Author Topic: Ancient China  (Read 1144 times)

Nyukus

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Ancient China
« on: October 25, 2017, 04:58:37 AM »
Animals of Аncient China and Central Asia

Elephants in ancient China
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The existence of elephants in ancient China is attested both by archaeological evidence and by depictions in Chinese artwork. Long thought to belong to an extinct subspecies of Asian elephants, named Elephas maximus rubridens, they lived in Central and Southern China before the 14th century BC. They once occurred as far north as Anyang, Henan in northern China.

In December 2012, a study by a team of scientists from China reported that the elephant living in China in ancient times (Shang and Zhou dynasties) could not have been a subspecies of the Asian elephant, as previously thought, but probably belonged to the Palaeoloxodon genus. P. namadicus were distributed among Asia, but it is unclear if the mysterious elephants of northern China were remnants of P. namadicus or a unique species of their own. This conclusion was reached after studying remains of Chinese elephant molars and tusks from the Holocene epoch, as well as examining ritual bronzes from the Shang and Zhou dynasties, which all depicted elephants with two 'fingers' on the tip of their trunk (whereas the Indian elephant only has one 'finger'). Fossil elephant experts Victoria Herridge and Adrian Lister disagree with the assignment, stating that the claimed diagnostic dental features are actually contrast artifacts, created due to the low resolution of the figures in the scientific paper, and are not evident in better quality photographs.

Elephants still survived in the southwestern provinces of China after the extinction of the Chinese elephant, but they are of a different subspecies, the Indian elephant, Elephas maximus indicus. A native population of these remains in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province.


A replica of a Shang dynasty bronze pitcher depicting an elephant as a statue in the North Park Blocks of Portland, Oregon



Elephants live in a hot belt. But in antiquity they met in China on the banks of the Yellow River. In "Spring and Autumn Lew" it is said: "The Shan people tamed fierce wild elephants. When there was a threat from the eastern kingdom, Chou-gun sent an army there and drove the enemy south to the Yangtze itself "


Nyukus

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Re: Ancient China
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 05:18:55 AM »
Aepycamelus

Drawings from Mongolia



Aepycamelus is an extinct genus of camelid, synonym Alticamelus, which lived during the Miocene 20.6–4.9 million years ago, existing for about 15.7 million years. Its name is derived from the Homeric Greek αἰπύς, "high and steep" and κάμηλος – "camel"; thus, "high camel"; alticamelus in Latin.

Aepycamelus walked on its toes only. Unlike earlier species of camelids, they possessed cushioned pads like those of modern camels

Morphology

Aepycamelus was a prairie dweller of North America (Colorado, etc.). It was a highly specialized animal. Its head was relatively small compared with the rest of its body, its neck was long, as a result of giraffe-like lengthening of the cervical vertebrae, and its legs were long and stilt-like, with the elbow and knee joints on the same level. The top of its head would have been about 3 m (9.8 ft) above the ground.

Its strange body structure gives information on its mode of life and habits. Aepycamelus obviously inhabited dry grasslands with groups of trees. It is presumed to have moved about singly or in small groups, like today's giraffes, and like them, browsed high up in the trees. In this respect, it had no competitors. It survived a relatively long time, through most of the Miocene epoch, and died out prior to the start of the Pliocene, possibly due to climatic changes.

Fossil distribution
Its fossils are distributed widely, from Montana to Florida to California.





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Re: Ancient China
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 05:23:18 AM »
Asian ostrich

The Asian or Asiatic ostrich (Struthio asiaticus), is an extinct species of ostrich that ranged from Morocco, the Middle East to China and Mongolia. Fossils date from the upper Pliocene to the early Holocene (3.6 MYA - c.6000 BC or BCE.

Asian ostriches were widespread around Europe and Asia. They also used to live in northern India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and southern Siberia. In China, it is known that Asiatic ostriches became extinct at the end or shortly after the end of the last Ice Age.

Asian ostrich egg shells


Asian ostrich skeleton

Nyukus

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Re: Ancient China
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2017, 05:56:55 AM »
Great Indian Road

In historical science and among the general public is well known The Great Silk Road, which in ancient times united the countries of the Far East with states of the Mediterranean through Central Asia. Significantly less due to another great trade route is known - from India to the countries of the Mediterranean again through Central Asia. Unlike the Great Silk Road, the main which routes passed either by land or by sea, this route was a combination of - one part of it passed overland, the other - along the rivers, the third - on the seas. It started, most likely, in the capital of Gandhara - Taxil (north-west India), then through the passes of the Hindu Kush went to Bactria and on pp. Kunduzdarya and Balkhab led to the valley of Oks (Amudarya).
The other most important part of this road was from Gandhara through Kabuldarya, then its right tributary, p. Kunar, led to Chitral and Badakhshan, and then along the river. Kokcha through Ai-Khanum to Oaks. Both parts of this path were connected in Kelife, from where the road again branched out. One of its branches along the Oxia waterway led to Khorezm then through Sarakamish through Uzboi to the Caspian Sea. The other was from Oaks on the Kelif Uzboy, flowing into the Uzba near the fortress of Iggy-kala, and then also brought Uzboi to the Caspian Sea. The branch of this road from Margiana Through Partheni went to Dakhistan and Hyrcania, to the valleys of Atrek and Gorgan and also led to the Caspian Sea.
Having overcome the Caspian Sea, this route came to the mouth of the river. Chickens. Then walked along the Kure river through modern Azerbaijan (Caucasian Albania) and Eastern Georgia (ancient Iberia) and through the Suram Pass led to the valley of the river Rioni (ancient Fasis), where ships, according to Strabo, were dragged by drag. In the low-Fasisa (Western Georgia, the legendary Colchis), according to Pseudo-Skimna, was the eponymous city, where people lived sixty nationalities, including Bactrians and Indians (Ps.-Scymn, Ad Nicomedem regem, 934 [F 20]). It is possible that from here the Black and Mediterranean seas in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, in which, according to Dion Chrysostom, A colony of Bactrian merchants (Dio Chrysost. XXXII [Ad Alexandrines], 40). From Fasis through Pontus Euxine this way led to the Greek cities of the Northern The Black Sea and South-Eastern Europe.
The uniform name for the given continental way till now was not suggested. Scientists involved in its study, called only a few of it parts - the Oxo-Caspian trade route (V.V. Tarn), the Caspian waterway (A.S. Balakhvantsev), just a trade route (R.R. Mukasheva), the path of Strabo or trade route from India to Rome (D. Galleri), the Bactrian-Caucasian path (B. Ya. Sta-
viscous), the way from India to Pontus (K. Rapin), which does not reflect the essence of this path, its meaning and the vast space that he held.
Unlike the Great Silk Road, a description of which is always given in Greco-Roman sources in the direction from west to east (as, to measure, in the interne of Maes Tizian), this path in the same sources is described by Only from the east (from India) to the west. They also talk about delivery on this path of exclusively Indian goods. Given these facts and the huge distance he held, I propose the name "Great Indian road".
There is reason to believe that this path followed in ancient times from Gandhara not only to the west, but also to the east, to Southern China. The basis for this is the information of Zhang-Jian, who, staying in Bactria (between 139-129 BC) saw there bamboo sticks from Qiong and canvases from Shu. Residents of Dakhya (Bactria) told him that these items were purchased by their merchants who went to trade in Shenda, located next to Shu, and in Dahya it was more convenient to go straight from Shu, and from this region the merchants secretly left for the West.
According to modern research, the Shu and Qiong areas correspond to the Sichuan province in southern China, and Shendu covers Northeast India, Burma and the Yunnan area in southern China at the border with Vietnam.
Thus, even before the Great Silk Road Between Bactria and South China there was a road through which Bactrian and Chinese merchants traded their goods. This road, apparently, came from Bactria through Gandhara and Kashmir, and then through the valleys of Jamna and the Ganges through Burma it emerged into the modern Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan.
Judging by a number of sources, the Great Indian Way arose much earlier The Great Silk Road, and it was he who became the first transcontinental route in the history of civilization that connected the east and west - the Mediterranean, the South Caucasus, Central Asia, India and China.
Like many great trade highways of antiquity, the Great Indian Way was formed gradually, in separate parts, in the development of which a significant role was played by representatives of various ethnic groups of Hindustan, Bactrians and Khorezmians, the peoples of the South Caucasus - Albanians, Iberians and Kolkhis. But the unification of all these parts into a single trade route occurred, apparently, thanks to the Indians and the Hellenes. From the west, the Greeks gradually moved east, beginning with the era of the Argonauts and their legendary campaign in the "golden Colchis", the routes of Jason to the Caspian, the campaigns of the warriors of Alexander the Great, who mastered the river and land roads from Central Asia to India, and the sailing of Patroclus sent by Seleucus I for the exploration of the Caspian Sea.
From the east already at the end of the III - II millennium BC. e. Dravidian pioneers of the great Harappian civilization of the Indus Valley emerged into the valley of Oaks, having founded a trading station here, and then gradually began to move westward to the Caspian Sea, leaving a notable mark in the civilizations of Bactria and Margiana in subsequent centuries.


Nyukus

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Re: Ancient China
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2017, 05:58:38 AM »
The river Uzboy (Turkmenistan), along which the ships sailed along the Great Indian Road, is not navigable now


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Re: Ancient China
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2017, 06:44:38 AM »
Barbarians, western and northern neighbors of China, were еuropean blondes and introduced the Chinese to the technologies: bronze, chariot, honey. They were jiangs and tochars. How did the Chinese defend themselves? Like the Indians from Alexander the Great, they defended themselves sitting on an elephant? If they were Indo-Europeans, then their religion is known. They were with Hindu faith

Tarim mummies

The Tarim mummies are a series of mummies discovered in the Tarim Basin in present-day Xinjiang, China, which date from 1800 BCE to the first centuries BCE. The mummies, particularly the early ones, are frequently associated with the presence of the Indo-European Tocharian languages in the Tarim Basin, although the evidence is not totally conclusive and many centuries separate these mummies from the first attestation of the Tocharian languages in writing. Victor H. Mair's team concluded that the mummies are Caucasoid, likely speakers of Indo-European languages such as the Tocharians.

Archaeological record

Sir Aurel Stein in the Tarim Basin, 1910
At the beginning of the 20th century, European explorers such as Sven Hedin, Albert von Le Coq and Sir Aurel Stein all recounted their discoveries of desiccated bodies in their search for antiquities in Central Asia. Since then, numerous other mummies have been found and analysed, many of them now displayed in the museums of Xinjiang. Most of these mummies were found on the eastern end of the Tarim Basin (around the area of Lopnur, Subeshi near Turpan, Kroran, Kumul), or along the southern edge of the Tarim Basin (Khotan, Niya, and Cherchen or Qiemo).

The earliest Tarim mummies, found at Qäwrighul and dated to 1800 BCE, are of a Caucasian physical type whose closest affiliation is to the Bronze Age populations of southern Siberia, Kazakhstan, Central Asia, and the Lower Volga.

The cemetery at Yanbulaq contained 29 mummies which date from 1100–500 BCE, 21 of which are Mongoloid—the earliest Mongoloid mummies found in the Tarim Basin—and eight of which are of the same Caucasian physical type found at Qäwrighul.

Notable mummies are the tall, red-haired "Chärchän man" or the "Ur-David" (1000 BCE); his son (1000 BCE), a small 1-year-old baby with brown hair protruding from under a red and blue felt cap, with two stones positioned over its eyes; the "Hami Mummy" (c. 1400–800 BCE), a "red-headed beauty" found in Qizilchoqa; and the "Witches of Subeshi" (4th or 3rd century BCE), who wore 2-foot-long (0.61 m) black felt conical hats with a flat brim. Also found at Subeshi was a man with traces of a surgical operation on his abdomen; the incision is sewn up with sutures made of horsehair.


The Taklamakan Desert is very dry, which helped considerably in the preservation of the mummies.
Many of the mummies have been found in very good condition, owing to the dryness of the desert and the desiccation it produced in the corpses. The mummies share many typical Caucasian body features (elongated bodies, angular faces, recessed eyes), and many of them have their hair physically intact, ranging in color from blond to red to deep brown, and generally long, curly and braided. Their costumes, and especially textiles, may indicate a common origin with Indo-European neolithic clothing techniques or a common low-level textile technology. Chärchän man wore a red twill tunic and tartan leggings. Textile expert Elizabeth Wayland Barber, who examined the tartan-style cloth, discusses similarities between it and fragments recovered from salt mines associated with the Hallstatt culture.[8] As a result of the arid conditions and exceptional preservation, tattoos have been identified on mummies from several sites around the Tarim Basin, including Qäwrighul, Yanghai, Shengjindian, Shanpula, Zaghunluq, and Qizilchoqa.

Genetic links


Caucasoid mask from Lop Nur, China, 2000–1000 BCE
A 2008 study by Jilin University showed that the Yuansha population has relatively close relationships with the modern populations of South Central Asia and Indus Valley, as well as with the ancient population of Chawuhu.

In 2007 the Chinese government allowed a National Geographic Society team headed by Spencer Wells to examine the mummies' DNA. Wells was able to extract undegraded DNA from the internal tissues. The scientists extracted enough material to suggest the Tarim Basin was continually inhabited from 2000 BCE to 300 BCE and preliminary results indicate the people, rather than having a single origin, originated from Europe, Mesopotamia, Indus Valley and other regions yet to be determined.[citation needed]

Between 2009-2015, the remains of 92 individuals found at the Xiaohe Tomb complex were analyzed for Y-DNA and mtDNA markers.

Genetic analyses of the mummies showed that the Xiaohe people were an admixture from populations originating from both the West and the East. The maternal lineages of the Xiaohe people originated from both East Asia and West Eurasia, whereas the paternal lineages all originated from West Eurasia.

Mitochondrial DNA analysis showed that maternal lineages carried by the people at Xiaohe included mtDNA haplogroups H, K, U5, U7, U2e, T and R*, which are now most common in West Eurasia. Also found were haplogroups common in modern populations from East Asia: B5, D and G2a. Haplogroups now common in Central Asian or Siberian populations included: C4 and C5. Haplogroups later regarded as typically South Asian includedM5 and M*.

The paternal lines of male remains surveyed nearly all – 11 out of 12, or around 92% – belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup R1a1, which are now most common in West Eurasia; the other belonged to the exceptionally rare paragroup K* (M9).

The geographic location of this admixing is unknown, although south Siberia is likely.

It has been asserted that the textiles found with the mummies are of an early European textile type based on close similarities to fragmentary textiles found in salt mines in Austria, dating from the second millennium BCE. Anthropologist Irene Good, a specialist in early Eurasian textiles, noted the woven diagonal twill pattern indicated the use of a rather sophisticated loom and said that the textile is "the easternmost known example of this kind of weaving technique."

Mair claims that "the earliest mummies in the Tarim Basin were exclusively Caucasoid, or Europoid" with east Asian migrants arriving in the eastern portions of the Tarim Basin around 3,000 years ago while the Uyghur peoples arrived around the year 842. In trying to trace the origins of these populations, Victor Mair's team suggested that they may have arrived in the region by way of the Pamir Mountains about 5,000 years ago.

Mair has claimed that:

The new finds are also forcing a reexamination of old Chinese books that describe historical or legendary figures of great height, with deep-set blue or green eyes, long noses, full beards, and red or blond hair. Scholars have traditionally scoffed at these accounts, but it now seems that they may be accurate.

Chinese historian Ji Xianlin says China "supported and admired" research by foreign experts into the mummies. "However, within China a small group of ethnic separatists have taken advantage of this opportunity to stir up trouble and are acting like buffoons. Some of them have even styled themselves the descendants of these ancient 'white people' with the aim of dividing the motherland. But these perverse acts will not succeed". Barber addresses these claims by noting that "The Loulan Beauty is scarcely closer to 'Turkic' in her anthropological type than she is to Han Chinese. The body and facial forms associated with Turks and Mongols began to appear in the Tarim cemeteries only in the first millennium BCE, fifteen hundred years after this woman lived. Due to the "fear of fuelling separatist currents", the Xinjiang museum, regardless of dating, displays all their mummies, both Tarim and Han, together.

Posited origins

Physical anthropologists propose the movement of at least two Caucasian physical types into the Tarim Basin. Mallory and Mair associate these types with the Tocharian and Iranian (Saka) branches of the Indo-European language family, respectively. However, archaeology and linguistics professor Elizabeth Wayland Barber cautions against assuming the mummies spoke Tocharian, noting a gap of about a thousand years between the mummies and the documented Tocharians: "people can change their language at will, without altering a single gene or freckle."

B. E. Hemphill's biodistance analysis of cranial metrics (as cited in Larsen 2002 and Schurr 2001) has questioned the identification of the Tarim Basin population as European, noting that the earlier population has close affinities to the Indus Valley population, and the later population with the Oxus River valley population. Because craniometry can produce results which make no sense at all (e.g. the close relationship between Neolithic populations in Ukraine and Portugal) and therefore lack any historical meaning, any putative genetic relationship must be consistent with geographical plausibility and have the support of other evidence.

Han Kangxin, who examined the skulls of 302 mummies, found the closest relatives of the earlier Tarim Basin population in the populations of the Afanasevo culture situated immediately north of the Tarim Basin and the Andronovo culture that spanned Kazakhstan and reached southwards into West Central Asia and the Altai.


Map of Eurasia showing the location of the Xiaohe cemetery, the Tarim Basin and the areas occupied by cultures associated with the settlement of the Tarim Basin.

It is the Afanasevo culture to which Mallory & Mair (2000:294–296, 314–318) trace the earliest Bronze Age settlers of the Tarim and Turpan basins. The Afanasevo culture (c. 3500–2500 BCE) displays cultural and genetic connections with the Indo-European-associated cultures of the Eurasian Steppe yet predates the specifically Indo-Iranian-associated Andronovo culture (c. 2000–900 BCE) enough to isolate the Tocharian languages from Indo-Iranian linguistic innovations like satemization.

Hemphill & Mallory (2004) confirm a second Caucasian physical type at Alwighul (700–1 BCE) and Krorän (200 CE) different from the earlier one found at Qäwrighul (1800 BCE) and Yanbulaq (1100–500 BCE):

This study confirms the assertion of Han [1998] that the occupants of Alwighul and Krorän are not derived from proto-European steppe populations, but share closest affinities with Eastern Mediterranean populations. Further, the results demonstrate that such Eastern Mediterraneans may also be found at the urban centers of the Oxus civilization located in the north Bactrian oasis to the west. Affinities are especially close between Krorän, the latest of the Xinjiang samples, and Sapalli, the earliest of the Bactrian samples, while Alwighul and later samples from Bactria exhibit more distant phenetic affinities. This pattern may reflect a possible major shift in interregional contacts in Central Asia in the early centuries of the second millennium BCE.

Mallory and Mair associate this later (700 BCE–200 CE) Caucasian physical type with the populations who introduced the Iranian Saka language to the western part of the Tarim basin.

Mair concluded:

From the evidence available, we have found that during the first 1,000 years after the Loulan Beauty, the only settlers in the Tarim Basin were Caucasoid. East Asian peoples only began showing up in the eastern portions of the Tarim Basin about 3,000 years ago, Mair said, while the Uighur peoples arrived after the collapse of the Orkon Uighur Kingdom, largely based in modern day Mongolia, around the year 842.

Historical records and associated texts
Chinese sources
Main article: Western Regions
Western Regions (Hsi-yu; Chinese: 西域; pinyin: Xīyù; Wade–Giles: Hsi1-yü4) is the historical name in China, between the 3rd century BCE and 8th century CE for regions west of Yumen Pass, including the Tarim and Central Asia.

Some of the peoples of the Western Regions were described in Chinese sources as having full beards, red or blond hair, deep-set blue or green eyes and high noses. According to Chinese sources, the city states of the Tarim reached the height of their political power during the 3rd to 4th centuries CE,[24] although this may actually indicate an increase in Chinese involvement in the Tarim, following the collapse of the Kushan Empire.

The Yuezhi
Main article: Yuezhi
Reference to the Yuezhi name in Guanzi was made around 7th century BCE by the Chinese economist Guan Zhong, though the book is generally considered to be a forgery of later generations.:115–127 The attributed author, Guan Zhong, described the Yuzhi 禺氏, or Niuzhi 牛氏, as a people from the north-west who supplied jade to the Chinese from the nearby mountains of Yuzhi 禺氏 at Gansu.

After the Yuezhi experienced a series of major defeats at the hands of the Xiongnu, during the 2nd century BCE, a group known as the Greater Yuezhi migrated to Bactria, where they established the Kushan Empire. By the 1st Century CE, the Kushan Empire had expanded significantly and may have annexed part of the Tarim Basin.

Roman accounts
Main article: Sino-Roman relations
The peoples of China were known in Ancient Rome as Seres. It is possible that the Seres were a conflation of many different East and Central Asian cultures, including the peoples of the Tarim.

In the 1st Century CE, Pliny the Elder mentioned and encounter between Romans and Seres at Taprobane (Sri Lanka).[26] According to Pliny, these Seres "exceeded the ordinary human height, had flaxen hair, and blue eyes, and made an uncouth sort of noise by way of talking". However it is unlikely that this passage has anything to do with the population of the Tarim Basin.[why?]

Tocharian languages
Main article: Tocharian languages

Wooden tablet with an inscription showing Tocharian B in its Brahmic form. Kucha, China, 5th-8th century (Tokyo National Museum)
The degree of differentiation between the language known to modern scholars as Tocharian A (or by the endonym Ārśi-käntwa; "tongue of Ārśi") and Tocharian B (Kuśiññe; [adjective] "of Kucha, Kuchean]]"), as well as the less-well attested Tocharian C (which is associated with the city-state of Krorän, also known as Loulan), and the absence of evidence for these beyond the Tarim, tends to indicate that a common, proto-Tocharian language existed in the Tarim during the second half of the 1st Millennium BCE. Tocharian is attested in documents between the 3rd and 9th centuries CE, although the first known epigraphic evidence dates to the 6th century CE.

Although the Tarim mummies preceded the Tocharian texts by several centuries, their shared geographical location and links to Western Eurasia have led many scholars to infer that the mummies were related to the Tocharian peoples.

Arguments for the occurrence of cultural transmission from West to East
The possible presence of speakers of Indo-European languages in the Tarim Basin by about 2000 BCE could, if confirmed, be interpreted as evidence that cultural exchanges occurred among Indo-European and Chinese populations at a very early date. It has been suggested that such activities as chariot warfare and bronze-making may have been transmitted to the east by these Indo-European nomads. Mallory and Mair also note that: "Prior to c. 2000 BC, finds of metal artifacts in China are exceedingly few, simple and, puzzlingly, already made of alloyed copper (and hence questionable)." While stressing that the argument as to whether bronze technology travelled from China to the West or that "the earliest bronze technology in China was stimulated by contacts with western steppe cultures", is far from settled in scholarly circles, they do suggest that the evidence to date favours the latter scenario.[28] However the culture and technology in the northwest region of Tarim basin was less advanced than that in the East China of Yellow River-Erlitou (2070 BCE ~ 1600 BCE) or Majiayao culture (3100 BCE ~ 2600 BCE), which are earliest bronze-using cultures in China, implies that the northwest region did not use copper or any metal until bronze technology was introduced to this region by the Shang Dynasty about 1600 BC. The earliest bronze artifacts in China are found at the Majiayao culture site (dating from between 3100 and 2700 BC), and it is from this location and time period that Chinese Bronze Age spread. Bronze metallurgy in China originated in what is referred to as the Erlitou (Wade–Giles: Erh-li-t'ou) period, which some historians argue places it within the range of dates controlled by the Shang dynasty. Others believe the Erlitou sites belong to the preceding Xia (Wade–Giles: Hsia) dynasty.The U.S. National Gallery of Art defines the Chinese Bronze Age as the "period between about 2000 BC and 771 BC," a period that begins with Erlitou culture and ends abruptly with the disintegration of Western Zhou rule.Though this provides a concise frame of reference, it overlooks the continued importance of bronze in Chinese metallurgy and culture. Since this was significantly later than the discovery of bronze in Mesopotamia, bronze technology could have been imported rather than discovered independently in China. However, there is reason to believe that bronzework did develop inside China separately from outside influence.

The Chinese official Zhang Qian, who visited Bactria and Sogdiana in 126 BCE, made the first known Chinese report on many regions to the west of China. He believed he discerned Greek influences in some of these kingdoms. He names Parthia "Ānxī" (Chinese: 安息), a transcription of "Arshak" (Arsaces), the name of the founder of Parthian dynasty.[36] Zhang Qian clearly identifies Parthia as an advanced urban civilization that farmed grain and grapes, and manufactured silver coins and leather goods. Zhang Qian equated Parthia's level of advancement to the cultures of Dayuan in Ferghana and Daxia in Bactria.

The supplying of Tarim Basin jade to China from ancient times is well established, according to Liu (2001): "It is well known that ancient Chinese rulers had a strong attachment to jade. All of the jade items excavated from the tomb of Fuhao of the Shang dynasty by Zheng Zhenxiang, more than 750 pieces, were from Khotan in modern Xinjiang. As early as the mid-first millennium BCE the Yuezhi engaged in the jade trade, of which the major consumers were the rulers of agricultural China."
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 07:00:07 AM by Nyukus »

Nyukus

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Re: Ancient China
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2017, 07:18:06 AM »
These are later mummies (1000 years younger than Tarim) from the Pazyryk mound in the Altai. It could be either Yuezhi or Dinlin



« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 07:19:47 AM by Nyukus »

Nyukus

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Re: Ancient China
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2017, 07:23:22 AM »
Pazyryk Princess

Pazyryk Princess. VI century BC. Tattoos on it are made in the Scythian animal style. She, too, is from the Europoid race


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Re: Ancient China
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2017, 08:17:51 AM »
There are no such customs in the game. Most likely because of political correctness.

1) The customs of the ancient Chinese are remarkably similar to the customs of the steppe people.

Around the Xiaotong found several burial grounds of Shan time. Of particular interest are the tombs of representatives of the ruling Shan family, unearthed near Sibegan. A huge number of weapons, ritual utensils, ornaments were found here both in the central burial chambers, reaching a depth of 12-13 m, and in the surrounding special ditches and pits. The latter were intended for the burial of chariots and horses, as well as for the numerous servants and soldiers accompanying the Shan ruler to the afterlife. According to one of the participants in the excavation in Sibaygan, the total number of dead and buried soldiers here reached 1,000 people. In addition, around the 10 royal tombs, many individual burials containing rich sets of funeral implements were discovered. According to archaeologists, these graves belonged to those dignitaries from the closest circle of Shan Vans, who were in the posthumous retinue of their overlords. In the pits were buried the remains of sacrificed slaves. In some cases, only heads, in others - decapitated bodies.

2) Ritual cannibalism also resembles the custom of eating human flesh in the steppe peoples. Human fat was also consumed as fuel in the siege of cities at a later time, in the Middle Ages

Nyukus

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Re: Ancient China
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2017, 04:07:24 AM »
Gumilev L.N.

Bon (Ancient Tibetan religion)

When in the middle of the 7th century, at the invitation of the Tibetan ruler Sronzangammo, Buddhist monks came to Tibet from India, they were not confronted with primitive paganism - the veneration of the forces of nature, not with shamanism - the practice of evoking spirits and not even with the cult of dead ancestors, but with a thoughtful, theoretically worked out religious system, called bon. Despite the active support of the central government, the Buddhists had to endure a thousand-year struggle, as a result of which they failed to achieve complete victory. So far, in Tibet, along with the yellow faith - Lamaism there is a doctrine of bon, with the only difference that the struggle between these religions no longer entails neither hecatombs of human bodies, nor blood streams. However, all this took place in the first centuries of Buddhism's penetration into Tibet (VII-XI centuries).

In a special work, we managed to establish that the political forms of this struggle were associated with rivalry between the monarch and the aristocracy, but this does not exhaust the problem. In fact, social struggle does not always imply the existence of different ideological systems. For example, in France members of the "League of Public Good" were as good Catholics as King Louis XI, and Greek basileuses, deposed by the Greek aristocracy of policies, revered the same Olympic gods as their opponents. In Tibet, the ideological struggle was superimposed on the social, and this gave historical collisions an unprecedented poignancy [6]. In order to win over to one side or other layers of the Tibetan people, the religious system must meet the accepted ethnographic concepts and so sharply differ from the rival system that the masses can perceive this distinction directly, without complex theological explanations.

What was the difference between Buddhism and Bon? Judging by the materials that have survived to this day, the mythological system in both of these religions has many similarities. Ethics are common for all theistic systems: it is recommended to do good, remove from evil, preach the truth, etc. The iconography of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon is almost indistinguishable, except for the direction of the swastika rays; In addition, in the process of history, a new doctrine of bon (begyur bon, that is, a changed boon), a compromise towards Buddhism, and tantric Buddhism, in which the external differences between the doctrine of great tranquility and the customs of the conquered mountainous country were erased. So all the same, why did not the confluence of these religions arise, despite the fact that it would suit both? Obviously, along with the features of similarity, the distinction elements were so significant that it was they who determined the course of the history of Tibetan culture. Our task is to find them and explain the reasons for the incompatibility of both worldviews.

Let's start with the known, i.e. with Buddhism. Buddhism, as is known, is not a link between man and God, because he denies God, or rather refers to this problem with absolute indifference. Buddhism is also not a means of saving the soul, whose immortality, in general, it does not recognize. The goal of Buddhism is the salvation of the elect; monks who "took the path," and laity, sympathetic to the Buddhist doctrine, for help and alms to the Buddhist community of monks, is offered "consolation" and the possibility of a good rebirth so that in one of the subsequent lives, millions of years later, become a monk. This idea runs through the entire sutra "Sage and Fool".

We will not enter the ideological subtleties of the various trends of Buddhism, since in the ethnographic plan of interest to us this problem does not give us the means to solve the basic question. For us, what is important is the community of monks, what did it seek and what did it achieve? In India, the foundation of the Buddhist community was not the Brahmins, proud of their knowledge, not the rajas and warriors shedding blood, not the peasants tied to their fields and families, not the wild Vedda hunters, who at any moment feel the reality of the world around them. And yet the Buddhist community of monks existed and grew. In the system of numerous small Indian principalities, not all young people have found application for their abilities and energy. Most people were reconciled with the inability to make a career and succeed in life. But the most energetic and ambitious people were looking for a way out, at least psychological, out of the hopeless situation into which they were placed by historical destiny. In the case of a direct uprising against the established order, immediate death awaited them, and then they rejected the life that had deceived them, and embarked on the path of its overcoming for the sake of attaining eternal rest-nirvana. In the name of passivity they developed frenzied activity, finding in this an outlet for the passions that had overwhelmed them. Devadatta, the cousin of Buddha Shakyamuni, wanting to seize power over the Buddhist community, took part in a coup d'etat, as he hoped for the protection of the new king.

But Buddhist triumphs reached only when creating vast centralized states. And Ashoka (3rd century BC), and Kanishka (II century BC), and Kharsh Vardan (VII century AD), conquering vast territories, inevitably oppressed the local population and inevitably restored him against himself. However, the rulers needed not only military force, but also intellectuals, and recruiting the latter among the oppressed was not advisable. This is where the extraterritorial Buddhist community came in handy, which in turn used rulers for their own purposes. And the goal of the Buddhists was one: to transfer as many people as possible to nirvana. This meant that the best part of society had to learn to neglect worldly concerns and disappear from life without a trace. Indeed, the most sincere, creative, sacrificial part of society disappeared, but there remained slag and ash, as a result of which the great empires perished.

The Buddhists in China acted somewhat differently. First, in China, the preachers of the yellow faith encountered the Taoists who preached almost the same teaching. Secondly, the fervent opponents of Buddhism were the Confucians, atheists, who aimed to strengthen the earthly state and society. Buddhism managed to gain a foothold in China, although not without difficulty. But even in the Tang era (the 7th-10th centuries), during the period of the greatest spread of Buddhism and the flowering of Buddhist culture in China, this doctrine remained basically a fashionable overseas teaching that encompassed mainly a small circle of intellectuals, aesthete officials, tired of the endless palace intrigues. This teaching justified their flight to the bosom of nature, where in seclusion they wrote delicate poems (like Wang Wei), they caught fish sitting with fishing rods on the shore of lakes, and drank in cells with their friends who came to them for a while to treat Their nerves, frustrated with intrigues.

Somewhat different situation was in Tibet. For a long time, Buddhists could not get into their environment a single Tibetan monk. The whole community consisted of foreigners: Indians, Chinese, Khotan, but thanks to the support of the monarch, she held the leading position. In order to secure the protection of secular power, Buddhists created the doctrine of dharmapalas, the keepers of faith, who sacrificed their soul for the sake of the triumph of the "Law." According to the Buddhist dogma, the murderer could not enter nirvana under any circumstances, and it was necessary to kill the enemies of Buddhism. And then the concept was proposed, according to which a person who sacrificed his future bliss for the sake of today's victory, is worthy of worship and veneration along with the most perfect of people - bodhisattvas. Consequently, he was allowed in this life, and the shedding of blood, and communication with women, and luxury, if only he, having protected the "Law" from enemies, enabled his contemporaries to freely enter the "Path". It was not excluded the possibility of a special embodiment (avatar) of a good bodhisattva in an angry hypostasis to fight the enemies of the faith. So, for example, the very popular bullhead Yamantaka ("Killing Death") was the embodiment of the bodhisattva of Manjushri's wisdom, and his incarnation was the Tibetan monarch Tyson Detsan (VIII century AD), whom no one blamed for softness. But with all this we must remember that nowhere and never did Buddhists depart from their basic thesis of the illusory nature of the visible world, although different schools differed on this in detail. In the aspect of ethics, this meant that the love of peace is the biggest obstacle to achieving the goal - nirvana. This characteristic feature of Buddhism distinguished it from theistic systems of Christianity, Islam and Vedanta. Is not this difference in this cardinal issue the reason for the absolute dissimilarity of Buddhism and Bon, and thus one of the reasons for the aggravation of the bloody social struggle that, in the 9th century, did not allow Tibet to become the hegemon of Central Asia?

At present, the Bon is confessed in Sikkim, partly in Bhutan, in Western Tibet, in the Chinese provinces of Szechwan and Yunnan by the South Chinese peoples of the Man, Lolo, Fox, etc.

Materials on the Bon religion are very scarce. First of all, the Chinese information is ancient and new, then the notes of the Moravian missionary A. Franke and the diplomatic agent C. Bell, and, finally, the genuine Bon manuscript delivered by Sarat Chandra Das and partially translated into German by Laufer. The most complete modern studies on bon are contained in the works of G. Hoffmann and R.A. Stein. Information that is given on a bonus in European works is contradictory and vague. As for the description of the Bon in Tibetan sources compiled by Buddhists, one has to reckon with the possibility of deliberate falsification of facts.

The deity, revered by the Bonts, according to C. Bell, is called Kuntuzanko ("kun tu bzang na"), lit. "All-good." But since nothing can, in the opinion of the Bontsevs, appear without a father and mother, next to this deity there is a goddess who acts as a gentle "Great Mother of Mercy and Love", then as an angry "Glorious Queen of Three Worlds," ruling the whole world including China, Tibet, Shanshun and Li. Li is the Tibetan name of Khotan [11, p. 15-77]. This goddess is revered even more than her husband, since her power is connected with the earth, as a result of which she is called "Earth-Mother" in Western Tibet [16, p. 53].

According to the Bon cosmology, the world is made up of three spheres: the celestial region of the gods is white, the earthly region of people is red and the lower world of water spirits is blue. The mystic tree grows through all three universes and is the path through which the worlds are carried away [16, p. 53]. According to one of Bon's versions, in a world in which there was neither form nor reality, a wonderful man appeared between being and non-being, which was called "the created, the master of what is." In the world, then there were no seasons, the forests grew by themselves, but there were no animals. Then there is white light and black light, after which a black man appears, the personification of evil, the creator of strife and war. But there is also a white man, surrounded by light, who is called "He who loves all things." He gives warmth to the sun, orders the stars, gives laws, etc. [21, p. 209].

Tibetans know many varieties of demons, very different from each other [15, p. 636]. This is lha, celestials, good spirits of white color, mostly men. They are vivacious, although the god of war Dalha (Dgralha) is fierce and strong, like the greatest demon. The fine spirits of this variety are used as defenders of Lamaism. The description of white spirits in Waddell coincides with the description of the upper world in A. Franke, and, it is believed, the Bon gods are among the white spirits. The earth is inhabited by evil spirits of tsans (bsan), men of red color. Usually this is the avenging spirit of a priest who is dissatisfied with his death. They dwell mainly in the vicinity of the temples. The main enemies of the Bons and Lamaists are the demons of dud (bdud, mara), most men are black and very malicious. The most evil of them - de Sdre, or hlade (lha 'dre), men and women. Other spirits are much inferior in strength and scope to the above. The devils of the Don (gdon), the motley, causing diseases, the demon-cannibalism synpo (srin) and many others are listed.

The founder of the Bon religion, which laid the foundations of its hierarchy and cult, is Shenrab-mibo from Iran (according to another version - from Shanshong), whose life dates back to the time "before the advent of Buddhism." The legendary biography of Shenrab is preserved, from which one can conclude that he lived with disciples, and died peacefully, leaving behind him confession with bizarrely intertwined elements of esotericism and proselytism. According to Shenrab's biography, the teaching began with the baptism of a teacher in a holy lake (or sea) with the participation of gods, people and naga [17, p. 104]. Then it is said about the preaching of the doctrine and the conversion of many people to it, and finally about how Shenrab, having converted the devas and asuras, reconciled them among themselves. A. Franke gives some of the parables attributed to Shenrab, for example: "Those who can not understand the teachings are like peas on a rock," or: "You will wish for the best to another as you want good for yourself" [17, p. 106]. Before his death, Shenrab predicted the eternity of his teaching and predicted the arrival of a "good teacher" [17, p. 108-109]. A. Franke, citing examples of this kind, seeks to prove that there is a connection between bon and evangelical Christianity.

In general, the European material on the Bon religion is so meager and contradictory that it does not allow not only to draw any conclusions, but even to build hypotheses. Therefore, let us pass directly to the Tibetan Bonn sources, and first of all to a brief account of the most important and interesting places of the "Zermig". This work is a biography of Shenrab, to which we have already referred above.

Nyukus

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Re: Ancient China
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2017, 04:19:30 AM »
Chapter one - "The precursors of Shenrab" [13, p. 2-15]. The first predecessor of Shenrab was in the very remote times Togyal Eken ("gto rgial de khyen"). This teacher preached the doctrine to living beings who were tormented by five poisons (pride, fear, anger, envy, darkness of mind) that can be suppressed by the Bon gods - the priest-god "White Light" (lhha gshen 'od dkar) and others. He rescued from the cycle of being a great many living beings and saved them from physical torment, from a state of misery brought them to a place of rest. But the preaching did not work for countless living beings. Then he went to the heavenly palace "Turquoise House", that in the field of "Wheels of the Great Light", to Elga, who has the lamp of souls (yeh lha seme kii srron machan), and told his biography.

There were three brothers: pure, bright and wise. They preached the Teaching everywhere. Then he himself took the human body and the name Togyal Ekhen and appeared on the earth. The sermon was unsuccessful, and Togial Ekhen asked why he did it. Elchus God, answering him, says that people are scoundrels tortured by five poisons, and even he is not able to save them. He advises the teacher not to despair and to continue his activities, since for this he will reach the perfect place (rude pa 'and gnas). Then the teacher went to God "King of Being" (srid pa'i rgyal on de mu mir pridhodkar). The king of life reassures him and says that in the future everything will be better. The teacher thought: "Gods, priests and being (lhas gshen srid) - these three will be in the same doctrine ... the gods and being are tired in the cycle of being, and they will come out of the world of suffering" [13, p. 13]. Then the teacher said that when he leaves the world of suffering, then after that a merciful teacher appears in the middle kulp who will save all suffering and the cycle of being.

Chapter two - "On the parents of Shenrab" [13, p. 15-39]. The mercy of the gods has diminished, and the mercy of Elk, who has the lamp of souls, has diminished. At the same time, the countries of the world expanded and multiplied. At the source of the four great rivers in the country, that in the western part of the world between the mountains and rocks, was the state of the Long Olmo Valley ('ol mo moong ring). There lived Indian people (dzam booling gi), and there were four kinds of them: great ones related to the royal family, related to the clan of princes (rja'yu), powerful, related to the clan (brahma) clan, and the lower related to the genus of tillers. In that clean country, the chief prince of the town of Barpo Sojad (bar on the brdjad) was chosen by someone named Mugyal Langi Temp (dmu rgyal dan gyi them pa) from the Mu (dmu) dynasty, from the royal family. He was a great man, noble, cared for living things, like a father about children. His wife from the country of Phya had the same qualities as her husband. Since they cared for people, they had a prince born on the eighth day of the full moon in the spring. When he was 13 years old, he married a princess from the city of Lanling (Ling Ling).

Chapter Three - "On the Birth of Shenrab" [13, p. 39-78]. In the sky was a deity named "Pure child of life" (srid pa'i khyeh'u gsal would), who was merciful and thought about the welfare of living beings. He went to heaven to the god-priest, to the god of wisdom "White Light" for advice. Having stated his case, he said that he had prepared the teaching and wanted to preach it. God approved of his undertaking and advised to appear on the earth in the most suitable form of man: "Do not go to teach to the gods ... the gods indulge in pleasures, they do not have free time to hear the doctrine of the coupons, the impossible thing." Do not go to teach to the asuras, They are in the throes of victories and defeats, they do not have time to listen to the doctrine of coupons, it's impossible, do not go to teach animals to the country, they are so stupid that they are mad, they are covered in darkness, they eat each other and therefore tremble with fear and run away. they are covered, there is no time for them to listen s teaching of the Bon ... Do not go to the pretas ... do not go to teach in hell ... and go to the country to teach people who are six categories (classes) ... They spread the teachings of Bon. " [13, p. 41-43]. He chose his country, city and family, in which he was to be born, and entered miraculously into the prince's wife. When Shenrab was born, there was a jubilation in the country. People and different deities make offerings to parents and children and make a circle of honor around them.
Chapter Four - "On the dissemination of the teachings of Shenrab" [13, p. 78-91]. From the sky appear the Bon Bodhisattvas (gyung drung seme des), who come to Shenrab and ask him to tell about the teachings. "In the boon - the width is unlimited, if the force (dbang on) really carry it, then the answer in the answers, words and predictions will be explained," - so answered Shenrab [13, p. 80]. The Bon deities begin to preach his words enthusiastically. Then they again turn to Shenrab and ask for the essence of the teaching. He says: "You priests (gheshey po), who ask if you have a mind of medium strength, then the Bon is explained [to be as] the continuation of being (srid pg ryud)" [13, p. 82]. Again the gods come (among the gods Indra and Brahma) and ask a question about the teaching. Shenrab answers: "Since I, you, asks, have a blessed high power, then the teaching of the black coupons will be explained to you." The gods perceived this everywhere, everywhere, throughout the world they subdued the evil spirits (bdud, mara), which hinder. When the teacher turns three years old, he makes a traditional bath in the sea. In conclusion, it is said that he explained how to draw (subjugate) the body, words and heart.

Chapter five - "On the veneration of deities" [13, p.91-150]. The teacher explained the coupons, but people, being big sinners, although they listened, but did not turn (in faith) and were still born in hell. By his mercy he turned to all the gods-priests (lhas gshen) to dispel the darkness of karma and lead the living and the dead. Five poisons burn the soul, but the difficulty is to draw a person in what prevents the demon (bdud). The teacher preaches to the people of the Olmo country: "Attend zeal, possess the laws, indulge in contemplation, learn wisdom, perform prayers, perform incantations (thabs srub), make offerings, exercise power, possess knowledge!" Disposing of five poisons, you get rid of the cycle of being. " Further, the praise of the gods-priests (lha gshen), Bon and the Bon swastika: "Bon is a god (celestial) born from the center of Yongdong (gyung-drung-bon swastika) ... Bon is a priest (gshen) born from the center (a spell is repeated dozens of times) ... Bon is a god born from the center of heaven, bon is a priest born from the center of heaven.Bon is a god born from the center of being, bon is a priest born from the center of being " .

Chapter Six - "On the veneration of three hundred Lhamo (devi)" [13, p. 150-221]. The teacher goes to preach to the East. He says the following: in order to dispel the darkness of the body, words and hearts, one must esteem three hundred "lhamo". He is asked about their signs, and he answers that there are "Lhamo spheres Who do good, Exercise the essence, Perfect shine, heavenly Lhamo of the Infinite sky, Light-shines-infinite, One hundred thousand rays of light, Spreading the rays of light, Lhamo of the Wind, Fire, Water , The Earth, the Light that conquers the purple and black demons (bdud), the Keeper of the sun, possessing the bright rays of the sun, conquering the demons, The radiant moon, conquering demons-fish, Red lightning bolt, conquering demons, harming (gnod sbiyin), Lhamo East light lamp, Possessing zykami flame blazing, Lhamo Light lamp, Lhamo spreads bright light of the sun "and many others. The people of the country of Josmo, where the teacher preached, were cleansed from all sins, and the teacher returned to his homeland in Olmo.

Chapter Seven - "On the Marriage of Shenrab" [13, p. 221-236]. The teacher took a wife from the country of Hosmo to be like all people. They invite a priest (braham, brahmana) who, after examining his wife, says that she has good signs. Praise is given to these good attributes.

Chapter eight - "On the Children of Shenrab" [13, p. 236-309]. Shenrab has a son. The gods Indra and Brahma appear and wash their son. The priest, the brahmana, examines the signs on the body of the son and finds them good. Then one of the disciples asks Shenrab about peace, and he answers: "The number of material worlds is continuously coming out of purity (from the clear)." The private (separate) is the name of the world, it is the name of the unchanging world (the universe), it is difficult to subdue it and it is really unchanging, it is the only one, based on the basis of the ether (wind), evenly arising, is evenly destroyed. It consists of continents and large continents, from darkness and great darkness, iron mountains and large iron mountains, every small continent , their three thousand, surrounded by a small nkimi iron mountains ... "etc.

Chapter Nine - "On the veneration of thousands of gods (devas), priests, being and lhamo (devi)" [13, p. 309-504]. Praise be given to all the gods, and praise is also given to the teacher Shenrab, who preaches in the West [13, p. 404-405].

Chapter Ten - "About how he (Shenrababa) was tempted by a demon (bdud)" [13, p. 504-560]. There is a so-called state "Enjoying the rays of light of the swastika (Bon) of darkness." In the center of the black army of darkness was a demon named "Penetrating Long Hands" (Khyab pag lag ring), who was very unhappy. All demons drew attention to this and asked him about the reason for the bad mood. He replies that the teacher Shenrab, preaching his teaching, turns people away from demons, so that their country can become completely empty. Shenrab is a great liar and a deceiver. "I am the one who argued for the light that is very suffering, for the lands and countries that I have conquered, I am the one who was fighting for really fighting, I am the one who burns with fire for really being angry ... People suffering now the people who fight now go to the world and do not fight, the people who are angry now go to the world, they do not spite, people who have burning with fire, now go to non-burning, people turn away from us, and few of them, which carry out the activity of demons. ie moving away from the activities of the priests (gshen), a few harsh words uttered demons ... And my country make this dark light, the non-existent "[13, p. 506-509].

Demons send people to the sea, epidemics, etc. The teacher read the spell and thus saved all from the demons. It is reported that the deity-patron ("yi da") Shenrab was a deity-priest White light [13, p. 518]. Further, demons under the guise of his father, mother, brother and friends appear before Shenrab and try to tempt him, convince him to give up his activities. The teacher will read the prayer, and all the people of this prayer became blissful (pacified), and by this prayer he defeated the army of demons who entered his entourage. The prince of demons fled to their country in frustration and loneliness. "The doctrine of the demon has set in, and the teaching of Shenrab is spreading" [13, p. 560].

Chapter Seven - "On the Marriage of Shenrab" [13, p. 221-236]. The teacher took a wife from the country of Hosmo to be like all people. They invite a priest (braham, brahmana) who, after examining his wife, says that she has good signs. Praise is given to these good attributes.

Chapter eight - "On the Children of Shenrab" [13, p. 236-309]. Shenrab has a son. The gods Indra and Brahma appear and wash their son. The priest, the brahmana, examines the signs on the body of the son and finds them good. Then one of the disciples asks Shenrab about peace, and he answers: "The number of material worlds is continuously coming out of purity (from the clear)." The private (separate) is the name of the world, it is the name of the unchanging world (the universe), it is difficult to subdue it and it is really unchanging, it is the only one, based on the basis of the ether (wind), evenly arising, is evenly destroyed. It consists of continents and large continents, from darkness and great darkness, iron mountains and large iron mountains, every small continent , their three thousand, surrounded by a small nkimi iron mountains ... "etc.

Chapter Nine - "On the veneration of thousands of gods (devas), priests, being and lhamo (devi)" [13, p. 309-504]. Praise be given to all the gods, and praise is also given to the teacher Shenrab, who preaches in the West [13, p. 404-405].

Chapter Ten - "About how he (Shenrababa) was tempted by a demon (bdud)" [13, p. 504-560]. There is a so-called state "Enjoying the rays of light of the swastika (Bon) of darkness." In the center of the black army of darkness was a demon named "Penetrating Long Hands" (Khyab pag lag ring), who was very unhappy. All demons drew attention to this and asked him about the reason for the bad mood. He replies that the teacher Shenrab, preaching his teaching, turns people away from demons, so that their country can become completely empty. Shenrab is a great liar and a deceiver. "I am the one who argued for the light that is very suffering, for the lands and countries that I have conquered, I am the one who was fighting for really fighting, I am the one who burns with fire for really being angry ... People suffering now the people who fight now go to the world and do not fight, the people who are angry now go to the world, they do not spite, people who have burning with fire, now go to non-burning, people turn away from us, and few of them, which carry out the activity of demons. ie moving away from the activities of the priests (gshen), a few harsh words uttered demons ... And my country make this dark light, the non-existent "[13, p. 506-509].

Demons send people to the sea, epidemics, etc. The teacher read the spell and thus saved all from the demons. It is reported that the deity-patron ("yi da") Shenrab was a deity-priest White light [13, p. 518]. Further, demons under the guise of his father, mother, brother and friends appear before Shenrab and try to tempt him, convince him to give up his activities. The teacher will read the prayer, and all the people of this prayer became blissful (pacified), and by this prayer he defeated the army of demons who entered his entourage. The prince of demons fled to their country in frustration and loneliness. "The doctrine of the demon has set in, and the teaching of Shenrab is spreading" [13, p. 560].


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Re: Ancient China
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2017, 04:21:41 AM »
Chapter eleven - "On how the demon tempted the environment of Shenrab" [13, p.563-652]. The Demon "Long Hands" is sitting in a dark house and going through. To him come the demons "mom" and the demons "masin" ("ma ma", "ma sreen"). They offer him the following: if he can not defeat Shenrab's teacher, then it's worth taking up his disciples. If the teacher's environment is defeated, then the Bon teachings will come to an end.

The army of demons goes on a campaign to the country of Olmo. But with the blessing of the wonderful charity of the teacher Shenrab, fire flared between the trees of the gardens, and this army was defeated and repelled by the tongues of red flame. Demons re-gather for the second time, intending to destroy the city in which the teacher lives. But a stream of water poured from the city, and the demons were defeated and turned away. Again demons go on a campaign, deciding to finish off this time his children, his wife, women, cattle, pupils.

The teacher was just at that time struggling in paradise. His son at this very moment in the country Olmo at the foot of the mountain preached the faithful disciples the doctrine of yundong-bong (swastika-bon) about the continuity of being ("srid rgyud", being-chain). One hundred perfect boys appeared, who made around him a circle of honor and paid homage. They said: "We believed in the coupons and came to you." We ask you to explain the true coup-the reasons and the results. " About themselves they said that they are children of dragons and devi. He told them that he should listen carefully: "A short body, hands clasped, kneeling, folded hands, holding his breath and numb - listening!" These servants of the demon tell him that love is not enlightened by living beings, and they are asked to tell about the boon that burns like a fire of anger.

The son of Shenrab says to them that those who are angry are born in hell. The servants of the demon are asked to tell about the teachings of the Bon, which boils, like a stream of passions. He tells them that passionate people are born in a place where souls (hearts) are connected, and if they are born people, then poor people, and on death they get to that very place. The servants of the demon say: "There is not a lot of clever people, tell me about the Bon, which regulates ignorance." He tells them that ignorant cretins ("gti-mug") are born in the country of cattle. If people are born, they become idiots-stutterers, and then they are born in the country of cattle. The demons point out to him that there are many envious people who are born everywhere, and they are asked to tell about the coupons that appeared as envy. Objecting to them, he says that envious people are born in distant (barbarian) countries. And if in the center, the commanders of the army, holding a silk banner, and then born in the wild countries. Demons put forward a new argument: if you peacefully convert living beings, then there will be few, and ask to talk about the boon, which rages like the wind of pride.

Son Shenrab denies this as follows: those who have pride, in his opinion, are born in the countries of the asuras. If they are born human beings, then they are soldiers holding weapons. The demons tell him that few adhere to the correct teachings, and those who keep heretical are many. He tells them that the heretical teachings are born long-lived devas. And if people are born, then they are unfit beggars. And then, having accumulated the causes of karma, they are born long-lived devas. The demons told him: "You're all lying!" - and disappeared into the sky.

Then the demons decided to take on women and win in this field. They came to the wives and daughters of the teacher and began to tempt them, talking about the sweetness of sexual relations and censuring the teacher Shenrab, who condemned voluptuousness. One of Shenrab's daughters could not resist the temptation and gave herself to the demon Long Hands. She eventually gave birth to two demonka, and she turned into a witch and was in a country of demons. Her kiddies, the demoniac, once bit so bitten their mother by biting off her breasts that she was close to dying. The teacher, being merciful, said that she could be saved if she returned and bathed in the lake. She was persuaded to return, and she went to her home, taking the former face of a beautiful woman. The demonites were also saved and became human beings. The demonized demons become enthusiastic adorants of the teacher Shenrab.

The final chapters describe how the demon harassed the teacher's animals (horses) and devastated his lands, and also spoke of the teacher's decision to come out of the world of suffering. He decided to leave, as he fulfilled his mission on earth. When he dies, his body is burned: "The body of the deceased Shenrab disintegrated, and due to the fact that the soul was purified by burning, yundong-bon (swastika-bon) makes the doctrine blaze and shine like fire" [13, p. 1068]. "The one that is borne is burned with fire ... the spiritual spirits gathered in the heart are burned with the fire of wisdom" [13, p. 1076].

Other available at our disposal Bon sacred books add little to the above, so we will not dwell on them here. In addition, we give a description of the priestly sacred acts from Chinese sources.

Bon sacred acts are described in Chinese chronicles [2]. They say that every year in the royal cemetery among specially planted trees the king and dignitaries gather for a small oath. To the sacrificial animals - the sheep, dogs and monkeys - break their legs, gutted and cut to pieces, and the priest pronounces the following prayer before the spirits of heaven and earth, mountains, rivers, sun, moon and stars: "Who will change in thought and will feed malice and inconstancy, that they might destroy those spirits, as these beasts "[2, p. 235].

Further in the chronicles it is reported that every three years a great oath is made. At night, various dishes are put on the altar and the horses, cattle and donkeys are stabbed. In the spell they say: "It is up to you to guard my house unanimously and with all my might." The spirits of heaven and earth are aware of your thoughts. Who will change this oath, let it be cut, like sacrificial animals "[2, p. 235].

In a story about the Embassy of Liu Yuandin in Lhasa in 822, a description of the oath ritual is given in the conclusion of a peace treaty: "Priests with a bird's cap on their heads and a brindle belt were beaten in a timpani ... The oath-shaped altar was ten feet across, two feet high" . When reading the vow, those present "anoint the mouth with blood" [2, p. 220-221].

So, we got the most complete description of the Bon faith and the Bon Church in terms of ethnographic and historical-cultural. But nevertheless, we did not answer the main question: which god was worshiped and with what evil did the zealots of the Bon religion fight?

Nyukus

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Re: Ancient China
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2017, 04:27:42 AM »
From the above texts can be extracted several information, reference points for further research:

1. The birthplace of Shenrab, Long Olmo Valley, according to the source, was on the continent of Jambudvipa (Tib. Zam bu-gling - the ancient name of India, and subsequently of the countries adjoining it). Olmo was led not by the Brahmins, but by the Kshatriyas. No matter how much time the information of the text studied by us was concerned, the Kshatriya caste was never associated with the Dravidians, and therefore the indication of the "pure" should be seen as a hint at the Aryan origin of the tribe from which Shenrab came.

2. Accordingly, of the Indian mythological reminiscences, only the pure Aryan deities of Brahma and Indra appear in the text, and the Dravidian Shiva and Vishnu are not even mentioned. These two circumstances make it possible to concentrate the search for analogies among the ancient Aryan cults.

3. It is indicated that Shenrab is the emanation of light [3, p. 881], and his patron deity - the priest-god "White Light", and this allows us to delimit the Bon doctrine from ancient Aryan polytheism and Zoroastrianism, since neither special reverence of light in dogmatics has been introduced. It is known that in ancient Tibet in pre-Buddhist times, Tibetans buried the dead in the land [21, p. 168]. The corpse of Shenrab was burned, and this alone indicates the difference between Bon and Zoroastrianism, for in the latter the corpses were laid out on the tower of silence, so as not to offend the sacred fire and the earth by touching the impure body.

Having noted these ethnographic features, we will try to transfer the problem to a different plane and find an answer to two questions: in which god did the Bonchs believe and what was their evil? Despite the fact that most religions treat moral problems quite similarly, the combination of elements in each of them is individually and unrepeatably, and the most important of them is the doctrine of the nature of good and evil. Despite the fact that practical ethics in theological systems differ in very rare cases and are few, the metaphysical perception of good and evil, rather than useful and harmful, is very rare, and then only in cases where one religion comes from the other. Demons, hostile to Shenrab, are called Mara, that is, deception, lies, evil. This instruction allows us to immediately discard the search for analogies in the ancient Aryan religion, where there was no evil as an independent force at all, and in the canonical Zoroastrianism in which Ahriman appears as an equal rival to Ormuzd. Only in Christianity, the devil is called the father of lies, but the Bon is much older than the apostolic sermon, and this coincidence must be recognized as accidental. In the sources it is constantly noted that the Bon religion requires from the followers active preaching and struggle for the truth, and in no way aspiration for peace, peculiar to the Buddhist doctrine.

The central Bon gods are treated as the King of Being, the White Light, the Pure Child of Being, the God born from the center of the sky, etc. This means that here we do not have the worship of any of the forces of nature, but the cosmos as a whole. Here is an important observation that brings us closer to the goal. The idea of ​​asceticism is alien to Bon, the female deities are worshiped along with the male, and even the supreme god Sanpo (sangs) has his female hypostasis - the Mother of Being Chucham (chhu lcham) [23, p. 8].

Finally, the text says that the teacher Shenrab preached not only to the east, but also to the west. In the same work, Zermig, there is another important place, namely: as one of the translators and commentators of the Bon books, along with Indian and Chinese scientists, the "Wisest Chrysostomor in Rome" (khrom la jhas pas gser tghoge lche b'yams) 13, p. 1123]. Hence, following the texts, we must search for the described system also to the west of the Pamirs, in Iran and the Mediterranean basin in the first fifty years before our era and in the first centuries of our era. Since the history of the religion of the ancient world has been studied quite fully, it can be said with sufficient certainty that only one cult meets all conditions - this is the cult of Mithras, the ancient Aryan deity of the cosmos, the patron of warriors, a fighter against lies and deception.

The cult of Mithras has experienced a long evolution. At the dawn of history, Mithra appears in the primitive Vedic religion as the son of Aditya (Nature or Being) and the brother of Varuna, whose Hellenic analogue was Uranus. In the beginning, Mitra and Varuna were worshiped together [1, p. 25], but then their destinies dispersed. Uranus fell victim to Saturn (Time), and Mithra remained in Iranian mythology and even theology as a deity who keeps vows and punishes liars. In the tenth jade of "Avesta", there are many hymns dedicated to Mithras. We give only one, but a characteristic text. Ahuramazda turned to the Spitam-Zarathushra, saying: "Verily, when I created Mithra, the lord of vast pastures, O Spitama, I created him as worthy of sacrifice and prayer as I, Akhuramazda himself." The villain who will lie to Mithra (or break the contract ), bring death to the whole country, cause the world the same evil as a hundred sinners.On Spitama, do not violate the treaty with either believers or non-believers, since Mithra is for both the faithful and the infidels "[1, p. 279]. The ancient Mithra, the genius of the heavenly light, was worshiped on a par with Ahuramazd, and Darius Histasmus took equally venerable places to the emblems of Ormuzd and Mitra on the walls of his tomb (486 BC) [1, p.293].

Sometimes Mitra is considered a deity, combining the male and female sex. On some Mithraic monuments there are symbols of god and goddess. In many bas-reliefs, Mithra stabs a bull or a ram, which indicates the connection of the cult with sacrifices, but the main cult actions were performed secretly. Xerxes, by a special decree, forbade the veneration of the devas in his empire, but Mithra and Anahita were excluded from the persecuted gods and mentioned in the inscription of Artaxerxes as the allies of Ahura Mazda. [12, p. 8-9]. However, the cult of Mithra in Iran was superseded by the veneration of Amesha Spent, and subsequently Mithra appears as an independent deity, located in the middle between Ormuzd and Ahriman [12, p. 4-6]. The importance of the cult of Mithra in Iran has declined markedly, and its divergence from Zoroastrianism has worsened. But in Asia Minor the cult of Mithras blossomed. He was worshiped by Mithridates, he was honored by the Cilician pirates, in whom the cult of Mithras was borrowed by Roman soldiers, some emperors, for example Aurelianus, Diocletian, Julian the Apostate [9, p. 47-48], and in Iran - commander Bahram Chubin [10, p. 39].

Western Mithraism - the worship of the "Invincible Sun" - could not stand the rivalry with Christianity and Islam and disappeared without a trace. But in the east it was preserved by the Ephtalites, where King Mihirakula, a fighter against Buddhism, advocated it [18, p. 120-123]. The kingdom of the Ephtalites in the early sixth century. included Dardistan in Western Tibet [3, p. 135], so that cultural communication between the Ephtalites and the Shanshun country was easy and even inevitable.

According to the basic thesis of Mithraism, Heaven, together with his wife, the Earth rules all other gods, born of the basic dual god (12, p. 110-111]. Is this a cult we find among Tibetans and Mongols before they accept Buddhism? Further, the Earth-producer, terra Mater, fertilized by water, occupies an important place in rituals and in the teaching of Mithraism [12, p. 116-117], and in the Bontzes one of the main rituals is watering the land with water: "The smoke of incense joins the clouds, pure water is poured into a clean beautiful cup and kept in the right (side or arm). hold (cup) in the left (hand), put (then) in a precious clean vessel "[13, p. 831]. In Mithraism, the four main winds, together with the four seasons, are deified as geniuses of natural forces [12, p. 117], and exactly the same concept exists in the theory of coupons. And most importantly, with Ormuzd Mitra in the world, and sometimes in friendship, but Ahriman is his enemy [12, p. 112]. The name of the evil spirit in Shanshun language is Er, i.e. the first syllable of the name Ahriman [13, p. 504]. Mitra - the deity of light, according to the "Avesta", on the medallion of Cilicia is depicted in the form of a young man with a crown on his head and a dagger in his right hand, which he was prepared to thrust into the throat of the sacrificial bull. On it is a loincloth, reminiscent of a short skirt with folds, the body above the waist is exposed. The crown is a narrow small hoop to the size of the head, topped with sharp teeth. This crown, the symbol of shining light, Mithra received from the sun, over which he won. The blade of the dagger is short and wide, the handle ends in several, one above the other, ball-like thickenings [12, p. 28]. In Bon, Mitra's analogue is the deity "White Light", and he is called not simply a deity ("lha"), but a deity-priest ("lha-gshen"). The word "priest" ("gshen") in the Bonch had a very concrete meaning: in ancient Tibet, this person stabbed the dagger in the throat of the sacrificial animal while performing religious rituals [22 P.102-104].

The founder of the Bon, the teacher Shenrab is considered to be the emanation of light, and his deity-patron was the "White Light". Shenrab is not a name, but a nickname - "the most perfect priest", his generic name was, as already mentioned above, Dmu (according to other sources - Dmura). The deification of individuals took place also in Western Mithraism. It is known that King Trdat of Armenia was worshiped as Emanations of Mithras, and Emperor Nero even intended to personally take part in the ceremony of honoring this king as a deity [12, p. 85-861.

Now let us turn to the modern Tibetan images of Shenrab and compare them with the images of Mithra from Asia Minor. In Tibetan colored drawings, we see Shenrab sitting on the throne, wearing a short loincloth, the body above the waist is exposed. On the head is a crown, exactly the same as that of Mitra, and in Shenrab's right hand there is a gold dagger with a wide and short blade and a handle already familiar to us. The Shenrab's dagger differs from Mithra's dagger only by the longer arm length, which is stretched out so much that the whole blade looks more like a scepter than a weapon of murder [19, p. 213]. The change in the shape of the Bon Dagger is explained, in our opinion, by the fact that the Bonts have long since abandoned Buddhism from the bloody rituals that now no longer exist. To this we should also add that the Mithraic dagger was introduced into the props of Tibetan tantric lamas, most likely in the 8th century. Padmasambhava for suppressing evil spirits and exists until now, preserving its ancient form.

But not only religious details and not so much they determine the proximity of the teachings of Mithraism and Bon. Eastern Mithraism, which preserved archaic features, did not become, like the West, the religion of victory or military success, but remained the teaching of the struggle for truth and loyalty. It did not turn into the "Invincible Sun", but retained its cosmic nature, where the sun was only "the eye of Mithras," and he himself is a deity-priest "White Light." The enemy of eastern Mitra, like Bon's "White Light," was a lie, deception and betrayal, with the latter being understood as the abuse of trust. It is this dogmatic and, at the same time, psychological trait, that makes Mithraism related to the Bon religion and Bon branches from the ancient Mongols.

And finally, the last question: why did Mithraism not get on well with Buddhism, although quite calmly allowed to absorb itself to Christianity and Islam? The common thing in Buddhism and the Bone (Mithraism) is to instruct believers to do good deeds and strive for self-improvement, but the understanding of the good and the purpose for which one should be improved is diametrically opposed. Buddhists consider good either "not doing" or propagating their teachings, which ultimately leads to the same "inaction" for the sake of a total disappearance from life. Mithraists, on the contrary, prescribe a struggle for truth and justice, that is, military exploits, and during the war the hermits are regarded by them as deserters. From the point of view of the Buddhist, the world is the abode of torment, from which it is necessary to escape; cessation of the process of life restoration, i.e. celibacy, is an indispensable condition of salvation. In Mithraism, Mithras is the "master of vast fields," by which he gives fertility. He gives an increase in the number of herds, he also gives those who are honest, healthy, abundant and rich. He is the one who distributes not only material but also spiritual blessings [12, p. 4]. In short, Mithraism is a life-affirming system. But if so, the preaching of the struggle with life, the assertion that the beautiful world surrounding us is maya (illusion) that complete idleness is the most suitable occupation for a talented person and that the best means for the triumph of good is non-resistance to evil-all this seemed to be a monstrous lie to the Mithraists-Bons, and it was necessary to fight with lies, as prescribed by their law. That is why Buddhism met such fierce resistance in Tibet and Mongolia and won, and even then not completely, only when the internal wars took the most active part of the population to the abyss, and the remaining ones no longer had the strength or the desire to resist the new doctrine that promised peace and called for a way out of this cruel world of suffering. Then in Asia the yellow faith triumphed.

Even after our article was finished, we were able to decipher the ancient Tibetan geographical map, which was published in the Tibetan-Shanshun dictionary [23]. It was explained by this map that the country of Olmo is nothing else than Elam, which means Iran of the times of Achaemenids, the city in which Shenrab was born, is Pasargada. It was also possible to establish that the beginning of the origin of the Bon doctrine dates back to the time of the Persian conquest of Medes and Babylon (these episodes are in Tibetan sources), i.e. by the time of Cyrus II. According to Tibetan sources, which are corrected by the ancient Iranian, the Bon doctrine in Iran was almost completely destroyed by Xerxes (fifth century BC), whom the Tibetans call Khrisha, and also Sriharsha (dr.-Hsiarsha). It was also possible to analyze one dark place from the biography of Shenrab, in which, as we now understand, it is said that this work was originally composed in Elam, where it was written in Phoenician letters [13, p. 1167].

Neutron

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Re: Ancient China
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2017, 09:51:15 AM »
Looking forward to adding dlc for Tibet. Lots of cool stuff there, and amazing landscape.
Live in interesting times

anguille

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Re: Ancient China
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2017, 10:56:23 PM »
Sounds great!