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PROCEEDINGS 

OF THE 

MIDDLE WEST BRANCH OF THE 
AMERICAN ORIENTAL SOCIETY 



The fourth Annual Meeting of the Middle "West Branch was 
held at Evanston, 111., February 20-21, 1920. "We were the 
guests of Garrett Biblical Institute and Northwestern Univer- 
sity, and our heartiest thanks must be given to the local enter- 
tainment committee, headed by Professor F. C. Eiselen, and 
including Prof. Kenneth "W. Colegrove, Prof. Leslie E. Fuller, 
Prof. Perley 0. Bay, Prof. Edmund D. Soper, Dean R. C. 
Flickinger, Dean James A. James, Prof. John A. Scott, Presi- 
dent C. M. Stuart. The Shaffer Hall Dormitory was set free for 
the accommodation of those who did not care to go to hotels, and 
the University Club of Evanston was our headquarters and here 
we had our meals. An informal dinner, presided over by Dean 
Flickinger, was given by Northwestern University Friday even- 
ing, and a luncheon, presided over by President Stuart, was 
given Saturday noon by Garrett Biblical Institute. Through 
these we became acquainted with the staffs of those institutions, 
while a dinner of club members alone Saturday evening was 
an appropriate ending to the meeting. After the Presidential 
address Friday evening, Professor Eiselen entertained the mem- 
bers at his house, at which Professor Scott made an address. 

The members present were Allen, Blomgren, Clark, Cohen, 
Colegrove, Eiselen, Fuller, Judson, Kelly, Keyfitz, Laufer, 
Levitt, Levy, Lybyer, Marshall, Mercer, Molyneux, Morgenstern, 
Olmstead, Robinson, Scott, Smith, Soper, Sprengling, "Water- 
man (25). The following were proposed as new members: 
Prof. Kenneth "W. Colegrove, Northwestern University; Miss 
Alia Judson, University of Chicago; Mr. I. Keyfitz, University 
of Chicago; Professor D. A. Leavitt, Chicago, 111.; Rev. H. I. 
Marshall, Ohio State University; Prof. John A. Scott, North- 
western University; Prof. E. D. Soper, Northwestern Univer- 
sity. Letters and telegrams of regret were received from 
Messrs. Boiling, Byrne, Conant, Tolman. At the business ses- 
sions, the nominating committee, consisting of Messrs. Kelly, 



Middle West Branch 135 

Morgenstern, Fuller (chairman), reported the following who 
were unanimously chosen : President, Prof. A. H. Lybyer, Uni- 
versity of Illinois; Vice-President, Prof. W. E. Clark, Univer- 
sity of Chicago; Secretary-Treasurer, Prof. A. T. Olmstead, 
University of Illinois ; Executive Committee, Prof. Leroy Water- 
man, University of Michigan; Prof. L. B. Wolfenson, Univer- 
sity of Wisconsin. On motions of Messrs. Levy, Morgenstern, 
and Smith, the thanks of the Branch were tendered to North- 
western University, to Garrett Biblical Institute, to the local 
committee of arrangements, and especially to its chairman, Prof. 
Eiselen. 

The papers may perhaps best be reviewed in geographical 
order. Prof. E. D. Soper of Northwestern University discussed 
'Religion and Politics in Present-Day Japan.' The origin and 
development of the imperial cult was detailed and its importance 
emphasized for understanding present political conditions. 
Still, there is good hope for democracy in future Japan. The 
Monroe Doctrine of Japan was shown by Prof. Kenneth Cole- 
grove of Northwestern University to be the necessary result of 
our own Monroe Doctrine having been forced upon the Peace 
Conference. A detailed discussion of the methods by which 
militarist Japan was strengthening herself in China followed. 
Dr. Berthold Laufer of the Field Museum of Natural History 
presented a remarkable series of colored slides which represented 
some of the finest examples of Chinese pictorial art. 

'The Origin of the Karen and their Monotheistic Tradition' 
was presented by Rev. H. I. Marshall, now of Ohio State Uni- 
versity, missionary at Insein, Burma. The results presented in 
this paper form a by-product of missionary enterprise. 

The traditions of the Karen tribes of Burma indicate that they are 
immigrants into Burma from some northern country. They crossed the 
'River of Running Sand' which is not the Gobi desert as earlier scholars 
thought, but rather the 'River Running with Sand,' and may refer to the 
Ho-ang Ho, or Yellow River, of China, at the headwaters of which the early 
home of Eastern Asiatic peoples was situated. The Karen language is 
Sinitie in form and structure. The people are Mongoloid in physical fea- 
ture. Their possession of bronze drums peculiar to certain northern 
peoples of Upper Indo-China and Yunnan makes it probable that they 
made their home there some time, perhaps at the beginning of the Christian 
era, in the hills of Yunnan, for Chinese generals who conquered that region 
then found bronze drums in use. The monotheistic tradition is a close 
parallel to the account of the creation and fall in Genesis. The Father 
God made man, then woman from his rib, and put the two in a garden 



136 Proceedings 

where there were seven kinds of fruit one of which they must not eat. 
The dragon called 'Mukawli' came in and tempted the woman to eat 
after he had failed with the man. After this sickness and death followed. 
This story in verse has been handed down by word of mouth from time 
immemorial. Since the Karens were already in Yunnan, they could not 
have received these traditions from the Jewish colonies which did not enter 
China until 1122 a. d., nor from the Nestorians who entered in the sixth 
century. The absence of Christian tradition or Messianic hope shows the 
tradition could not have come from Nestorian or Portuguese sources. While 
it appears that a story having so many points in common with the ancient 
Jewish account of creation must have been borrowed, we cannot trace the 
direct agency through which it came. The ancient religion of China has 
been found to be a monotheistic system though references to it are scanty. 
The Karen are related to the Chinese racially and linguistically. May it 
not be possible that they are related religiously as well and that in this 
tradition we have a survival of an ancient faith of which we know very 
little? 

Prof. Walter E. Clark, Chicago University, gave a paper on 
'Prakrit Dialects in the Sanskrit Drama,' a close study of those 
sections in which the lower classes speak lower class language. 
The majority of editions sin by paying too much attention to 
rules of late Prakrit grammarians. More attention should be 
paid to the readings of the manuscripts. In the absence of 
Prof. H. C. Tolman, Vanderbilt University, the secretary read 
a note by him on 'An Erroneous Etymology of the New Persian 
padsah in relation to the pr. n. Patizeithes (Hdt. 3, 61).' The 
current belief that Patizeithes is the title of the Pseudo-Smerdis 
is impossible because of the phonetic difficulties involved, the use 
of the term, and the Magian title he bore is rather the Oropastes 
of Justin. 

'The Sumerian Paradise of the Gods' was investigated by 
Prof. Samuel A. B. Mercer, Western Theological Seminary, 
on the basis of the Langdon Epic, and new readings and inter- 
pretations were presented. Prof. George L. Robinson, McCor- 
mick Theological Seminary, reviewed a recent work on the 
Samaritans by Rev. J. E. H. Thompson. Following up studies 
at earlier meetings of our branch, Prof. Julian Morgenstern, 
Hebrew Union College, discussed 'The Oldest Document of the 
Hexateuch and its Historical Significance.' Prof. C. A. Blom- 
gren, Augustana College, gave a minute investigation of the 
Book of Obadiah. 'The Attitude of the Psalms toward Life 
after Death' was presented with negative conclusions by Prof. 
J. M. P. Smith, University of Chicago. 



Middle West Branch 137 

The more modern phases of the Near East were well repre- 
sented. Prof. Leslie Fuller, Garrett Biblical Institute, 
pointed out the large number of 'Humanitarian Elements in the 
Koran,' and its relationship to the life of the present. The 
branch enjoyed a brief visit from Prof. Louis C. Kaepinski, of 
the University of Michigan, who has devoted his life to a study 
of the history of mathematics, and who talked on Oriental and 
Arabic mathematics. 

The thesis that all science originated with the Greeks has been seriously 
advanced by prominent writers on the history of philosophy. This perni- 
cious theory has had an unfortunate effect upon many writers on oriental 
science. The noteworthy progress in real science made by the Babylonians 
and the Egyptians is minimized; Hindu science is treated as entirely the 
product of Greek influence; Arabic science is also minimized, and the 
contributions of the Hindus to the development of Arabic science are 
frequently not mentioned. In the Hindu treatment of Hindu science, cer- 
tain writers have minimized the actual records of progress in mathematical 
thinking, found in the Hindu development of the sine function, of alge- 
braic equations, of a refined process for the solution of indeterminate 
equations, of the first and second degree, and in the system of numerals 
which we use. This material is homogeneous and furnishes internal evi- 
dence of a common origin, not Greek. In the absence of supporting Greek 
documents, the Greek delusion has influenced certain writers to postulate 
the nature of the contents of Greek works which are lost, to support the 
Greek hypothesis. A sympathetic attitude toward the Oriental peoples 
may well be expected of the historian of science. Undoubtedly much 
Oriental material is of poor quality, but so is much that is printed today 
in our own scientific periodicals. Oriental progress in science cannot be 
denied and it remains only for Orientalists and scientists to work together 
to make the record of the progress definitely known and widely appre- 
ciated. 

At the reception given by Professor Eiselen, Prof. John A. 
Scott spoke on 'The Dardanelles and Beyond.' 

The campaign into the Dardanelles was a campaign of haste and des- 
pair, for the difficulties of making a successful attack either by land or 
by sea were so great that it was only the dread of seeing Bussia make a 
separate peace which brought on the attempt. It was the original plan 
to cut off the German connections with the Euphrates-Tigris basin by 
means of an attack from Alexandretta Bay with Cyprus as a convenient 
base,' but the jealousy of the French precluded the possibility of landing 
a British force in Syria, yet the urgency of the Eussian situation made 
some action imperative, hence the attack on the Dardanelles. While from 
a military point of view this attack may have been an error, yet in the 
broader strategy of the war it was a deciding issue, since it helped the 



138 Proceedings 

Allies to keep the upper hand in Eussia, held her in the war for another 
great campaign, and thus kept the Austrians from crushing Italy and the 
Germans from defeating France until the English had time to create and 
equip an army and until America had come into the struggle. It seems 
safe to say that this ill fated campaign against the Dardanelles by keep- 
ing Eussia in the field was the deciding point of the war. 

From his experience as a Near East expert at Paris and as 
chief technical expert for the King-Crane commission on man- 
dates in the Near East, Prof. A. H. Lybyee gave new facts on 
' The Near East at the Peace Conference. ' 

The Near East was represented at the Conference on behalf of the Serbs, 
Eumanians, Greeks, and the Arabs of the Hejaz, but not on behalf of the 
Bulgarians and Turks. This led to a one-sided presentation of the situa- 
tion and looked toward a settlement out of harmony with the facts. The 
Conference came slowly and late to the treaty with Bulgaria and adjourned 
before taking up that with Turkey. In both areas, the trend of events 
was conditioned by secret treaties. The Treaty of London of 1915 pro- 
posed to divide Albania between Serbia, Italy, and Greece. The treaty 
by which Eumania entered the war guaranteed to her the territories she 
then held, including the Bulgarian strip taken in 1913. The agreement by 
which Mr. Venizelos expects to receive the undue award of Thrace and 
western Asia Minor has never been made public. The Sykes-Pieot agree- 
ment gave the oversight of Palestine and the control of most of Mesopo- 
tamia to Britain ; Syria, Cilicia, the rest of Mesopotamia, and an interior 
block including Diarbekir and Sivas, to France. The agreement of St. 
Jean de Maurienne promised southern Asia Minor to Italy. Eussia was 
promised Constantinople and perhaps northern Asia Minor. Col. Lawrence 
made promises to the Arabs which overlapped those of Sir Mark Sykes to 
the French. The whole scheme was based on the imperialism of the Old 
Diplomacy, and paid small regard to ethnography, geography, economics, 
or the rights of peoples. At the Peace Conference and since the European 
effort has been directed toward carrying out the secret agreements, while 
the effort of America has been to secure a settlement in harmony with the 
principles for which the war was professed to be fought, and in the direc- 
tion of permanency. The European scheme can be carried out in all prob- 
ability only after a considerable war of conquest directed against the 
Turks and Arabs; and if it should become established it must be corrected 
sooner or later, either by a vital and effective league of nations, or by 
another resort to arms. 

Introduced in happy fashion by President Stuart of Garrett 
Biblical Institute, Prof. Leboy "Waterman of the University of 
Michigan delivered his Presidential Address on 'Oriental 
Studies and Reconstruction.' 

The far reaching task of reconstruction affecting the modern world may 
not seem applicable, even by analogy, to so secluded a field as Oriental 



Middle West Branch 139 

Studies; but such sweeping changes in the present order, in themselves, 
demand of us new adjustments. The new age brings with it a challenge 
from the past and for the future. Oriental Studies have suffered in the 
recent past from an inadequate articulation with the larger cause of 
humanity that calls for a restatement and a reemphasizing of ideals. A 
closer practical scrutiny of every discipline in the coming age is bound 
to require a more intimate touch with living human values. Orientalists 
heretofore may have been overzealous in vindicating a dead past. Present 
developments in the Near East should help to bring about a more vital 
contact between the East of yesterday and the West. Eecent world cleav- 
age of thought has terminated our pre-war apprenticeship and calls us to 
rebuild both our house and its furnishings. Finally, our existing programs 
and equipment are inadequate to cope with our present opportunities. A 
comprehensive American policy, fully correlated with the plans of other 
interested nations, and capable of utilizing all our resources, is needed for 
the immediate task of recovering the fuller records of the past in the Near 
East, and for conserving the present sources of inspiration opened up by 
changed conditions in Palestine. 

A. T. Olmstead, Secretary