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The Use Of Metaphors For Honorific Distinctions Of The Epoch Of The Tibetan Kings

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Chapter Summary

The Tibetan taste for indirect language and metaphor is well known through records of their palavers, the exchanges of challenges and proverbs or wise sayings, texts that are equally represented in the Dunhuang manuscripts as in the later literature. This is in itself significant. One Dunhuang document permits us to see in detail how this genre of metaphor was utilized for ensigns or for honorific decorations. This is ms. ITJ (Stein) 506, recto. The use of seals is well-attested in the epoch of Buddhist kings to which we may without doubt attribute this fragment. The use of images and metaphors for seals and ensigns is also highlighted by two other manuscripts discovered and analyzed by Ariane Macdonald (Spanien), PT 1290, recto, and PT 1067, verso.

Keywords: Dunhuang; honorific decorations; metaphors; Tibetan kings



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