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Among the Manchu collection of the Harvard-Yenching Library, Ma 2748/07 (folder, ± 22cm x 38cm) is an edict issued in three languages (Chinese, Manchu, Mongolian) by the Manchu ruler Hong Taiji 皇太極 (r. 1627-1643) on September 18, 1643. The text was written in red ink on yellow paper, with the exception of the date which is in dark blue. Reading from the right is the Chinese version beginning with the title-page. The title reads fengtian ceming 奉天冊命. The Manchu text, apparently patterned after the Chinese, begins from the left. The Manchu title-page contains no title but the Invocatio, abka-i hese-i forgon be aliha. The Manchu version is followed by the Mongolian.

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1. 1 I am grateful to Mr. Chun Shum, Curator of the Rare Books Section, Harvard-Yenching Library, for showing me this specimen in 2002. A suspicion, though proved unwarranted, about its authenticity has prompted this brief study which I respectfully dedicate to my mentor James Bosson.return to text