Studia Orientalia Electronica <p><em>Studia Orientalia</em> is an internationally recognized publication series of Asian and African studies. It is published by the Finnish Oriental Society. In addition to monographs and thematic collections of articles, some volumes have been regularly dedicated to high-quality articles on all fields of Asian and African studies. In fact, the first volume of <em>Studia Orientalia</em> in 1925 was such an article volume.<br>From the beginning of 2013, these article volumes have&nbsp;appeared in this new publication series, <em>Studia Orientalia Electronica</em>. StOrE is a peer-reviewed, Open Access journal with continuous submission. With this new journal we hope to reach a wider&nbsp; audience and also speed up our publication process.</p> Finnish Oriental Society en-US Studia Orientalia Electronica 2323-5209 <p>Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:</p> <ol type="a"> <ol type="a"> <li>Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a <a href="" target="_new">Creative Commons Attribution License</a> that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and initial publication in this journal.</li> </ol> </ol> <ol type="a"> <ol type="a"> <li>Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g. post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.</li> </ol> </ol> <ol type="a"> <li>Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g. in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See <a href="" target="_new">The Effect of Open Access</a>).</li> </ol> The Mirror in Vedic India: Its Ancient Use and Its Present Relevance in Dating Texts <p>The major first part of the paper collects as exhaustively as possible all references to 'mirror' occurring in Vedic literature (c. 1200-300 BCE), and presents them with sufficient context in Sanskrit and English in order to show how and why the mirror was used in Vedic rituals and Vedic culture in general, and what meaning was ascribed to it. The second part of the paper discusses a fact of major significance that emerges from this recording: in the extensive older Vedic literature of the Saṃhitās, Brāhmaṇas and Śrautasūtras (excepting the late Kātyāyana-Śrautasūtra) there is no reference to the mirror at all. Therefore it seems likely that the mirror was not known in Vedic India until it was introduced to South Asia from the Persian Empire at the end of the sixth century BCE. The later Vedic literature, starting possibly with the Āraṇyakas, but definitely with the early Upaniṣads, postdates 500 BCE. So far we have lacked a similar firm date for Vedic literature.</p> Asko Parpola Copyright (c) 2019 Studia Orientalia Electronica 2019-03-01 2019-03-01 7 1 29 10.23993/store.76275 Diffusion of Democracy among Civil Society Actors in Guangdong Province <p class="StOr-Quotation">In recent years, a great number of studies have convincingly shown that diffusion influences states’ probability to democratise. The primary interest of most of these studies has been on how diffusion influences democracy at the national level. The effect of democratic diffusion on the local level has largely been neglected. This paper thus investigates how and to what extent diffusion influences the density and conflict orientation of non-governmental labour organisations (LNGOs), comprising a typical case of civil society groups channelling democratic freedoms, in China’s Guangdong province. Since the province is close to the relatively liberal city of Hong Kong, there is reason to believe that support from international civil society groups based in Hong Kong may be critical for the survival and growth of conflict-oriented LNGOs in Guangdong. In the article, the research question is studied by both comparative analysis of cross-regional data and qualitative analysis of interview data. Both methods confirm that diffusion – or, more precisely, diffusion through international civil society networks – is a prominent factor for explaining the density and conflict orientation of LNGOs in Guangdong. The study demonstrates that democratic diffusion not only has an impact at the state level but also on the regional, intrastate level.</p> Gustav Johan Sundqvist Copyright (c) 2019 Studia Orientalia Electronica 2019-03-01 2019-03-01 7 30 51 10.23993/store.64139 Sound Changes in the (Pre-)Masoretic Reading Tradition and the Original Pronunciation of Biblical Aramaic <p>For nearly a thousand years, the texts of the Hebrew Bible were transmitted both in writing, as consonantal texts lacking much of the information on their pronunciation, and orally, as an accompanying reading tradition which supplied this information. During this period of oral transmission, sound changes affected the reading tradition. This paper identifies a number of sound changes that took place in the reading tradition by comparing their effects on Biblical Hebrew to those on Biblical Aramaic, the related but distinct language of a small part of the biblical corpus: sound changes that affect both languages equally probably took place in the reading tradition, while those that are limited to one language probably preceded this shared oral transmission. Drawing this distinction allows us to reconstruct the pronunciation of Biblical Aramaic as it was fixed in the reading tradition, highlighting several morphological discrepancies between the dialect underlying it and that of the consonantal texts.</p> Benjamin Suchard Copyright (c) 2019 Studia Orientalia Electronica 2019-03-01 2019-03-01 7 52 65 10.23993/store.74104 Gendered Nationalism, Neo-Nomadism, and Ethnic-Based Exclusivity in Kyrgyz, Kazakh and Uzbek Nationalist Discourses <p>Existing literature on gender and nationalism has postulated that nationalist narratives tend to convey patriarchal and restrictive views of gender roles, with women’s domesticity and subordination at the core of such interpretations. This paper tests this theory by looking at three examples of state-sponsored or state-produced communication in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, arguing that the simple existence of a regime’s nationalist ideological orientation is not <em>per se </em>sufficient to explain or anticipate the kind of gender narratives a regime will adopt. Instead, the paper calls for an analysis of internal political mechanisms and incentives in order to explain and anticipate the specific forms that discourses around gender will take in a given political environment. In order to do so, it tries to combine the rational choice-based “Selectorate Theory” (Bueno de Mesquita et al., 2003) with existing literature on nationalism and gender, to define a connection between political systems on the one hand and discourses on the other.</p> Fabio Belafatti Copyright (c) 2019 Studia Orientalia Electronica 2019-03-01 2019-03-01 7 66 81 10.23993/store.69958 Intertextuality, Isiac Features, and the Shaping of the Sacred Feminine in Trimorphic Protennoia (NHC XIII, 1) <p class="StOr-Quotation">The aim of this paper is to bring to light through intertextual analysis some dimensions of continuity between the Hellenistic and Imperial theology of Isis and the figure of the Sacred Feminine as it appears in the <em><span class="StOrItalic">Trimorphic Protennoia&nbsp;</span></em>(NHC XIII 1). Instead of attempting to establish a diachronic (=historical) relationship of dependence between sources (e.g., borrowing, allusion, influence), this study establishes correspondences that can be traced on the literary level. Through a reception-oriented analysis, it will be possible to show the continuity between the Isiac religion and the late ancient mysticism of the <em><span class="StOrItalic">Trimorphic Protennoia</span></em>. A late ancient reader would have experienced the Nag Hammadi text in dialogue with Isiac traditions, and this literary dialogue with the Isiac religion would have nurtured and shaped their understanding of the sacred feminine described in the <em><span class="StOrItalic">Trimorphic Protennoia</span></em>.</p> Nicolò Sassi Copyright (c) 2019 Studia Orientalia Electronica 2019-03-01 2019-03-01 7 82 95 10.23993/store.76643 Glimpses of Loptuq Folk Botany: Phytonyms and Plant Knowledge in Sven Hedin’s Herbarium Notes from the Lower Tarim River Area as a Source for Ethnobiological Research <p class="StOr-Quotation">This interdisciplinary study discusses the vernacular phytonyms and other ethnobiological aspects of vegetation in the Loptuq (Loplik) habitat on the Lower Tarim River. This small Turkic-speaking group lived as fisher-foragers in the Lopnor (Lop Lake) area in East Turkestan, now the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China. Information about this unique group, and especially the folk knowledge of plants in the area, is scant. In 1900, Swedish explorer Sven Hedin collected plant voucher specimens for the Swedish Natural History Museum in Stockholm. He noted local names on herbarium labels, thus providing modern researchers a rare glimpse into the Loptuq world. As the traditional way of life is already lost and the Loptuq language almost extinct, every trace of the former culture is of significance when trying to understand the peculiarities of human habitats and survival in arid areas. The ethnobiological analysis can further contribute to other fields, such as climate change, and define the place of the Loptuq on the linguistic and cultural map of Central Asia.</p> Ingvar Svanberg Patrick Hällzon Sabira Ståhlberg Copyright (c) 2019 Studia Orientalia Electronica 2019-03-01 2019-03-01 7 96 119 10.23993/store.76475 Gender and Methodology in the Ancient Near East: Approaches from Assyriology and Beyond Heidi Kovanen Copyright (c) 2019 Studia Orientalia Electronica 2019-03-01 2019-03-01 7 120 122 10.23993/store.83576