Item description for The Cultural History of Tibet by David L. Snellgrove & Hugh Richardson...
The Khmers were first noticed by the Chinese when they began to occupy neighbouring maritime territories, Champa and Funan; their own recorded history commences with inscriptions from the 5th century onward. They soon extended their power northwards and westwards, eventually occupying almost the whole area of present-day Thailand. At every advance new temple-fortresses were built and the circumstances of their foundation inscribed in Sanskrit and in Khmer: the source of the history of the Khmers up to the 14th. The Thai advance from the north was largely responsible for their subsequent contraction; Hinduism and the Mahayana Buddhism favoured by the old Khmer aristocracy, was replaced by the Theravada Buddhism of Burma and Thailand. The result of 10 years of research, this is an authoritative description of the rise and eventual fall of the Khmer empire. Colour illustrations, not only of the better known monuments but of many of the more obscure sites complement the text.
Promise Angels is dedicated to bringing you great books at great prices. Whether you read for entertainment, to learn, or for literacy - you will find what you want at promiseangels.com!
Reviews - What do customers think about The Cultural History of Tibet?
May complement Samuel's "Civilized Shamans" Sep 2, 2006
This earlier work seems mostly trumped by Geoffry's Samuel's more recent and comprehensive (and apparently more accurate) "Civilized Shamans". I'm just a lay reader so my assessment could be wrong, but Samuels provides evidence of a much richer non-clerical influence than Snellgrove and Richardson do.
Both books acknowledge the role of the Bon religion, but Samuels is more inclined to be skeptical of Bon claims to pre-date Buddhism. Samuels also seems more inclined to acknowledge at times limitations in our knowledge of Tibetan history.
Whereas Snellgrove and Richardson make only mention once of Dzogchen, Samuels refers to it in a number of passages, including one that ties it to Bon. To be fair to a "Cultural History of Tibet", it is less than half the length of Samuel's book.
What I don't know is how much has been learned since "A Cultural History of Tibet" was written around 1968 that might conflict with it. My impression is that most of it would withstand the test of time except the big challenge that Samuels presents in "Civilized Shamans" by digging into Tibetan history and uncovering a stronger non-clerical influence than Richardson and Snellgrove present.
Again, I am only a layman and I'm trusting that Samuels' presentation is based on the high level of scholarship it seems to reflect. There may be no "either/or choice" here: "A Cultural History of Tibet" is organized well and packed with facts and assessments.
A well-balanced History of Tibet Oct 13, 1997
This is the best book I have read on the history of Tibet, especially as it pertains to religion. It fairly treats the BON as well as all four Sects of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism equally. Unlike other histories or recent art books on Tibet written by western converts, this work does not reflect a personal political agenda.