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Some preliminary remarks on the influx of New Worlds silver into Tibet during China's "Silver Century" (1550-1650).

The economic history of Tibet is an excruciatingly difficult subject to deal with, in large part because of the dearth of sources that directly deal with large economic issues. As a result, one must work with materials that are generally anecdotal where economic matters are concerned and draw what inferences may seem reasonable. This paper is intended as a preliminary attempt at understanding one element of Tibet's place in the economy of the Post-Columbian world. Indeed, the main thrust of what I have to say is that Tibet has always been a part of the larger world, not simply physically, but economically and culturally. Much as I see the demographic center of gravity of Tibetans shifting to the east after the 13th and 14th centuries as a result of global forces (the decline of Buddhism in India and the resulting hazards of pilgrimage, as well as the resurgence of the Mi-nyag/Tangut population in Khams, enhanced by the diaspora from the crushed Tangut state), so too I recognize a role for the effects of global trade in Tibet in the wake of the flood of silver into China after massive silver and gold deposits were discovered in the New World following the post-1492 Spanish exploration and colonization of the Americas. The question, though, is what the actual effects of this aspect of globalization had in Tibet. This paper represents an opening of the subject--hence it is termed "preliminary." Ultimately it will be necessary to attempt to gather figures about the relative value of goods and metals in Tibet over the course of the 16th and 17th centuries before we can advance beyond what I see here as the mere broaching of the subject for research.

The significance of New World silver cannot be underestimated: from approximately 1550 to 1800, more than 80% of the world's silver came from the Americas. The Spanish took control of mines that had been producing silver before 1492 and began minting coins in the Americas; first in Mexico in 1535 and a few decades later in Peru. (1) With the Spanish occupation of the Philippines in 1565 large scale trade between Asia and the new world commenced almost immediately with this archipelago as its base. (2) Precious metals mined in the Americas--generally in the form of minted coins (3)--quickly became the primary items that Spanish traders used in trade with Asia and over the space of a few decades the transshipment of New World silver via the Philippines had a major effect on Asian trade. A disproportionate amount of that silver wound up in China where the foreign demand for Chinese goods was met by a Chinese demand for silver, and during the period from approximately 1550 to 1650 the amount of silver in China grew with exceeding rapidity. The percentage of New World silver that ended up in China was certainly enormous--it is variously estimated at a third or more (4)--and there is no doubt that it affected tremendous changes in China's economic life. Indeed it was not simply the desire for the China trade that produced this situation: internally, post-Yuan China began a new monetization policy that ultimately made silver the monetary standard. This Chinese desire did mitigate the relative value of the metal--there was not simply a deluge that no one knew how to handle. But over a period of several decades there were a variety of studies that produced different interpretations of the situation. (5)

None of this is to say that there was little or no silver in China prior to the 16th century, or in Tibet, for that matter. Far from it; silver had been mined in Asia for millennia. We also find silver used in various forms of exchange and commerce well before the European discovery of the New World. Japanese silver, we may note, was also important during the Ming period. But previous indigenous production was swamped by the amount that came from the Americas, a development that had a dramatic and unprecedented effect; indeed, a revolutionary one. And Tibet could certainly not have been exempt from its effects. Although I propose this at the outset, I must also tamp down excessive expectations of what may be proven here. Whereas we have a certain amount of quantifiable data from which to estimate the circulation of silver in general and New World silver in particular in China, we have a rather opposite situation in Tibet, where we are forced to make suppositions based on Chinese sources, which in this case are crucial, and from anecdotal evidence in Tibetan materials. Thus, while it has been possible for scholars to estimate the relative value of silver vis-a-vis copper, for instance, in China (though not without disagreements), we have no Tibetan source materials from which to draw similar inferences. All that we can say is that there was a definite increase in the flow of silver from China into Tibet in the period in question. And while Tibet, like China, had a long prior history of using silver in ways similar to its neighbors, this flow must certainly have affected the value and use of the precious metal on the Plateau through a process similar to what is found in China: as the supplies increased it would likely have become more commonly used. It is as a result of this excess that I believe we see the increased appearance of silver in presentations by the court to Tibetans, lay and secular, who paid "tribute."

In addition, there is the added issue of silver flowing into Tibet from another source: India. But here it should be borne in mind that India at this time was likely a lesser source for the increased supply. For one thing, New World silver made its way to China much earlier, due to the utility of the Philippines as a way-station. The New World silver which entered India--most notably at Surat--was largely a result of the Indian Ocean trade, which brought European ships around Africa from the metropole. In addition, New World Silver also entered Indian Ocean commerce via the overland route from the Ottoman Empire. Given that the entry of silver from the Americas into Mughal India was related to trade with the Ottomans and with Persia; it consequently took a longer time to develop as compared to its course in China. (6)

In attempting to gauge the frequency of silver being sent into Tibet it is useful to look at the various relevant transactions recorded in the Ming shilu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Most importantly these include the presentations made to Tibetans coming to court and to others presenting tribute. But before turning to the shilu we ought to look at the Ming huidian [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], the important compendium of governmental statutes. The work was first completed in 1503, and revised in 1510 and 1587. (7) The contents make it clear that the bulk of information in it reflects the situation before the effects of the "Silver Century" made themselves felt. Within this compilation we find clearly articulated imperial regulations relating to presentations to Tibetan lamas:

 Xifan [i.e., Tibetan areas in the West], Dbus-Gtsang. Since the

 Hongwu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [1368-1398] and Yongle

 [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [1403-1424] periods presentations

 have not been ranked. We have restored the set ranks for lamas and

 Fan [i.e., Tibetan] monks. Those who arrive at the capital after

 being sent on from Sichuan are each to be given one lined

 multicolored satin robe (caiduan biaoli [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN

 ASCII]) and a set of fine silk (zhusi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN

 ASCII]) garments uniformly of natural color. Those left behind on

 the frontier are to be rewarded similarly: for the multi-colored

 satin robes, an extensive gift of four rolls of raw coarse silk

 (zhe yukuo shengjuan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]); (8) for the

 set of fine silk garments comprising two garments with one given

 with natural color, three rolls of raw coarse silk. All are to be

 rewarded with fifty ingots worth of paper money, boots and

 stockings equivalent to paper money valued at 50 ingots, and sixty

 jin of food and tea.

Each lama and Fan monk among those who arrive at the capital after being sent on from Taozhou [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Hezhou [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] are to be given as their equivalent garments of one lined multi-colored robe (subsequently augmented by one inner and outer lining), two pieces of fine silk with damask added as lining (lingtie liyi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). The Fan monks, etc., who remain at the border are to be similarly rewarded. As an equivalent to the multi-colored satin robe they are to receive four rolls of raw coarse silk. All are to receive fifty jin of food and tea, and boots and stocking equivalent to paper money valued at 50 ingots. Those who come and present middle-grade military horses are to receive for each horse one roll of fine silk and paper money worth 300 ingots. For woolen serge and similar items the precedents have given no prices. For those who present local products the return presentations are four lined multicolored robes. If the Fan violate the regulations and dispatch too many people, for each person there is to be a reduction of two, one, or three rolls of coarse silk, or a reduction of the damask-lined garments.

Following the Zhengde [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [1506-1521] period, two dharmaraja violated the regulations in sending tribute and for many years sent as many as a thousand people. (9) And so the regulations were followed and rewards reduced. Those who came to the capital received a lined multi-colored satin robe and those left at the frontier received three rolls of coarse silk.

In the sixth year of Jiajing [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [1526/1527] a memorial was accepted that effectively regularized the rewards for Fan [lay] people and monks from Dbus-Gtsang, Chang Hexi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Mdo-khams (Duo-Gansi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), Dongbuhanhu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Rgyal-rong (Jinchuan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), Rdza-yul (Zayu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), the Dasi man ("barbarians") [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], the "Jiakewa" monastery [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Songpan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Tao[zhou] and Min[zhou] [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and other places and as the equivalent of a multi-colored satin robe all were given one roll [of silk]. As the equivalent for those who presented horses, the horses would be calculated and the equivalence given. (10)

[For] rewards the Branch Ministry of Personnel (Xing Libu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) of the Ministry of Rites (Libu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) requested the bestowal of letters patent. Each ya-men [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of the imperial storehouses, kept two pieces of crafted brocade work, ten lined garments of fine silk, a set of kasaya (jiasha [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) monk's robes, one high-peaked monk's hat, one crystal mala, two pairs of cymbals, two pairs of bells and sticks, two white porcelain tea bowls, one mandala (mandala [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), one phoenix ribbon (luandai [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) belt, one pair each of boots and stockings, 100 jin of food and tea, and a stick of sandalwood. Imperial orders were requested to have the the Daci'en Monastery [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] put forward two lamas as Commissioner and Vice-Commissioner (zheng-fushi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), bringing with them ten others. They, like the original lamas who had come asking for appointment, with hands raised to receive it, went out to the Fan region to confer the appointments. A translator was dispatched with them. They were escorted halfway. When they reached the Sichuan Provincial Administration Commission (Buzhengsi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) it was delivered. They exited the country at Lizhou [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] or Tianquan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. The Commissioner and Vice-Commissioner were each rewarded with eighty ingots worth of paper money. The lamas received sixty ingots worth. All were given one set of Fan monks clothing, each a pair of boots and stockings. The Zanshan wang [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [Gling-tshang] was given his appointment. He exited the country via Taozhou in Shaanxi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] The Chanhua wang [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [Phag-mo gru] and three other wang exited the country from Sichuan.

In the 5th year of Chenghua [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [1469/1468] the Chanhua and Fujiao [Stag-tshang-pa] wang were appointed. A Commissioner and others were dispatched, carrying with them goods with which to secure safe passage: 25,000 jin of food and tea, 300 rolls of fine silk, 100 rolls of gauze, 1,000 rolls of coarse silk, 3,500 rolls of blue and red cotton, 10,000 strips of gold leaf, and 100 jin of pepper. (11)

In the 16th year [1480/1481] rewards were given to the Chanhua wang and to thirty returning appointees including a lama Buddhist rectifier (jueyi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), etc. (12) The Commissioner, meditation master (chanshi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) and Buddhist rectifier each received 80 ingots worth of paper money, three lined multi-colored satin robes, and three rolls of coarse silk. The vice-commissioner and clerical supervisor (dugang [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) received 60 ingots worth of paper currency and one lined garment. The lamas who were dispatched each received 40 ingots worth of paper currency and one lined garment. All were given one set of fine silk clerical garments, one pair of boots and stockings. Those bringing groups each received 20 ingots worth of paper currency and one lined garment. For the presentation of serge and other such objects no value was assigned. (13)

Tibet and New World Silver

This long passage is useful in that it allows us to understand at a glance the general types of items that were used in transactions between the Ming court and Tibetans. To sum up what we have just seen, the goods provided to Tibetans in the description in the Ming huidian are as follows:

Boots and Stockings

Coarse silk


Cymbals and bells

Fine silk

Food and Tea


Gold Leaf



Monastic robes and hats

Paper Money





Satin robes

Various garments

This list is naturally not exhaustive and a few caveats are in order; most importantly the fact that silver was used in some presentations (not described here), having been part of the Chinese and Tibetan economies before the massive influx of New World silver. What is striking and significant is that there is no silver included among the presentations described in the Ming huidian. The equivalent of silver ingots in paper money is mentioned, but not actual silver. Gold is also absent, we may note. Still, what makes this particularly interesting is that when we begin to look more closely at actual records of valuables being presented and traded to Tibetans we do notice a change. Again, it is not that we don't find silver mentioned in dealings with Tibetans during the first two centuries of the Ming. But it is far more infrequent than later. This is what I find when I looked at records of presentations similar to those recorded in the Ming huidian as they occur in the Ming shilu. The number of such presentations is enormous, but a glance at those earlier in the dynasty bears out the impression given by the Ming huidian of the relative infrequency of silver presentations. Zeroing in with more precision, we can look at the figures from 1550 until the end of the dynasty, relating to presentations made to Tibetan hierarchs, the sort of presentations that the Ming huidian discusses. In doing so, we must bear in mind the chronology of Spanish commerce between the Americas, the Philippines, and the Asian mainland; specifically, the establishment of Spanish control over the Philippines in 1565 which turned Manila into the main entrepot for the commerce in new World silver for Asian goods. Indeed, Manila also came to support a substantial Chinese trading population as well. The success of trade in the Philippines produced substantial profits: it is estimated that Spanish merchants based in the New World who sent out silver to buy Asian goods in Manila may have even quadrupled their initial outlays when the items purchased with that silver were brought and sold in the Americas. (14) The incentive for shipping silver to Asia was enormous, but it was matched by China's need for silver.

If we begin looking at transactions from the 1550s (before the commerce in silver from the Americas burgeoned) of the sort just described, we find throughout a few shilu entries with no mention of specific return gifts, simply a note that visiting Tibetans were rewarded, or else feted at a banquet. Some of these entries are interesting for their own sake, as when the Chanhua wang, i.e., Phag-mo-gru, in an entry for January 2, 1562, is said to have presented particularly crude and awful (cu'e [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) regional products, (15) or when, on August 17, 1584, Tibetans offer a silver mandala. (16) When we do find indications of specific gifts, we notice a dearth of silver presentations at first--and we do need to bear in mind the absence of silver in the Ming huidian statutes on prescribed gifts for Tibetans. Even just beginning in the crucial year 1565 there is little disbursement of silver. But after a few years, we note shilu entries describing the following gifts sent off with Tibetans (entries mentioning silver are in bold):

1. July 22, 1572: the equivalent of satin, clothing, money, given as 542 liang [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of silver. (17)

2. October 15, 1572: satin, coarse silk, silver and paper money. (18)

3. December 2, 1572: satin, coarse silk, ingots valued in paper money, silver liang. (19)

4. December 26, 1572: satin, coarse silk, silver and paper money. (20)

5. May 6, 1573: lined multi-colored satin robes, coarse silk, paper money and silver liang. (21)

6. October 6, 1573: coarse silk and paper money. (22)

7. October 29, 1573: satin. coarse silk, silver and paper money. (23)

8. December 6, 1574: coarse silk and paper money. (24)

9. November 18, 1575: paper money and coarse silk. (25)

10. February 20, 1576: coarse silk, paper money and silver. (26)

11. March 10, 1576: silver and money. (27)

12. June 9, 1576: silver and money. (28)

13. December 21, 1578: silver. (29)

14. July 27, 1579: silver and coins. (30)

15. January 7, 1581: coarse silk and paper money. (31)

16. July 8, 1582: satin and paper money. (32)

17. June 8, 1585: multi-colored satin and rolls of coarse silk. (33)

18. April 9, 1588: multi-colored silk (caibi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), silver and paper money. (34)

19. January 28, 1594: coarse silk, silver, paper money and coins. (35)

20. February 18, 1596: satin, coarse silk and ingots valued in paper money. (36)

21. July 19, 1596: clothing and compensation for horses (cf. the Ming huidian). (37)

22. February 26, 1597: satin and paper money. (38)

23. April 14, 1597: compensation for horses, rolls of coarse silk and ingots valued in paper money. (39)

24. February 15, 1598: multi-colored satin, coarse silk and ingots valued in paper money. (40)

25. June 11, 1600: satin and silks, boots and stockings. (41)

26. July 9, 1603: satin, paper money, food and tea. (42)

27. March 25, 1604: silver ingots and rolls of satin. (43)

28. June 9, 1605: satin, paper money, boots and stockings. (44)

29. July 13, 1605: food and tea, coarse silk and paper money. (45)

30. October 13, 1605: satin, coarse silk, silver and paper money. (46)

31. March 13, 1608: coins and paper money. (47)

32. March 18, 1608: satin and paper money. (48)

33. February 21, 1609: satin and paper money. (49)

34. February 14, 1610: satin, coarse silk, silver and paper money. (50)

35. July 9, 1610: satin, coarse silk, silver and coins. (51)

36. March 20, 1611: boots and stockings, coarse silk and paper money. (52)

37. June 30, 1611: satin, coarse silk, silver and paper money. (53)

38. July 14, 1611: paper money and coarse silk. (54)

39. August 28, 1611: satin, coarse silk, silver and paper money. (55)

40. April 6, 1613: gold-brocade flowered silk (zhijin wenji [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) and ingots valued in paper money. (56)

41. January 2, 1614: satin, paper money, and food and tea. (57)

42. April 27, 1614: rolls of coarse silk, silver liang valued in satin. (58)

43. December 21, 1614: silver liang valued in coarse silk. (59)

44. May 23, 1615: satin rolls and silver liang. (60)

45. May 8, 1617: coarse silk and paper money. (61)

46. October 30, 1617: compensation for horses in rolls of satin and silver liang. (62)

47. December 1, 1617: coarse silk and paper money. (63)

48. August 4, 1618: satin and coarse silk. (64)

49. August 10, 1618: silver liang valued in satin. (65)

50. September 26, 1618: rolls of satin and silver liang. (66)

51. October 2, 1618: satin and coarse silk. (67)

52. August 26, 1619: multi-colored silk. (68)

53. September 4, 1619: multi-colored silk. (69)

54. November 24, 1619: multi-colored silk. (70)

We have here a very interesting illustration, I think, of the spread of New World silver into Tibet. Of the 54 recorded specific reciprocal presentations made to Tibetan hierarchs by the Ming court in the period after 1550, fully 22 can be said to have involved silver. The number of entries that have been omitted because no items (or only banquets) are specified is small. Among the rest, almost all of the other items for presentations are easily recognizable from the recorded statutes in the Ming huidian. But silver, which is not mentioned there, is extremely prominent in the list just given; considering its relative absence from the records before the middle of the sixteenth century must be considered to have acquired its place through the disproportionate amount of silver flowing into China. As already noted, more than 80% of the world's silver came from the America's in the period between 1550 and 1800; one third of that, it is estimated, ended up in China. (71) Clearly, a portion that silver travelled further and ended up in Tibet.

In the same period for which we have looked at court presentations to Tibetans we have references to the trade in tea for horses which are less clear in indicating an influx of silver. Tea remained a viable commodity (and this continued into modern times). So while there are intermittent references to silver in some of these entries, the issue is complex and the tea-horse trade is more difficult to analyze because of the prevalence (admitted in various shilu entries) of private, illegal commerce in horses along the frontier. (72)

From the Tibetan side we can adduce some unsystematized information. When the 5th Karma-pa arrived at the Ming court in 1407, among the presentations from the emperor recorded in a Ming shilu entry for February 2, 1407, are one hundred liang of gold and one thousand liang of silver. (73) In addition, there were recorded presentations of silver for members of his entourage as well. The Zla-ba chu-shel-gyi 'phreng-ba also mentions presentations during the same period (but not on the same day): seven bre of gold and thirty-seven bre of silver. (74) Similarly, we know of presentations of silver for other hierarchs honored by the Ming emperor during this period. If we move forward into the 17th century, we find that the 10th Karma-pa, Chos-dbyings rdo-rje (1604-1674), during his stay in 'Jang-sa-tham is the recipient of offerings from the king that included on one occasion in 1633, various valuable gifts including 200 srang of silver and in ca 1640-1642 "much silver" in return for five days of ritual. (75) It is not unexpected for us to find ample silver at the disposal of the emperor for honored hierarchs who are specifically invited to court. However, I would once again note that in the general statutes, ordinary visiting clerics were not prescribed silver as presents; yet later on that is indeed what we see. Similarly, in the presentations of silver by the king of 'Jang-sa-tham we may conjecture that by the 17th century what was previously a relatively luxurious gift was available to the extent that a petty king could make use of it. This is, of course, anecdotal, and the conclusions to be reached are limited. But we are in fact looking at records from a time before the influx of New World silver and a time after it. The explanation might just be as simple as that.

Of course, silver also likely reached Tibet via India. But the influx of New World silver came to India later than it did to China. As already noted, much of the silver reaching India came via Europe (i.e., Spain) and was an extension of European trade with the Ottoman Empire and Persia. Silver shipped to Surat, the most important entrepot for it, came via Spain, not the Philippines, although some did arrive via the trade with Southeast Asia as well. Significant Indian imports of silver from the Americas really begin only at the beginning of the 17th century. Did these imports reach Tibet? Undoubtedly a certain amount did, but we have little documentation with which to attack this question. We do have for the late 17th century the well-known, detailed journal of the Armenian merchant Hovhannes Joughayetsi, who travelled to Tibet to trade. By the time of his trip silver is the common currency. This is important, since much earlier in the century Portuguese imports of copper had been one of the major sources for what was then the primary material used in Indian coinage. (76) But Hovhannes's daily living expenses in Tibet are recorded and measured in silver and indicate average daily expenses of 3.79 grams of silver as opposed to 8.18 grams when he was in India. (77) This does demonstrate the ascent of silver as a currency in India; however, we still lack the sort of detailed information that will permit a substantive analysis of the discrepancy in daily expenses that might say something more about the relative cost of living in Tibet as compared to India, and the actual circulation of silver inside Tibet.

The fact that Hovhannes considered silver a common currency in Tibet underlines the observation that Tibet had been affected by the global trade in silver and, to carry the connection further, by the expansion of Europe into the Americas. In brief, Tibet was a part of the world. It was never other than that, of course, but it is important to understand that it was an active part of the world and of the world system whose creation was set in motion by the Columbian voyages.

The present paper represents a very small step in elucidating the details of Tibet's place in the post Columbian world. The basic elements explored here have only been examined in the most basic way possible. Following from this it remains for us to expand upon this work and begin an analysis of all the Chinese data that we have about interchange and exchange between Tibet and post-Columbian China, whether these be incidents of commerce, tribute, or anything else. And then there is a need to undertake the difficult and painstaking work of examining Tibetan materials for the accounts of such incidents that they contain. It is a considerable task, but it should yield valuable information for the study of both Tibetan history and world history.

Elliot Sperling


(1) Harry E. Cross, "South American bullion production and export 1550-1750," in J.F. Richards (ed.), Precious Metals in the Later Medieval and Early Modern Worlds, Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 1983, pp. 397-398.

(2) John J. Tepaske, "New World silver, castile and the Philippines 1590-1800," in J.F. Richards, op. cit. p. 435.

(3) Cross, op. cit, p. 398.

(4) Richard von Glahn, Fountain of Fortune: Money and Monetary Policy in China, 1000-1700, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996, p. 113.

(5) Ibid., pp. 3-7, which discusses the varied interpretations of the silver influx into China.

(6) Joseph J Brennig, "Silver in seventeenth-century Surat: Monetary circulation and the price revolution in Mughal India," in J.F. Richards, op. cit., pp. 478-482.

(7) See the prefaces, which can be dated respectively to January 8, 1503, January 28, 1510, and March 24, 1587: Ming Huidian [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Taipei, 1968), 1-6.

(8) Taiwan edition reads zhe kuo shengjuan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

(9) This would appear to be a reference not to dharmaraja (Ch. Fawang [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), but to the two wang [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], the Fujiao wang [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Stag-tshang Sa-skya-pa) and the Chanjiao wang [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ('Bri-gung-pa) who are mentioned in the Mingshi with several other, otherwise unnamed wang, as sending excessive numbers of people to court on tribute missions. See Zhang Tingyu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Mingshi (Beijing, 1974) 331:8576.

(10) This was the result of a memorial from the Ministry of Rites and is alluded to in an entry in the Ming shilu. See Ge Zucheng [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] et al., Ming shilu Zangzu shiliao [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Lhasa, 1982), p. 982. The areas named seem to be centered in the eastern Khams region.

(11) On February 7, 1469, appointments were made which allowed the appointees to inherit the titles which had been held by their fathers. See Gu Zucheng op. cit., p. 674.

(12) This seems to refer to a mission from the Chanhua wang and others recorded in an entry in the Ming shilu for October 2, 1480. See Gu Zuchengt op. cit., p. 753.

(13) Ming Huidian [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. I have cited here the Taiwan edition (a reprint of an earlier Shangwu yinshuguan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] version originally printed on the mainland) of the Ming huidian, which places the passage in juan 112. The electronic Siku chuanshu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Wenyuange [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] edition) has this passage (with significant omissions and differences) in juan 102 (102: 9a-11a). Elsewhere, the passage is found in juan 111. Cf., Wang Lixiong [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], "Shousuo neixiang de Mingchao--Xixang yu Zhongguo de lishi guanxi (3) [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (3) ( [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]

(14) Tepaske, op. cit., p. 435.

(15) Gu Zucheng op. cit, p. 1052

(16) Ibid, p. 1122.

(17) Ibid, p. 1075.

(18) Ibid, p. 1076.

(19) Ibid, p. 1078.

(20) Ibid, p. 1079.

(21) Ibid, p. 1081.

(22) Ibid, p. 1082.

(23) Ibid, p. 1082.

(24) Ibid, p. 1084.

(25) Ibid, p. 1089.

(26) Ibid, p. 1091.

(27) Ibid, p. 1093.

(28) Ibid, p. 1095.

(29) Ibid, p. 1104.

(30) Ibid, p. 1107. Note here bi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is used for coins, not silk.

(31) Ibid, p. 1110

(32) Ibid, p. 1116.

(33) Ibid, p. 1125.

(34) Ibid, p. 1144.

(35) Ibid, p. 1180.

(36) Ibid, p. 1185.

(37) Ibid, p. 1190.

(38) Ibid, p. 1192.

(39) Ibid, p. 1194.

(40) Ibid, p. 1198.

(41) Ibid, p. 1201.

(42) Ibid, p. 1206.

(43) Ibid, p. 1207.

(44) Ibid, p. 1208.

(45) Ibid, p. 1209.

(46) Ibid, p. 1210.

(47) Ibid, p. 1217.

(48) Ibid, p. 1217.

(49) Ibid, p. 1220.

(50) Ibid, p. 1222.

(51) Ibid, p. 1222.

(52) Ibid, p. 1224.

(53) Ibid, p. 1225.

(54) Ibid, p. 1225.

(55) Ibid, p. 1225.

(56) Ibid, p. 1228.

(57) Ibid, p. 1229.

(58) Ibid, p. 1229.

(59) Ibid, p. 1231.

(60) Ibid, p. 1231.

(61) Ibid, p. 1233.

(62) Ibid, p. 1234.

(63) Ibid, p. 1234.

(64) Ibid, p. 1236.

(65) Ibid, p. 1236.

(66) Ibid, p. 1236.

(67) Ibid, p. 1236.

(68) Ibid, p. 1237.

(69) Ibid, p. 1237.

(70) Ibid, p. 1238.

(71) von Glahn, op. cit., p. 113.

(72) This difficulty in asserting government control over the tea-horse trade started quite early; see the Ming shilu entry for March 13, 1397, bemoaning the problem in Gu Zucheng, op. cit, p. 106.

(73) Gu Zucheng, op. cit., p. 130.

(74) Ta'i Si-tu-pa Kun-mkhyen Chos-kyi 'byung-gnas bstan-pa'i nyin-byed [=Si-tu pan-chen Chos-kyi 'byung-gnas], Bsgrub-brgyud Karma kam-tshang brgyud-pa rin-po-che'i rnam-par thar-pa rab-'byams zla-ba chu-shel-gyi phreng-ba, in Ta 'i Si-tu-pa Kun-mkhyen Chos-kyi 'byung-gnas bstan-pa'i nyin-byed, Ta'i Si-tu-pa Kun-mkhyen Chos-kyi 'byung-gnas bstan-pa'i nyin-byed-kyi bka'-'bum (Sansal, Himachal Pradesh, 1990), vol 11, f. 229v.

(75) Unpublished biography of Chos-dbyings rdo-rje from ff. 172a and 176a, quoted in Karl Debreczeny, Ethnicity and Power: Negotiating the Sino-Tibetan Synthesis in Ming Buddhist Painting, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Chicago, 2007, pp. 300 and 342.

(76) Joseph J Brennig, op. cit. p. 478.

(77) Levon Khachikian, "The Ledger of the Merchant Hovhannes Joughayetsi," Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal VIII (1966), p. 168.
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Author:Sperling, Elliot
Publication:The Tibet Journal
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Sep 22, 2009
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