Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

A Miscarriage of History: Wencheng Gongzhu and Sino- Tibetan Historiography

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Inner Asia

In this article, I examine how Wencheng Gonghzu, the Chinese consort to the first Tibetan emperor Songtsen Gampo, served as a contentious rhetorical site for Tibetan and Chinese historiographers for over 1,000 years. I argue present exile Tibetan and Chinese propaganda on such topics as Tibetan political, cultural, and hereditary independence from China is at least analogous and possibly influenced by historiographic traditions found in texts such as the Tang Annals and post-imperial Tibetan buddhist works like the Vase-shaped Pillar Testament. However, as Central Tibetan and Chinese historians used Wencheng to index the complex relationship between Tibet and China, eastern Tibetan historians preserved lesser-known, potentially subversive narratives of Wencheng's travels, especially regarding her possible love-affair with the Tibetan minister Gar Tongtsen and their illegitimate child. After briefly reviewing Central Tibetan and Chinese metanarratives, I focus on eastern Tibetan narratives, including the apparently lost Secret Autobiography of Wencheng Gongzhu, which I argue point to the former political autonomy and cultural hybridity of areas of eastern Tibet, especially Minyak and Powo. My investigation into Wencheng narratives from eastern Tibet demonstrates that her journey from China to Tibet should not be thought of as a mere liminal period of her life, but rather central to debates among Tibetans and Chinese regarding the politics of national unity (minzu tuanjie) and constructions of pan-Tibetan identity.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Inner Asia — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation