mongol art gallery berlin germany'ZURAG' film original  in German 2010 Berlin

'ZURAG' film in the Mongolian national television, 2011 Ulan Bator
(Original record from the MNB broadcast)
The Secret History of the Mongols
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Deutsch - Erstes Kapitel: Tschingis Chaans Vorfahren und seine Kindheit
English -
First Chapter: Genghis Khan's Ancestors and his childhood


The Secret History of the Mongols

The Secret History of the Mongols (Mongolian: Mongγol-un niγuca tobčiyan, Cyrillic script: Монголын нууц товчоо, Mongolyn nuuts tovchoo) is the oldest surviving Mongolian-language literary work. It was written for the Mongol royal family some time after Genghis Khan's death in AD 1227, by an anonymous author and probably originally in the Uyghur script, though the surviving texts all derive from transcriptions into Chinese characters dating from the end of the 14th century.
The Secret History is regarded as the single significant native Mongolian account of Genghis Khan. Linguistically, it provides the richest source of pre-classical Mongolian and Middle Mongolian. The Secret History is regarded as a piece of classic literature in both Mongolia and the rest of the world.

Like many texts during the period, it contains elements of folklore and poetry, and is not really as factual as some historians would have wanted. It is also at times inconsistent. The work sets out with a rather mythical genealogy of Temüjin's family. The description of Temüjin's life begins with the kidnapping of his mother Hoelun by his father Yesügei. It then covers Temüjin's early life, the difficult times after the murder of his father, the many conflicts, wars, and plots before he gains the title of Genghis Khan in 1206. The later parts of the work deal with Genghis' and Ögödei's campaigns, and the text ends with Ögödei's reflections on what he did well and what he did wrong. Several passages of the Secret History appear in slightly different versions in the 17th century Mongolian chronicle Altan Tobchi.

Rediscovery and translations
The only surviving copies of the work are transcriptions of the original Mongolian text with Chinese characters, accompanied by a (somewhat shorter) in-line glossary and a translation of each section into Chinese. In China, the work had been well-known as a text for teaching Chinese to read and write Mongolian during the Ming Dynasty and the Chinese translation was used in several historical works, but by the 19th century, copies had become very rare. The first to discover the Secret History for the west and offer a translation from the Chinese glossary was the Russian sinologist Palladiy Kafarov. The first translations from the reconstructed Mongolian text were done by the German sinologist Erich Haenisch (edition of the reconstructed original text: 1937; of the translation: 1941, second edition 1948) and Paul Pelliot (ed. 1949).
Arthur Waley published a partial translation of the Secret History, but the first full translation into English was Francis Woodman Cleaves, The Secret History of the Mongols: For the First Time Done into English out of the Original Tongue and Provided with an Exegetical Commentary, 1. (Harvard-Yenching Institute) Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1982. The archaic language adopted by Cleaves was not satisfying to all, and between 1971 and 1985, Igor de Rachewiltz published a fresh translation in eleven volumes of the series Papers on Far Eastern History accompanied by extensive footnotes commenting not only on the translation but also various aspects of Mongolian culture. (Brill released Igor de Rachewiltz' edition as a two-volume set in 2003.)

Text from Wikipedia