Inventing Tibetan Script
Thönmi Sambhota ཐོན་མི་སམྦྷོ་ཊ་
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Thonmi Sambhota (Thönmi Sambhoṭa, aka Tonmi Sambhodha;, Tib. ཐོན་མི་སམྦྷོ་ཊ་, Wyl. thon mi sam+b+ho Ta; b. seventh cent.) is traditionally regarded as the inventor of the Tibetan script and author of the Sum cu pa and Rtags kyi 'jug pa in the 7th century AD.Thonmi Sambhota is not mentioned in any of the Old Tibetan Annals or other ancient texts, although the Annals does mention writing shortly after 650. Roy Andrew Miller has written a number of articles arguing that Thonmi is an entirely ahistorical person.
Of the students sent to India, Thonmi Sambhota, said to have been the fourth of seven wise ministers of the emperor Songtsen Gampo, was the only one to return to Tibet. It seems that the Tibetan script he devised, in what is believed to be Pabonka Hermitage was based on the Brahmi and Gupta scripts which had been in use in India since c. 350 CE.
King Songtsen Gampo is said to have retired for four years to master the new script and grammar and then made many translations including twenty Avalokitesvara texts. Other translators quickly added to the corpus of Buddhist translations. The "Six Codices of the Tibetan constitution" were drawn up and court records, genealogies, legends and poetry were preserved in writing.
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The Tibetan script is an abugida of Indic origin used to write the Tibetic languages such as Tibetan, as well as Dzongkha, Sikkimese, Ladakhi and sometimes Balti. The printed form is called uchen script while the hand-written cursive form used in everyday writing is called umê script.
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This is a list of topics related to Tibet.
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