In the 13th century, parallel to the emergence of Sa
skya power in
Tibet, the southern kingdom of Mang yul Gung thang witnessed a flourishing
cultural activity. Particularly
fruitful was the cultural exchange with Nepalunder the aegis of Kublai Khan’s advisor’s ’Phags-pa Blo-gros-rgyal
mtshan. The activity of two translators stands out for its huge cultural impact
in pre-modern and modern Tibet. The Tibetan lo
tsā ba Shong ston Rdo rje
rgyal mtshan and the (probably) Nepalese paṇḍit Lakṣmīkara translated
together several Sanskrit works into Tibetan, creating a new literary language.
After a very brief introduction delineating the historical contours of Tibetan
translations, the paper will focus on the context of translations from Sanskrit
into Tibetan and the cultural exchange between Tibet and Nepal during this
How did Emperor Songtsen Gampo influence the development of Tibetan law?
An examination of the evidence from a previously unstudied
manuscript copy of a 14th-century history.
A primary figure of interest in Tibetan ‘medieval’ law has been the
Tibetan Emperor Songtsen Gampo (7th century CE). Several Tibetan
historical texts of the post-imperial period in the 10–14th centuries
provide references to Songtsen Gampo’s Buddhist influences in the
development of Tibetan law. One such text is the mid-14th-century Rgyal rabs gsal ba’i me long, also known as The Mirror Illuminating the Royal Genealogies (Sorensen, 1994), composed by a Tibetan cleric, Lama Dampa Sonam Gyelsten.The British Library has a manuscript example [OR.5351] of this work,
date of creation as yet not determined, which was collected by Dr.
Waddell and bought from him in May 1898, several years before the
Younghusband Expedition, a British invasion of Tibet (1904). Apparently
this manuscript has not been studied by Western scholars. The
presentation will look at the structure of the manuscript contents and
pay attention to some of the passages that make references to Tibetan
law of the Tibetan Empire period (7th–9th centuries).