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Arms and Armour in Ancient and Medieval Tibetan Literature

A Lexicographical Approach

Petra Maurer    Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München    



This article presents Tibetan terms and expressions for arms and armour originating in Tibetan sources as per research conducted for the Wörterbuch der Tibetischen Schriftsprache, a dictionary database that includes sources ranging from the eight to the nineteenth centuries. This survey shows that Tibetan literature bears testimony to the existence of a broad variety of arms and armour in Tibet, which are mentioned in various contexts: Bon or Buddhist sources, historiographical or mythical accounts. By tracing these terms’ etymological origins and focusing on the actual use of weapons, we may gain a clearer understanding of the origin, use, and value of arms and armour in Tibetan culture.

Dec. 10, 2021
March 25, 2021
Nov. 9, 2020

Keywords: SlingshotBow and arrowTibetan historyWeaponIron hookHelmetArmourSpearSwordTibetan dictionaryPikeLasso

Copyright: © 2021 Petra Maurer. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.