عنوان مقاله [English]
Sogdian was the Language of the people of the Land of Sogd. The center of Sogd was Samarkand and their most important city was Bukhara in the present-day Republic of Uzbekistan. Sogdian was the administrative, commercial and cultural Language in other areas, such as the Turfan oasis in East Turkestan. Sogdian, as one of the Iranian Languages in Central Asia, has been widely used to express and reflect the religious precepts and traditions of some pre-Islamic religions. Sogdian is the most important Language of Middle Eastern Iran in terms of diversity and volume of literature, and from a geographical and linguistic point of view, the written works of this Language, from near Samarkand to one of the inner towers of the Great Wall of China, and from northern Mongolia to the upper valley of the Sand River in north of the Pakistan is discovered and shows its geographical extent in central Asia and the cultural in influence of this Language from the second to the thirteenth century AD. Sogdian art loving merchants, of whom were Manichaean, Christian and Buddhists, in addition to the transfer of goods, culture and art between the East and West World, (China, Iran, India and Rom) also promoted Manichaean and Christian, Buddhism among the people of Central Asia and China .The main question in this research is how the Manichaean and Buddhist, Christian religious precepts are reflected in the Sogdian texts, and was Sogdian a suitable language for the preservation and dissemination of Manichaean and Buddhist, Christian teachings? The hypothesis of the present article is that the Christian, Buddhist and Manichaean religious teachings are well reflected in the Sogdian language in terms of the linguistic commonality of their followers. This research has been done by descriptive -analytical method based on the sources of library texts and documents, and the results of the research show that the symbol of confession of sins and seeking forgiveness in the religious tradition of the Buddhists in the Sogdian language is presented to the religious people in almost the same original form but with a new literature. Manicheans texts indicate that the teachings of the two Manichaean have well preserved their original structure in Soghdian culture and language and Sogdian Christian texts indicate that the religion of confession at the beginning of the emergence of Christianity was a group, but in later periods it was performed in person and in secret, and the symbol of the Lord’s Supper or the rite of thanksgiving in all Christian denominations is celebrated in the biblical tradition, the Last Supper.
Keywords: Religious Teachings, Christianity, Mani Ritual, Buddhism Sogdian Language.
Sogdian was one of the Persian languages of the northeastern branch and the language of the fertile Sogdian region Located in the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya. The center of the Sogdians was Samarkand located on the Silk Road, which connected China to the West. The Sogdian language was originally spoken in the valley of the Zarafshan River and surrounding areas and later became the mediating language on a large section of the Silk Road. (Oranski, 1378: 12) This language has been the most important Iranian languages in present -day Turkestan and the commercial language of the Silk Road for ten centuries, from the second to the twelfth centuries AD and has long been a means of communication and linking part of the cultures of East and West Asia. Sogdian was active as a spoken and written language until the ninth century AD and its decline began after the 11 century. The Sogdian language became obsolete due to the gradual influence and development of Middle Persian, which enjoyed the support of the Sassanid government, as well as the Turkish Language, which was invaded by Turkic -speaking tribes, and the course of its destruction from the fifth century, AH onwards, simultaneously with the spread of the Persian Language on the one hand and the Arabic and Turkish Languages on the other hand accelerated. (Zarshenas, 1378: 42). Today, the only surviving Sogdian dialect is Yaghnabi, spoken in the mountains of Tajikistan. (Oranski, 1378: 12) Sogdian Language is the most important Eastern Iranian Language in terms of variety and volume of writings and religious texts make up a large part of this writings material (Zarshenas, 1376: 89-112). Despite the fact that ancient Persian inscriptions mention the land of Sogd as a region with its own characteristics, there are no traces of the older form of the Sogdian language namely “Ancient Sogdian”.
The Sogdian Language has preserved most of the older forms of the Persian Language compared to Middle Persian (Pahlavi).
Research Questions: How Manichaean and, Buddhist, Christian religious orders are reflected in Sogdian texts? Was Sogdian a suitable Language for preserving and disseminating Manichaean and Buddhist Christian religious precepts?
Hypotheses: 1- By studying and analyzing Sogdian texts, some Manichaean, Christian and Buddhist religious orders can be obtained.
2- Manichaean, Buddhist and Christian religious teachings are well reflected in Sogdian in term of linguistic commonality of their followers.
Research Method: collection of information and data in this research has been done by descriptive-analytical method using book documents and library data. Therefore, the original texts in Sogdian language are not available in this article and only their translations are given.
More than two thousand years after the inauguration of Christianity, this monotheistic religion has spread to the east and west of the world with the efforts of Christion Missionary. A study of Sogdian Christion texts shows that the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church, such as Central Asia and Sogd along the Silk Road, about the symbols of confession and baptism were the same as the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
Today, these symbols are held in ceremonies with Slight differences in Eastern and Western Christianity. Over time, some elements, such as prayers and devotions, have undergone changes in Christianity, both East and west. Of course, the components of public and private worship are not much different from each other except the glory and grandeur that is felt in group prayers. At the beginning of the emergence of Christianity, the confession was held in groups, but in Later preserving the dignity of individuals. The tradition of confession, in turn, reduced public crime in Christian society. The symbol of baptism has also evolved in both Eastern and Western Christianity. Yahya the Baptist confessed to people at his baptism, but in later times the baptism was performed separately and with little change and the confession was held individually and privately. The Lord’s Supper or the rite of thanksgiving is celebrated in all Christion denominations under the names of the Lord’s Supper, the baking of bread, the thanksgiving, and participation in the Jewish Passover night, or in the tradition of the Bible, the Last Supper .Followers of all three religions were able to establish their own religious symbols and places of worship and engage in activities such as translating their religious works from Syriac, Indian, Chinese and other Iranian Languages into Sogdian.
Religion and Language seem to have been two inseparable factors. In ancient Iran, due to the multiplicity of religions and the freedom of people to convert to different religions, the existence of Languages has given them durability and consistency. Significant role in the continuation of religions such as, Zarathoshism, Christian, Buddhist and Manichaeism. Sogdian, which is one of the Middle Eastern Iranian Languages, has been important in expressing the religious teachings of Buddhist, Manichaean and Christian. The Sogdian Language has been able to add to the followers of these religions in different periods because it has been the commercial and cultural administrative Language. Iran’s location on the Silk Road and the spread of this Language caused merchants, in addition to the transfer of goods, culture and art between the East and the West, to propagate Manichaean, Christian, and Buddhist among the people of Central Asia and China .The texts discovered in the China’s Turfan, that contain the Manichaean, Buddhist and Christian religious precepts in the Sogdian Language and studied in this article show that the followers of these religions were able to teach their teaching in the Sogdian Language to other and preserve .during history.