Tibetology (Tibetan : བོད་རིག་པ།, Wylie : bod-rig-pa) refers to the study of things related to Tibet, including its history, religion, language, culture, politics and the collection of Tibetan articles of historical, cultural and religious significance. The last may mean a collection of Tibetan statues, shrines, Buddhist icons and holy scripts, Thangka embroideries, paintings and tapestries, jewellery, masks and other objects of fine Tibetan art and craftsmanship.
The publications of the British diplomat Charles Alfred Bell contributed towards the establishment of tibetology as an academic discipline. As outstanding tibetologists of the 20th century the British Frederick William Thomas, David Snellgrove, Michael Aris, and Richard Keith Sprigg, the Italians Giuseppe Tucci and Luciano Petech, the Frenchmen Jacques Bacot and Rolf Alfred Stein, finally the Germans Dieter Schuh and Klaus Sagaster, may be mentioned.
Since a few decades, particularly in Anglo-Saxon countries, the study of Tibet and Tibetology open itself towards other disciplines, resulting in works with interdisciplinary approach. This has become most obvious in the regular conferences of the IATS (International Association of Tibetan Studies), held at intervals of three years in different cities all over the world. As examples of such open-minded Tibet researcher we might mention the American anthropologist Melvyn Goldstein, among others, who has done noted research and publications on lexical questions, about Tibetan nomads and the modern history of Tibet. Others are Robert Barnett, Matthew Kapstein, Elliot Sperling, Alex McKay, Geoffrey Samuel, and many more.
Following the 2020 China–India skirmishes, India decided to expand the teaching of Tibetology to military officers.
It is an honour to introduce this volume of articles by eminent scholars of Tibetan in memory of my friend of many years, Wangchuk Deden Shakabpa, and to make my own contribution. Tsepon Shakabpa is well known to readers of English for his Tibet: A Political History - the first venture of that kind by a Tibetan - and to those with a knowledge of Tibetan for his extended version of that book, and for his Guide to the Central Temple of Lhasa. Those works show the wide range of sources, especially Tibetan historical records, with which he was familiar; and in the Introduction to his Tibet he tells of his deep study of the documents relating to the Simla Convention of 1914 which were entrusted to him by his uncle, former Kalon Lama. Further, as rtsis-dpon, a post he held from 1943, he was at the heart of every political development and had access to all Tibetan Government archives, of which he retained an acute recollection. (...) He will be remembered as a fine scholar...Cite journal requires
Reviews 'No book review can do justice to this overwhelming and almost intimidating sum of detailed scholarship and careful translation and editing. This book, not only for its historical contents and the point of view of its author, but also for its academic “tour de force”, is a great contribution to the history of Tibet and will benefit Tibetans and Westerners alike.' Françoise Pommaret, The Journal of Asian Studies, 70/1 (2011)
How to review what can be considered a historical monument of Tibet? One Hundred Thousand Moons: An Advanced Political History of Tibet written by Tsepon Wangchuk Deden Shakabpa (Rtsis dpon Dbang phyug bde ldan zhwa sgab pa, 1908-89) and translated and annotated by Derek F. Maher, is a monument in all senses of the term. First by its length: running 1,184 pages in two volumes, it covers the history of Tibet from the origin of the Tibetans until 1959. Second, it is the first full-scale history of Tibet written by a Tibetan who had access to sources unknown to Westerners or available only now. While abridged English version was published in 1967, Shakabpa finished writing this larger Tibetan version, Bod kyi srid don rgyal rabs , in 1976. The more detailed work has acquired almost mythic status, and it is finally available to the wider public with Maher's English translation.Cite journal requires
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Tibetan history, as it has been recorded, is particularly focused on the history of Buddhism in Tibet. This is partly due to the pivotal role this religion has played in the development of Tibetan and Mongol cultures and partly because almost all native historians of the country were Buddhist monks.
Songtsen Gampo, also Songzan Ganbu, was the 33rd Tibetan king and founder of the Tibetan Empire, and is traditionally credited with the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet, influenced by his Nepali consort Bhrikuti's native land Nepal's Licchavi dynasty, as well as being the unifier of what were previously several Tibetan kingdoms. He is also regarded as responsible for the creation of the Tibetan alphabet and therefore the establishment of Classical Tibetan, the language spoken in his region at the time, as the literary language of Tibet.
Drogön Chogyal Phagpa, was the fifth leader of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism. He was also the first Imperial Preceptor of Kublai Khan's Yuan dynasty, division of the Mongol Empire, and was concurrently named the director of the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs. Historical tradition remembers him as the first vice-ruler of Tibet under the Mongol Khagan as well as one of the Five Sakya patriarchs. Although this is historically disputed, he played a very important political role.
Nyêmo is a county in the Lhasa west of the main center of Chengguan, Tibet. It lies on the north bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo River, the northern part of the Brahmaputra. The county has an area of 3,276 square kilometres (1,265 sq mi), and as of 2011 had a population of 30,844 people, mostly engaged in agriculture or herding.
Hugh Edward Richardson was an Indian Civil Service officer, British diplomat and Tibetologist. His academic work focused on the history of the Tibetan empire, and in particular on epigraphy. He was among the last Europeans to have known Tibet and its society before the Chinese invasions which began in 1950.
Reting Rinpoche was a title held by abbots of Reting Monastery, a Buddhist monastery in central Tibet.
Tsepon Wangchuk Deden Shakabpa was a Tibetan nobelman, scholar, statesman and former Finance Minister of the government of Tibet.
Philippe Édouard Foucaux was a French tibetologist. He published the first Tibetan grammar in French and occupied the first chair of Tibetan studies in Europe.
The Kashag, was the governing council of Tibet during the rule of the Qing dynasty and post-Qing period until the 1950s. It was created in 1721, and set by Qianlong Emperor in 1751 for the Ganden Phodrang in the 13-Article Ordinance for the More Effective Governing of Tibet《酌定西藏善后章程十三条》. In that year the Tibetan government was reorganized after the riots in Lhasa of the previous year. The civil administration was represented by Council (Kashag) after the post of Desi was abolished by the Qing imperial court. The Qing imperial court wanted the 7th Dalai Lama to hold both religious and administrative rule, while strengthening the position of the High Commissioners.
Tsangpa was a dynasty that dominated large parts of Tibet from 1565 to 1642. It was the last Tibetan royal dynasty to rule in their own name. The regime was founded by Karma Tseten, a low-born retainer of the prince of the Rinpungpa Dynasty and governor of Samdrubtsé in Tsang since 1548.
Drakpa Changchub was a ruler of Central Tibet in 1374–1381. He belonged to the Phagmodrupa Dynasty which was the dominating regime in Tibet between 1354 and 1435. Drakpa Changchub was the second son of Rinchen Dorje, a brother of the preceding regent Jamyang Shakya Gyaltsen. His mother was Zina Tashi Kyi. Like the other Phagmodrupa rulers he had a monastic upbringing, and was made abbot of Dansa Thel when fifteen years of age. In 1374 he was appointed regent (desi) of Tibet shortly after the demise of his uncle. For the next seven years he was jointly lama and regent. In 1381 he abdicated his political powers and retired to Dansa Thel in order to teach tantras. Since his reign was quite brief he was never formally acknowledged by the Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. He was succeeded as regent by his younger half-brother Sonam Drakpa.
Sonam Drakpa was a regent of Central Tibet who ruled in 1381–1385. He belonged to the Phagmodrupa Dynasty, the leading regime in Tibet from 1354 to 1435.
Gongma Drakpa Gyaltsen was a King of Tibet who ruled in 1385–1432. He belonged to the Phagmodrupa Dynasty, which was the leading regime in Tibet between 1354 and 1435. His reign was comparatively tranquil, but he was also the last ruler of the dynasty to wield full powers over the central parts of Tibet.
Ü is a geographic division and a historical region in Tibet. Together with Tsang, it forms Central Tibet Ü-Tsang, which is one of the three Tibetan regions or cholka. The other two cholka are Kham (Dotod) and Amdo (Domed). According to a Tibetan saying, "the best religion comes from Ü-Tsang, the best men from Kham, and the best horses from Amdo".
Karma Phuntsok Namgyal was a king of Tibet who ruled from 1618 to 1620. He belonged to the Tsangpa Dynasty that held power in Tsang since 1565 and was the foremost political and military power in Tibet until 1642.
Ernő Hetényi was a Hungarian tibetologist and the leader of the Arya Maitreya Mandala for Eastern Europe.
Shatra, was a Tibetan politician.
Tenzin Dalai Khan was the third khan of the Khoshut Khanate and protector-king of Tibet. He ruled from 1668 to 1696, in the time of the Fifth and Sixth Dalai Lamas.
The Historical Status of China's Tibet is a book published in 1997 in English by China Intercontinental Press, the propaganda press for the government of the People's Republic of China. The book presents the Chinese government's official position on the history of Tibet and claims that Tibet has been under the sovereignty of China since the Yuan dynasty.