By John Powers, David Templeman

Tibet is a land bounded by way of the world’s optimum mountains, and it's the repository of an historic tradition. for hundreds of years it was once considered by means of Europeans as a distant, mystical position populated via Buddhist masters with supernatural powers and profound knowledge. unlike this photo, it was a warlike state whose expansionist rulers conquered an unlimited empire that integrated a lot of valuable Asia and elements of China. Even now the Tibetan Plateau is still a scene of contestation, either ideologically and militarily. significant renowned uprisings in 1959, 1988, and 2008 have drawn the eye of the world’s media, and its spiritual academics frequently allure huge crowds once they go back and forth out of the country. the placement within the state is still hugely risky this present day, because the 2008 uprising—the biggest and such a lot frequent within the heritage of the region—attests.

The historic Dictionary of Tibet is the main complete dictionary released to this point on Tibetan historical past. It covers the background of Tibet from 27,000 BCE to the current via a chronology, an introductory essay, an in depth bibliography, and over 1,000 cross-referenced dictionary entries on vital personalities, politics, financial system, overseas family members, faith, tradition, anthropology, and sociology. This ebook is a wonderful entry element for college kids, researchers, and someone desirous to understand extra approximately Tibet.

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Extra info for Historical Dictionary of Tibet (Historical Dictionaries of Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East)

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In preinvasion Tibet, circulation of books mainly depended on production of manuscripts. Some were copied by hand by scribes, and others were mass produced (on a limited scale by modern standards) by running rollers over wooden tablets with Tibetan letters carved in reverse. Monks involved in this process could turn out multiple copies of works or collections of texts in a relatively short time, and this technology enabled the spread of books throughout the Tibetan cultural 10 • INTRODUCTION area.

At the time of the Chinese invasion in 1950, an estimated 10 to 15 percent of the population was composed of monks and nuns, and there were also nonmonastic lay tantric practitioners (sngags pa) who pursued full-time religious vocations. In recent decades, Chinese authorities have systematically purged the monasteries and nunneries of Tibet and greatly reduced their ability to support themselves financially. Coupled with a program of religious repression and the escape of thousands every year into exile, this has dramatically reduced the number of monastics.

1546 bSod nams rgya mtsho, the third Dalai Lama, is enthroned at the dGa’ ldan pho brang. 1565 The governor of gTsang overthrows the Rin spungs; this marks the beginning of rule by the gTsang sde pa. 1585 Abadai Khan declares dGe lugs the state religion of Mongolia. 1578 Altan Khan confers the title “Dalai Lama” on bSod nams rgya mtsho; this initiates an ongoing reincarnational lineage. 1589 Birth of Yon tan rgya mtsho, the fourth Dalai Lama. 1617 Death of Yon tan rgya mtsho. The dGa’ ldan pho brang Period 1617 Birth of Ngag dbang blo bzang rgya mtsho, the fifth Dalai Lama.

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