Epigraphic Evidence in the Pre-Modern Buddhist World

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Kurt Tropper, ed., 2014
Epigraphic Evidence in the Pre-Modern Buddhist World: Proceedings of the Eponymous Conference Held in Vienna, 14-15 Oct. 2011. (WSTB 85.) Wien: Arbeitskreis für tibetische und buddhistische Studien, Universität Wien, 2014 (download [open access] or order online). (261 S.)

This volume is the outcome of a conference that was hosted at the University of Vienna on October 14-15, 2011, by the project “Tibetan Inscriptions” (FWF: S9811-G21) within the framework of the National Research Network (NRN) “The Cultural History of the Western Himalaya”. In keeping with the broad interdisciplinary approach of the NRN, the epigraphy conference transcended the linguistic boundaries defining the research objects of the inscription project and provided a platform for scholars working on epigraphic sources not only in Tibet, but also on the Indian subcontinent, in China, and in Southeast Asia. Moreover, there were no limitations set regarding the material and the contents of the inscriptions that the participants could discuss, provided they were somehow related to Buddhism and dated back to pre-modern times, with “pre-modern” roughly equating to “19th century or earlier”. While some of the presenters had already agreed to publish their papers elsewhere, during the closing discussion several participants expressed strong interest in having proceedings published, which eventually resulted in the present volume.


  • Preface
  • Arlo Griffiths: The ‘Greatly Ferocious’ Spell (Mahāraudra-nāma-hr̥daya). A dhāraṇī Inscribed on a Lead-Bronze Foil Unearthed near Borobudur.
  • Guntram Hazod: The Stele in the Centre of the Lhasa Maṇḍala. About the Position of the 9th-Century Sino-Tibetan Treaty Pillar of Lhasa in its Historical and Narrative Context.
  • Charles Manson & Nathan W. Hill: A Gter ma of Negatives. H.E. Richardson’s Photographic Negatives of Manuscript Copies of Tibetan Imperial Inscriptions Possibly Collected by Rig ’dzin Tshe dbang nor bu in the 18th Century CE, Recently Found in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
  • Cristina Scherrer-Schaub: A Perusal of Early Tibetan Inscriptions in Light of the Buddhist World of the 7th to 9th Centuries A.D.
  • Suey-Ling Tsai: Historische Inschriften aus der Tang-Dynastie (618-907) im “Kloster des Liegenden Buddha” in Anyue, Sichuan.
  • གུ་གེ་ཚེ་རིང་རྒྱལ་པོ: མངའ་རིས་ས་ཁུལ་རྩྭ་མདའ་རྫོང་ན་མཆིས་པའི་གུ་གེ་རྒྱལ་རབས་སྐབས་བཞེངས་པའི་ལྷ་ཁང་གི་མཚན་བྱང་སྐོར་ལ་རགས་ཙམ་བརྗོད་པ།
  • Nobuyoshi Yamabe, in collaboration with Academia Turfanica: Toyok Cave 20. Paintings and Inscriptions.
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