a Tibetan geography of Russia

Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at UCHICAGO.EDU
Sat Dec 3 14:45:43 EST 2005


Dear colleagues,

In connection with an article I am working on, I have translated
the strange and interesting section of Sum-pa mkhan-po's
General World Geography ('dzam gling spyi bshad) of 1777, that
deals with Russia and Inner Asia. Some aspects of it are
very puzzling and, as I am not expert in Mongolian, Turkish
or Russian, there are some points I would like to share with colleagues
who are. Such critical readers need not be Tibetanists. And anyone
who helps at all will of course be thanked in the final publication.
The text is quite fun and includes such gems as:
tracing the ancestry of Catherine II to Chinggis Khan;
artificial insemination of sheep in Kashgar;
an introduction to polar bears;
tree-milk in Sweden; and much more!
(The Indological aspect of the text stems from its basis in
the Jambudviipa cosmology.)

If you're interested, please send me a message to that effect and
I will send you a pdf during the next week, with the transcription
of the passage and my draft translation. If you have recommendations
of Mongolists, Turkologists or Russia specialists I might contact,
I would be grateful for that as well. please respond off-list only.

I will be circulating this query on the H-Buddhism list as well,
so apologies to those who subscribe to both lists.

Matthew Kapstein
Chicago and paris



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