Afterword to ‘Routes and Scripts’

There is another script I should have mentioned, particularly as it is one used along the routes which, we think, de’ Conti used to cross the Burmese peninsula, and thus at the outlet to the eastern exit from the Tarim basin, and directly linked to Nusantara where (as I mentioned earlier in another place) the Armenians (who were presumably Nestorian Christians) were established near the point from which the botanical section begins.

The script in question is reproduced here as it appears, and with  three alternate views.

By including these alternate views of written text in a post, I don’t mean to imply anything except my own lack of confidence that the fifteenth century (or later) copyist actually understood what they reproduced.

Most eastern scripts were oriented vertically, or at right-angles to any imagery, and/or written right-to-left.

The chances are high, then, that if the book were found and copied in medieval or renaissance Europe, the scribe might begin from what was actually the end of the book rather than its beginning.

Ibooks usually begin where a westerner would expect the end to be, so the text may have been adjusted, or simply copied upside down – for all we know.

For that reason only, I’ve presented scripts in more than one view.

(in the example below – need I say – the lower right shows the correct view.

More of this script, from a now-lost inscription can be seenin the article by Stargardt (to whom I am indebted)

* Janice Stargardt, ‘Burma’s Economic and Diplomatic Relations with India and China from Early Medieval Sources’,  Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Apr., 1971),pp. 38-62.

On the Armenians in Nusantara, see the seminal article (sorry it’s the same source that I quoted last year, but there are very few on this subject)

Vladimir I. Braginsky, ‘Two Eastern Christian Sources on Medieval Nusantara’,
Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, Vol. 154, No. 3 (1998), pp. 367-396.

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