof. Marek M. Dziekan (Editor-in-Chief) e-mail:
Dr hab. Marta Woźniak-Bobińska (Secretary) e-mail:

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Rocznik Orientalistyczny jest czasopismem wydawanym w wolnym dostępie na licencji CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.
Yearbook of Oriental Studies is an open access journal with all content available with no charge in full text version. The journal content is available under the license CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

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"Rocznik Orientalistyczny" znalazł się w wykazie czasopism naukowych MNiSW z dnia 31 lipca 2019 roku z liczbą 40 punktów.

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