Tibetan Manuscripts

Tibetan Manuscripts
Manuscripts such as these Tibetan scripts were originally created using palm leaves, which were dried and then tied together on a string to form an elongated book. When woodblock printing was introduced from China in the 14th century, manuscripts were sometimes created in the wood block printing fashion. The long shape was kept to imitate the original, long, sideways form of ancient scripts. The text, in Tibetan, was likely translated from sacred Buddhist texts in India (Greene).

Tibetan, as a language, was developed and adapted from Sanskrit. Incredibly, the language has not gone through any changes in writing since it was developed in the 7th century. "Some scholars divide the Tibetan language into five distinct developmental phases, which include Archaic, Old, Classical, Medieval, and Modern Tibetan. The study of Archaic Tibetan is largely speculative in nature, given that the first written forms of the language belong to the Old Tibetan phase, which was eventually standardized during the reign of King Khri-Ide Srong-btsan (c. 806 CE–c. 838 CE) beginning in 816 CE. This standardization process resulted in the emergence of Classical Tibetan, from which the Medieval and Modern forms of the language subsequently descended. Classical Tibetan was written in an elegant syllabary script derived from Sanskrit, which provided the direct basis for the writing system still used in the present time" (Greene).

Our example was discovered in Mongolia, where the seller was also located.

Greene, Jim. “Tibetan Language.” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2020.

Date Created
1700-1800 A.D.
Geographical Coverage
Temporal Coverage
18th - 19th centuries
Collecting Areas
History of Writing Collection
Religion and Spirituality

Item sets