By Michael L. Walter
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Extra resources for Buddhism and Empire: The Political and Religious Culture of Early Tibet (Brill's Tibetan Studies Library, V. 22)
Bruce Lincoln, “Indo-European religions” in Death, war and sacrifice, Chicago & London, 1991, p. ) This exactly described the btsan-pos. In both the Indo-European and Tibetan cases, the ruling family came from a warrior group. Also, in both cases the ruling family was often 20 chapter one not a uniter of ethnies from within, but an organizer of ethnies from without, through the imposition of a strict hierarchy. ) The Tibetan ruling family, like that of the Scythians and Germans, formed groups separate in class and space from their subjects.
We may at least conclude that a number of Chinese works were known and studied at an early period; that we have at least one case of the adaptation of a passage in a Chinese classic in an Old Tibetan document (“A passage from the Shih chi in the Old Tibetan Chronicle”, by Takeuchi Tsuguhito, Soundings in Tibetan civilization, New Delhi, 1985, pp. 135–145); and, that PT986 and PT1291 were probably translated from a collection like the well-known Wen xuan. Their creation means only that Tibetan court circles had an early knowledge of Chinese political terms and concepts; we have no idea what significance they had beyond their utilization discussed above.
It turns out that the term for “monastery”, dgon, has another—perhaps earlier—military application, one which is also related to its Buddhist function. First, we note the functional similarity between monasteries and fortifications: Both were created for, and administered by, members of the aristocracy; monasteries were also centers of tax collection and places where monks performed other functions for the Imperium which required some degree of security. (Shared defensive features of the architectural structures used by the nobility and monks in Tibet are noted at p.