TIBET, n.p. The general name o f the vast and lofty table-land of which the Himalaya forms the southern marginal range, and which may be said roughly to extend from the Indus elbow, N.W. of Kashmir, to the vicinity of Sining-fu in Kansuh (see SLING) and to Tatsienlu on the borders of Szechuen, the last a distance of 1800 miles. The origin of the name is obscure, but it came to Europe from the Mahommedans of Western Asia; its earliest appearance being in some of the Arab Geographies of the 9th century.

Names suggestive of Tibet are indeed used by the Chinese. The original form of these (according to our friend Prof. Terrien de la Couperie) was Tu-pot; a name which is traced to a prince so called, whose family reigned at Liang-chau, north of the Yellow R. (in modern Kansuh), but who in the 5th century was driven far to the south-west, and established in eastern Tibet a State to which he gave the name of Tu-pot, afterwards corrupted into Tu-poh and Tu-far. We are always on ticklish ground in dealing with derivations from or through the Chinese. But it is doubtless possible, perhaps even probable, that these names passed into the western form Tibet, through the communication of the Arabs in Turkestan with the tribes on their eastern border. This may have some corroboration from the prevalence of the name Tibet, or some proximate form, among the Mongols, as we may gather both from Carpini and Rubruck in the 13th century (quoted below), and from Sanang Setzen, and the Mongol version of the Bodhimor several hundred years later. These latter write the name (as represented by I. J. Schmidt), Tubet and Tobot.

[c. 590.—“Tobbat.” See under INDIA.]

851.—“On this side of China are the countries of the Taghazghaz and the Khakan of Tibbat; and that is the termination of China on the side of the Turks.”—Relation, &c., tr. par Reinaud, pt. i. p. 60.

c. 880.—“Quand un étranger arrive au Tibet (al-Tibbat), il éprouve, sans pouvoir s’en rendre compte, un sentiment de gaieté et de bien être qui persiste jusqu’au départ.”—Ibn Khurdadba, in J. As. Ser. vi. tom. v. 522.

c. 910.—“The country in which lives the goat which produces the musk of China, and that which produces the musk of Tibbat are one and the same; only the Chinese get into their hands the goats which are nearest their side, and the people of Tibbat do likewise. The superiority of the musk of Tibbat over that of China is due to two causes; first, that the musk-goat on the Tibbat side of the frontier finds aromatic plants, whilst the tracts on the Chinese side only produce plants of a common kind.”—Relation, &c., pt. 2, pp. 114–115.

c. 930.—“This country has been named Tibbat because of the establishment there of the Himyarites, the word thabat signifying to fix or establish oneself. That etymology is the most likely of all th at have been proposed. And it is thus that Di’bal, son of Ali-al-Khuza’i, vaunts this fact in a poem, in which when disputing with Al-Kumair he exalts the descendants of Katlan above those of Nizaar, saying:

“’Tis they who have been famous by their
writings at the gate of Merv,
And who were writers at the gate of Chin,
’Tis they who have bestowed on Samarkand
the name of Shamr,
And who have transported thither the

Mas’udi, i. 352.

c. 976.—“From the sea to Tibet is 4 months’ journey, and fr om the sea of Fars to the country of Kanauj is 3 months’ journey.”—Ibn Haukal, in Elliot, i. 33.

c. 1020.—“Bhútesar is the first city on the borders of Tibet. There the language, costume, and appearance of the people are different. Thence to the top of the highest mountain, of which we spoke…is a distance of 20 parasangs. From the top of it Tibet looks red and Hind black.”—Al-Biruni, in Elliot, i. 57.

1075.—“ [Greek Text] Tou moscou, diafora eidh eisin wn o kreittwn ginetai en polei tini polu tou Corash anatolikotera, legomenh Toupata esti de thn croian upoxanqon toutou de hpton o apo thVIndiaV metakomizomenoV pepei de epi to melanteron kai toutou palin upodeesteroV o apo twn Sinwn agomenoV panteV de en omqalw apogennwntai zwou tinoV monokerwtoV megtstou omoiou dorkadoV.”—Symeon Seth, quoted by Bochart, Hieroz. III. xxvi.

1165.—“This prince is called in Arabic Sultan-al-Fars-al-Kábar…and his empire extends from the banks of the Shat- al-Arab to the City of Samarkand…and reaches as far as Thibet, in the forests of which country that quadruped is found which yields the musk.”—Rabbi Benjamin, in Wright’s Early Travels, 106.

c. 1200.—

“He went

  By PanEris using Melati.

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