Contributions to the Cultural History of Early Tibet by Matthew T. Kapstein, Brandon Dotson

By Matthew T. Kapstein, Brandon Dotson

Early medieval Tibet is still some of the most demanding fields in Tibetan reports total, in which a variety of mysteries stay. The six contributions comprising the current assortment make clear significant subject matters in background, literature and faith.

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Extra info for Contributions to the Cultural History of Early Tibet

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DIVINATION AND LAW IN THE TIBETAN EMPIRE 21 Thomas stated that the mo text in IOL Tib J 740 consisted of 63 paragraphs in 236 lines (THOMAS 1957: 140). In point of fact, there are 62 paragraphs: the mo for the combinations 4 1 2 and 4 3 2 are missing. 26 These were usually consulted for a specific purpose, such as a medical prognosis. The substance of the divination results themselves is rather vague, being generally good or bad, but rarely specified with reference to any given set of circumstances.

Before moving on to the contents of the text itself, I will first comment on the form of the text and some of its more interesting orthographic features. The Physical Features of the Document IOL Tib J 740 consists of a long scroll (849cm X 26cm) containing Chinese on the recto and Tibetan on the verso. The Chinese text is the SuvarΧaprabhƘsottamasǍtrendrarƘjasǍtra in 473 columns. The Tibetan side of the scroll contains two separate but related texts, both of them complete. The first, which comprises the first 237 lines, concerns mo divination, and the second consists of 122 lines containing various replies given to legal questions arising from the implementation of a new legal edict.

Ll. 320-31) Concerns proper legal procedure when an estate loses its harvest to hail and cannot fill its quotas to the army or to a garrison. XI. (ll. 331-59) Concerns the proper provisioning of soldiers by the estates, and punishment for their failing to send the required provisions. The structure of each clause is the same: in the first part the problem is summarized and a question submitted, and in the second part an answer is given. The text is composite in nature, since it consists of answers given by judges of the court retinue (pho-brang khor gyi zhal-ces-pa) to numerous questions submitted by petition through the minister of the exterior (phyi-blon).

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