Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Canopy of everlasting joy : an early source in Tibetan historiography and the history of West Tibet
Author: Pritzker, David Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 7248
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
A more descriptive title for the dissertation might be "Early historiography in Purang-Guge and its relationship between orality, kingship, and Tibetan identity: a close study of a recently uncovered 12th century historical manuscript from Tholing monastery in West Tibet." The present study is therefore a close textual analysis of all the outer and inner features of the Tholing Manuscript. When reading the text, there is the gradual realization that the archaic peculiarities in script, binding, spelling, vocabulary, prose, and narrative twists, all highlight the work as a wholly rare and different version from those early histories typically found in Central Tibet. The key difference lies primarily in the focal point of the narrative. Whereas most similar narratives from the time of the phyi dar (11th-13th centuries) onwards place at the core of their structure the history of Buddhism in Tibet, the Tholing text puts as its central focus kingship and the history of kings in Tibet. For this reason, while Buddhism plays an essential and integral part of the story as a whole, the text can be viewed as a more secular work then any comparable monastic history of the period. The narrative structure of the manuscript, with its heavy use of rhythmical prose, similes, archaic topoi and motifs, is hauntingly familiar to those parallel passages found among Old Tibetan Documents and is emblematic of the liminal period in which the text was written. At this time, histories were transitioning from disperse and possibly oral transmissions to predominantly formal organized written traditions. The poetic nature of the text, together with its unusual physical features, raises questions relating to its purpose and function, with the possibility of its use as a ritual manuscript for royal legitimization. Through a close study of the text, I offer some insights on the formative nature of early Tibetan historiography in establishing the sacred and political power of the kings of West Tibet.
Supervisor: Roesler, Ulrike ; Ramble, Charles Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Historiography ; Tibetan Studies ; Textual History ; Kingship ; Orality ; West Tibet ; Tibet