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Divination and law in the Tibetan Empire: The role of dice in the legislation of loans, interest, marital law and troop conscription

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is divided into three parts. The first part offers a brief introduction to Old Tibetan law in order to locate the Old Tibetan legal document from Dunhuang, IOL Tib J 740 within the Tibetan legal tradition. Part two treats the physical features of the document, its orthography and structure. It also underlines the relationship between the divination manual and the legal text, and considers briefly the role of divination in Tibetan law. The third and final part of the chapter is a thematic analysis of the legal text. The main themes under consideration are debt, loans, interest and corvée labour, women and marriage, the legal status of religious estates and the Tibetan system for drafting and provisioning soldiers. Taken together with other Old Tibetan legal and bureaucratic documents, IOL Tib J 740 contributes to understanding of the manner in which the Tibetan Empire constituted itself socially and politically.

Keywords: Dunhuang; IOL Tib J 740; Old Tibetan divination; Old Tibetan law; Tibetan Empire



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