Manual Contributions to the Cultural History of Early Tibet

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More Options Prices excl. Add to Cart. View PDF Flyer. Contents About. By: M. Kapstein and B. Pages: i—xiii. By: Brandon Dotson. By: Bianca Horlemann. Pages: 79— Such a state of affairs, as Kapstein notes, is not unique to the study of Tibet, but other difficulties are unique to Tibet:. The far end appears to be closed off by a curtain, which, so far as we can tell from our vantage point, is translucent and at the same time reflective, with several small gaps through which some parts of the enclosed hallway may be seen.

Among other things, we can discern that, in the area immediately behind the curtain, all the mirrors are shattered. The curtain, perhaps, was set in place by an architectural restoration firm that was never able to complete its work…. It seems rather that the key role given to Galenic medicine was transposed during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries back into the days of the Tibetan Empire, for reasons which are probably more reflective of the period of the composition of these histories than of their object of reflection.

I delivered a version of this paper at the workshop Medicine and Classicism in Comparative Perspective , organised by David Arnold and Peter Pormann and hosted by the Warburg Institute, in November I would like to thank Dan Martin and the two anonymous readers of this article for their very valuable comments on a previous version of this paper, and for Chris Beckwith for his inspirational work.

Journal of the American Oriental Society. Quoted and translated in Beckwith, op. The project was hosted at the Warburg Institute, University of London.

Contributions to the Cultural History of Early Tibet (Brill's Tibetan Studies Library)

For more details on the project see the website of the project:. I would like to thank Fernand Meyer for sharing this article with me. This suggested translation is based on the interpretation of the editors of this text, Byams pa phrin las and Luo Bingfeng. Most scholars now agree that the Four Tantras dates to the 12th century.

The Tibetan Empire: 7th- 9th century: A Lecture by Matthew Kapstein

For a discussion of these sources, see Garrett, op. Wilhelm Baum and Dietmar W. Steinkellner and H. I would like to thank Professor Sims-Williams for sharing these papers with me. Olschki Editore, , 51 and Medieval Islamic Medicine. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press; I would like to thank Paul Buell for making his thesis available to me.

The quote appears on p. I Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, , IIA, —60, , Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, [] Oxford: Oxford University Press; National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Med Hist v. Med Hist. Published online Jul. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer.

Abstract This paper readdresses the assertion found in much secondary literature that Greek medicine was adopted in Tibet in the seventh and eighth centuries. In one of these accounts, the earliest of the four, dating to the sixteenth century, the following account is found: As for the beginning of the appearance of medicine in Tibet, to begin with there were just some bits of knowledge about nutrition.

Traces of Galenic Medicine in Early Tibetan Medicine My initial question was: could Greco-Arab medicine have arrived in Tibet during the time of the Tibetan empire seventh to ninth centuries? Evidence from the Tibetan Medical Manuscripts of Dunhuang Another group of sources, which could help us to tackle the question of the foreign influence during the formative stages of Tibetan medicine, is the set of the Tibetan medical manuscripts from Dunhuang. Meanwhile, in Mughal India Islamic medicine came to India with the Moslem conquerors and migrations in the twelfth century and was later established at the Mughal courts in the sixteenth century.

Support Center Support Center. External link. As for the military fine, though his own punishment itself is decided by means of dice, concerning the provisions sent by the estate holder gzhi-bu , according to the law, the soldiers own them. Since an estate holder who up until now evades [provisioning soldiers] will anger all subjects, it is fitting to proceed by deciding by means of dice the provisions as well.

The provisions will also be gradually paid back, and whether they lose or win, concerning the military punishment, which is like the official punishment, banishment and death and serious legal punishment will be resolved by means of the dice edict. The crop fields rkya being resolved by means of the dice edict as well, is it permissible or impermissible not to add [soldiers] to the crop fields? Concerning the provisions, do not decide by means of dice the interest on the loans, but return them to the estate holder. When the Tibetan army came to levy troops from an estate for official duty rje-blas as soldiers, the estate holder gzhi-bu was not only forced to allow his bondservants bran to be taken as troops, but was also expected to provision them with the crops from his fields.

A certain amount was likely required for each bondservant, and it is this that was sent to his thousand-district stong-sde in a bale. Holding the individual estate holders responsible for the provisioning of bondservants conscripted from their estates as soldiers meant that, theoretically, every soldier would be provided for. Further, as the system would not work unless enough bondservants were left to work the fields, it seems, on the surface at least, to be a sustainable model. This implies that the tax was viewed as an onerous one, and that it depleted the estate holder of valuable labour.

The system of troop conscription and provisioning described in this document is highly sophisticated and goes some way towards explaining how Tibet managed to levy and support such a large and successful army. Without the requisite bureaucratic infrastructure, and without the threat of official punishment for those evading these taxes, such a system would have been impossible. Particularly, the clause above confirms that thousand-districts stongsde were not concerned only with military matters, and cannot be regarded as brigades.

They levied provisions, processed them and sent them along. Among the latter, Takeuchi identified dogtshan, khram-tshan, brgya-tshan and dar-tshan. Among these functions, he noted that the khram-tshan and brgya-tshan seem to own property. PT , l. If we proceed with the generally safe assumption that the Tibetan ruler enjoyed at least nominal ownership of all the land, then these tshan groups cannot be regarded as landowners, but must be seen as usufructuaries.

Alternatively, it is possible that these boundary documents list neighbouring fields not by their usufructuaries, but by those whose authority they fell under in terms of thousand-district accounting. The latter possibility would make sense in the context of an official document dealing with the jurisdiction of the tally. The connection between the divination text and the legal text reveals that local magistrates employed divination dice and divination manuals to decide legal disputes.

In doing so, the method by which cases were decided overlapped significantly with ritual technologies employed by ritual specialists for healing and prognostication. Whether such ritual specialists indeed had a role in the administration of legal justice in these and other cases is unclear. It is evident from the repeated references to earlier dice edicts, such as that of the horse year, that the government issued norms for how to employ dice in legal cases.

The clauses of IOL Tib J arise from issues that were not covered by these norms and required clarification. They plainly include instances where dice decided not only disputed facts, but the final outcome of the case, and the punishment of a guilty party. The use of dice was therefore not a desperate measure, but a standard practice codified by legal manuals. Whether recourse to dice in such decisions is interpreted as revealing the will of the gods or being simply a matter of chance, in either case the dice act as an accepted authority exterior to the disputants and the court itself.

In this, the will of the gods or the luck of the dice stands over and above the legal process itself. This deflects the burden of agency from the officials of the court and presumably diffuses the conflict between the disputants. Faced with legal cases that were not covered by the various legal manuals at their disposal, local magistrates brought their problem to the minister of the exterior phyi-blon , who in turn sent the matter to the judges of the court retinue.

The judges then dispatched either a full decision or a set of guidelines for deciding a case, as in the many instances in the text when the judges instruct that a case should be decided by means of dice. The numerous clauses dealing with debt, loans and interest reveal the extent to which the individual was beholden to the legal, fiscal and bureaucratic machinery of imperial Tibet. The long clause on the legal status of religious estates reveals that monastic estates, the clergy and their subjects were legislated in virtually the same manner as other Tibetan subjects and estates.

This leads to the conclusion that the status of monastic estates, like the status of individuals in imperial Tibet, was highly stratified, and that only the most important monastic estates enjoyed the special treatment that came with royal patronage. Taken together with other Old Tibetan legal and bureaucratic documents, IOL Tib J contributes to our understanding of the manner in which the Tibetan Empire constituted itself socially and politically.

Such a history will add some nuance and detail to our understanding of the dynamic processes by which a small kingdom in Yar-lung grew to become one of the dominant empires in the history of Central Eurasia. I present my own transliteration here both for ease of reference and to demonstrate the pattern of use of the double and single tsheg in the text. As mentioned above, I have edited the text as lightly as possible, adding glosses only where they seemed absolutely necessary.

Heavier editing can be found in the OTDO transliteration. To review, editing conventions are as follows: I Reverse gi-gu. Richardson transcribed this as gting in a partial transliteration found in his papers at the Bodleian Library MS. Manual, inventory. Dice edict. Fine, penalty? Crop fields.

Red notched wooden slip. Tally group. Legal punishment. Apply the law, try. Interest, usually on an overdue loan. Lender; lit. To carry out, execute. Past tense: khums. To dispatch? Death penalty involving extermination of family line. Himself, herself, itself. Group of ten. To agree. To decide. Bride, wife.


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Official duty. Considering, concerning; similar to lta na; topicalizer. Law of homicide. To evade. Legal associate. To entrust. To break off a marriage, separate? Above and below, high and low.

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Under the [jurisdiction of the] authority. AND Y. Tome 2. AND T. Tome 3. Tome 4. Lhasa: Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang, Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang, London: The Royal Asiatic Society. An Old Tibetan tax record. A ritual text involving horses, and containing a catalogue of principalities. Laws regulating hunting accidents. Fragments of laws regulating hunting accidents. Laws concerning the dog bite. Laws concerning theft. Petition by Chinese residents of Sha-cu for racial endogamy.

Petition regarding the order of rank in Sha-cu. The Old Tibetan Chronicle. Fragmentary text containing the coronation of Khri Gtsug-lde-brtsan, catalogue of principalities and information about messengers. Loan document. Document recording the boundaries of crop fields. Dates to c. Preserved in KhG. Skar-chung Pillar Dates to c. Skar-chung Edict Dates to the same period and supplements the pillar inscription.

Quadripartition of society in early Tibetan sources. Paris: Libraire Orientaliste Paul Geuthner. Sho bshad. Beijing: Mi rig dpe skrun khang. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Snga rabs bod kyi srid khrims. Beijing: Mi rigs dpe skrun khang. Brda dkrol gser gyi me long.

The early history of Tibet. From Chinese sources. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 12, AND R. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Bod kyi lo rgyus rag rim g. Lhasa: Bod ljongs dpe rnying dpe skrun khang. Notes on old Tibetan rje-blas. Le concile de Lhasa. Thesis: Oxford University. At the behest of the mountain: gods, clans and political topography in post-imperial Tibet. Emmerick Leiden: Brill. Khrims and punishments in Old Tibetan: on the Old Tibetan legal term khrin. Journal of the International Association for Tibetan Studies 3.

Beijing: Krung go mi rigs dpe skrun khang. Mi stong: the Tibetan custom of life indemnity. Sociologus 4, Significance of thirteen as a symbolic number in Tibetan and Mongolian cultures. Journal of the American Oriental Society 79 3 , Dunhuang zangwen xiejuan ch. Zhongguo Zangxue China Tibetology 2, Bod kyi brda rnying yig cha bdams bsgrigs. Taxation and the structure of a Tibetan village. Central Asiatic Journal 15, The balance between centralization and decentralization in the traditional Tibetan political system.

Tibet Journal 11, Berkeley: University of California Press. Lhasa: Mi rig dpe skrun khang. The land of g. Settlement of homicide disputes in Sakya Tibet. American Anthropologist 66 5 , Towards an interpretation of the word chis. Warminster: Aris and Phillips, A Tibetan English Dictionary. New Delhi: Munishiram Manoharlal. Oxford: Oxford University Press. The Treaty Temple of De ga g. Yu tshal: Iconography and Identification.

Chengdu: Sichuan Renmin Chuban-she, The origin myths of the first king of Tibet as revealed in the Can lnga. Kathmandu: Mandala Book Point, KIND, M.

Abducting the divine bride. Reflections on territory and identity among the Bonpo community in Phoksumdo, Dolpo. Leiden: Brill, London: Oxford University Press. LI, F. AND W. A Study of the Old Tibetan Inscriptions. Creative dismemberment among the Tamang and Sherpas of Nepal. Early evidence for vowel harmony in Tibetan. Language 42, Phonemic theory and orthographic practice in old Tibetan.

Tibet Journal 1, Oracles and Demons of Tibet. Delhi: Classics India Publications. Histoire Ancienne du Tibet. Paris: Adrien Maisonneuve. Rule by play in southern Mustang. A Corpus of Early Tibetan Inscriptions. London: Royal Asiatic Society. Tibetan chis and tshis. ARIS ed. London: Serindia, Ministers of the Tibetan kingdom. Early Tibetan law concerning dog-bite. Hunting accidents in early Tibet. The inventory of Yu-lim Gtsug-lag-khang. RONG, X. Mthong-Khyab or Tongjia: a tribe in the Sino-Tibetan frontiers in the seventh to tenth centuries.

Monumenta Serica 39, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, Introductory remarks on the spiritual and temporal orders. Lumbini: Lumbini International Research Institute, AND G. Ancient Khotan. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Etude du monde Chinois: institutions et concepts. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 36 2 , On the word gcug-lag and the indigenous religion.

MCKAY ed. Volume One. London: Routledge Curzon, Acta Orientalia Scientiarum Hungaricae 44 , Tshan: subordinate administrative units of the thousanddistricts in the Tibetan empire. Old Tibetan Contracts from Central Asia. Ancient Folk Literature from Northeastern Tibet. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.

Contributions to the Cultural History of Early Tibet - Google Books

The Tombs of the Tibetan Kings. Serie Orientale Roma I. Roma: Is. Serie Orientale Roma X. Narita: Naritasan Shinshoji, Small units in the territorial division of the Tibetan empire 7th - 9th century.

Government and society

Eminent ladies of the Tibetan empire according to old Tibetan texts. Tibetan vowel harmony reexamined. URAY, G. Notes on a Tibetan military document from Tun-huang. Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 12, Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 26, Notes on the thousand-districts of the Tibetan empire in the first half of the ninth century. Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 36 , The Thakali: A Himalayan Ethnography.

London: Serindia Publications. AND H. Bod rgya tshigs mdzod chen mo. Beijing: mi rigs dpe skrun khang. In the case of Central Tibet we mainly rely on very scattered information derived from Tibetan religious sources—in written and pictorial form—which mostly post-date the period with which we are concerned. Chinese sources on Central Tibet from this era apparently do not even exist. However, the prospects for research are slightly better with regard to the Tibetan or Tibetanized areas at the periphery, such as the tribal confederation of Tsong kha to the northeast of Central Tibet.

Concerning its history, for example, we possess a fair amount of Chinese documentation pertaining to the eleventh and twelfth centuries, supplemented by later sources. In the case of the general history of eleventh-century Central Asia, there exist, apart from fragmentary Chinese literary sources, a variety of contemporary local materials. These include written and pictorial religious and non-religious documents on paper or silk, as well as coins, steles and stake inscriptions. However, these sources are not abundant and do not pertain evenly to all the different polities in Central Asia.

Furthermore, they are difficult to study because of the great diversity of languages and cultures involved. These had all been important realms at certain times, and archaeological research in these areas has been more intensive than in other regions. For technical reasons, only simplified Chinese characters have been used. Rarely, if ever, do Central Asian sources refer to Tsong kha, so far as I know. Thus, even though it may be fragmentary and sometimes even misinformed or misleading, it seems worthwhile to study the Chinese material referring to our topic.

Thus, with regard to eleventh-century Tsong kha, the neighbours that figure most prominently are, of course, Song China and Xixia. However, I would like to stress that since our knowledge of the history of these ethnically and culturally very diverse oasis states is still very limited, this chapter aspires to provide no more than a general overview. The research is almost entirely based on Chinese sources. It seems, in fact, that very little information has been transmitted in either Tibetan or Tangut sources.

I have been unable to confirm if Uighur or Khotanese sources exist on this topic. At the end of the tenth and the beginning of the eleventh century C. The confederation played a vital economic, political and military role in relation to its neighbours Song China, the Tangut Xixia Empire and the oasis states of the Gansu Corridor. See figure 2: Tsong kha and its Neighbours. Tsong kha not only controlled the southern trading routes between Central Asia and the Song Empire, but it was also an important breeding area for horses that were much sought after by the Chinese military.

Furthermore, sharing borders with the rival empires of China and Xixia and with the small oasis state of Liangzhou lent Tsong kha special military and strategic significance and made it an attractive potential ally. Gser khog is missing on the map. It is located ca. We also know that Tsong kha played a vital role in the revival of Buddhism in Central Tibet during the tenth century when Dgongs pa rab gsal c. Apart from this, information on the tenth- and eleventh-century Tsong kha region in Tibetan sources is scarce.

Perhaps there exist similar references in other Tibetan sources. With the confederation thus weakened, the tribes were subsequently conquered and absorbed by their former allies. Regarding the general nature of contacts between Tsong kha and the Silk Road states, our information is mainly restricted to military affairs, marriage alliances and trade or tribute relations.

It has a long history as a major trading post on the Silk Road and as an important Buddhist centre that dates back to at least the fourth century C. Furthermore, Liangzhou also had Chinese inhabitants. Their ethnic background remains unclear, but most likely the Wenmo were ethnically diverse depending on where and how they became serfs in the first place. The sources speak of about , people, but this number is most probably inflated. Nevertheless, Ganzhou acted fairly over Gansu in former strongholds of the Tuyuhun, where they appear to have formed new socio-political entities that became quite influential, with Liangzhou being one such example.

See Songshi compiled in the early fourteenth century See Songshi Regarding the still unresolved question of the relationship between Ganzhou, Suzhou and Guazhou during the late tenth and early eleventh centuries, see PINKS At the beginning of the eleventh century, Ganzhou offered a military alliance to Song China against the Tanguts, but the Chinese court was hesitant because of its ongoing conflict with the Khitan Liao Empire. Thus the Ganzhou Uighurs depended on their immediate neighbours, Liangzhou and the newly-established Tsong kha confederation, for help.

Tsong kha was not only already an ally of Liangzhou in its fight against the Tanguts, but it also offered alternative trading routes to China bypassing the Tanguts south of the Qilian mountains. However, the Tsong kha ruler Jiaosiluo refused to pay the bridal price for the Uighur princess and the planned marriage did not take place.

Thereafter, Tsong kha also blocked the trading routes for Ganzhou, which caused the qaghan to implore the Song court in to urge Tsong kha to reopen the routes. See figure 3: Rulers of Tsong kha and Marriage Alliances. Nonetheless, Ganzhou resumed its tribute missions to the Chinese court around and continued to do so until circa Liao put pressure on the western area and the Tanguts attacked from the east. In Chinese 16 See Songshi Regarding the poorly documented relationship between the Uighur realms of Ganzhou and Xizhou during the tenth and eleventh centuries and the status of Shazhou, see, for example, HUA See Ganzhou fuzhi 1: However, different Chinese sources offer different dates: we find , and Tribute missions from Shazhou are mentioned up to the mid-eleventh century.

However, I was not able to verify his source. On the different tribute missions see also YANG Possible explanations could be: a. It is usually assumed that Shazhou was conquered by the Tanguts in the s. Shazhou might have become fully independent after the fall of Ganzhou and before it was conquered by the Tanguts. It might have fallen under the influence of the encroaching Liao Empire. It might have become associated with the Xizhou Uighurs. Or Shazhou might have come under the influence of the Yellow Head Uighurs. Although the Shazhou area including Guazhou and Suzhou was repeatedly attacked by the Tanguts starting from , Shazhou still sent seven tribute missions to the Song between and However, it appears probable that the two nevertheless at least entertained trade relations.

The Songshi, for example, has different sections on Gaochang, the Uighurs in general and on Kucha, with the Gan- and Shazhou Uighurs mentioned in the general Uighur section. See also TIAN Zhongguo Beijing. Therefore, with regard to Gaochang Moyuguo, Gaochang should refer to the kingdom or principality whereas Moyuguo designates the smaller locality, e.

However, this Moyu is most probably not related to Gaochang Moyuguo. Furthermore, Gaochang might still have had a small community of Tibetans remaining from the time of the Tibetan domination during the eighth and ninth centuries, or a community of Tibetan merchants. Concerning the title of the ruler, see Songshi Apparently Kucha sent tribute missions to the Song court on a rather irregular basis starting from onwards. The Songshi mentions missions in , , between and , and , as well as between and Tribute goods in this last mission also included one or more Buddha statues made of jade.

It still remains uncertain when exactly the Kucha area was conquered by the Qarakhanids and how tightly it came under Muslim rule. According to Arabic sources, it appears as if Kucha was already under Qarakhanid rule by the mid-eleventh century. It seems that Khotan also joined with Kucha from time to time to send tribute missions to China, and that they used to travel along the Gansu Corridor passing Guazhou and Shazhou before this route was blocked by the Tanguts. According to the Songshi, the missions stopped altogether between and Starting from onwards, Khotan sent its tribute missions to China via Tsong kha, which provided guides to the Khotanese as well as living quarters for the Khotanese merchants in the Tsong kha capital Qingtang.

In the Khotanese are supposed to have asked the Song court for assistance against the Tanguts, but in vain. Thus eleventh-century Khotan might have had some kind of vassal status with regard to the Qarakhanids instead of having already been fully incorporated into their realm. However, the conquest and incorporation of Kashgar, approximately km northwest of Khotan, by the Qarakhanids in the second half of the tenth century is undisputed.

Tangut attacks on Khotan, unfortunately without dates, are also confirmed by the Qingtanglu in Shuofu 12r, which even refers to a complete conquest of Khotan by the Tanguts. This event is supposed to have caused merchant families from Khotan to flee to Tsong kha. Hence, only a few general observations seem warranted: 1. Tsong kha played a vital strategic role during most of the eleventh century and thus continuously entertained political, military and economic relations with its many neighbours, of which the intensity varied according to the actual geopolitical situation.

Furthermore, he assumes that the cave was closed in the early eleventh century when Khotan was attacked by the Qarakhanids RONG In my opinion, advancing Muslim troops seem more likely to have precipitated the concealment of these documents than the advent of the Buddhist Tanguts in the s. However, the question of when the cave was actually sealed, at the beginning or maybe only towards the end of the eleventh century, requires further research. Hardly any information is available on religious and cultural exchange.

However, we can presume that this lack of information is mainly due to the fact that we must rely on official and semi-official Chinese sources. These are known to be preoccupied with political affairs and to neglect religion and culture. However, this might further support the hypothesis that during most of the tenth and eleventh centuries Shazhou was not an independent political entity but probably part of the Uighur realm of either Ganzhou or Xizhou, and later under Tangut control. Qarakhanid studies, a view from the Qara Khitai edge.

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