The Great State/White/High
University of Hawaii Press, 9780824817190, 278pp.
Publication Date: April 1, 1996
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In the late tenth and eleventh centuries, a group of people known in Western and Japanese scholarship as the Tangut established an independent regime in the Ordos (present-day Ningxia, Shaanxi, Gansu, and Inner Mongolia). It quickly grew into the Xia empire, a multiethnic, multilingual state whose ruling dynasty, a people ethnically and linguistically related to Tibetans, adapted elements of Chinese and Inner Asian statecraft, culture, and religion. Xia continued to grow in prominence, and its people became renowned throughout Asia as devout Buddhists. An imperial state was formally born in 1038 and chronicled its existence up to 1227, when it was finally crushed in Chinggis Khan's last campaign. The Great State of White and High is the first book-length treatment in English of Tangut Xia history. Exhibiting a mastery of languages, Ruth Dunnell has produced a pioneering, systematic study using primary and secondary sources in Tangut and Chinese to reconstruct early imperial Xia history from the inside.
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