Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Two frogs, a thousand years apart


A while ago I wrote about a Tibetan spellbook, a grimoire if you like, dating back to the ninth or tenth century. This compendium of spells is written in a tiny hand on long leaves of paper that have been stitched in the middle, creating a makeshift booklet. Across the front, the owner has written his name in big letters. Clearly this was a compendium of rituals that was owned and used by this person, and from his name, we can tell that he was a Buddhist monk. Probably, he made some kind of a living from performing these rituals for local people. Some might be shocked that a Buddhist monk would stoop to such things – and that was the subject of a discussion on one Buddhist forum that picked up on this post. But if you’ve read any anthropological or archeological studies of Buddhist communities, you probably wouldn’t be surprised.

Read the full post at earlytibet.com

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

IDP France offline

IDP France will be offline 9–12th September for essential maintenance. Our other servers will be available as usual.

Friday, September 2, 2011

New online resource for Tibetan and Chinese manuscripts

A new scholarly resource for manuscript studies has been launched by IDP. It provides an introduction into the script types found in the Chinese and Tibetan manuscripts from Dunhuang. Each type of script is described, with examples, and a transcription exercise.

The resource is the result of the palaeographic project funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and was developed by Imre Galambos, Sam van Schaik and Vic Swift. It can be found here on the Technical Resources page of the IDP website.