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Monday October 15th 2018
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Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 5E

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 5E

   *   Two dynastic generations after the Monument was raised, a period of time shorter than a single lifetime, the monasteries suffered the humiliation of mortal dissolution, as had the benefactor Mar Iazed-buzid before them. (See Supplement 32) In 845, the monastery buildings were confiscated by imperial decree; the monks [...]

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 5D

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 5D

    In 781 the beneficent Mar Iazed-buzid raised a Monument to commemorate the mission of the Luminous Religion in China, as well as his own part in its restoration. (See Supplement 24) The task of forming the characters of the Inscription and etching them into stone was granted to the young calligrapher Lu Yen. (See Supplement [...]

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 5C

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 5C

    When I-ssu put aside his cap of gauze and came to live under new vows, he bowed his head for Rabban to replace his official top knot with the tonsure of "wheel and crown." Whether it was in middle life or in old age, (See Supplement 14) after the period of probation, he must have served for some time as head priest of a [...]

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 5B

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 5B

    I-ssu, married to both a worldly church and a dissipating empire, traveled the 130 li across the fertile plain between Chang-an and South Mountain at least once – when he sought retreat at the monastery of Wu-chun. (See Supplement 8 ) On this plain in 617, the founder of Tang gained his foothold to march on the capital [...]

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 5A

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 5A

  PART 5: IN THE LIGHT OF THE SETTING SUN . . . He distributed his rewards and gifts, laying up nothing in his own house. He made offering of the crystal granted him by the Emperor; he dedicated the cloth of gold granted him when he retired and sought rest. He restored some of the old monasteries to their former condition; in [...]

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 4D

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 4D

  If we were to approach the life of I-ssu in a more subjunctive mood, is it possible to imagine that his life did not develop a pattern resonant with the court circles that fashioned it, a life like the life of all nobles, charmed with the symmetry of the solar year? Would we not have seen him among the throng, fashionably celebrating [...]

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 4C

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 4C

  * * * * * * * The Inscription is emphatic that I-ssu received his high appointment by examination. Such a citation indicates that I-ssu was a man of great ability and personal merit. It distinguishes him even further. As a native son of the Northwest, he had sprung from a later generation of the same wild Turkic stock as the mixed [...]

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 4B

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 4B

    * The Inscription is emphatic that I-ssu received his high appointment by examination. This phrase leaves open two possible paths toward his life’s conclusion (G and H), and leaves me uncertain about which path he followed. My uncertainty derives from the two possible interpretations, in Tang usage, of the single word [...]

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 4A

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 4A

  PART 4: COURT CIRCLES . . . Grand Master of the Palace with Golden Seal and Purple Ribbon, Associate Military Vice Commissioner of the Northern Region, Director of the Palace Administration by examination . . .     The final lines of the Inscription substantiate I-ssu’s illustrious existence in Chang-an [...]

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 3C

Mar Iazed-buzid, the Great Donor: Part 3C

Chang-an fell quickly. Problems arose when the spoils of the city promised to the hui ho were denied them. They were asked to continue on with the regular army to Lo-yang. The hui ho qaghan publicly embarrassed the Heir Apparent. In response, the Heir Apparent bribed him handsomely with the spoils of the eastern capital to soothe his feelings. [...]

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