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Lu.“Altan Tobchi”

Lu.“Altan Tobchi”

Mongolia - National Library of Mongolia


Mongolian historiography started in the 13th century with the writing of the Secret History of the Mongols, dealing with the origins of the Mongols, and more particularly with the history of Chinggis Khan and his immediate successors. This important work, originally written in Mongolian, survives in full today only in a Chinese translation.

In 1651 historian Lubsandanzan wrote a Mongolian-language history of the Mongols from the time of Chinggis Khan to that of Ligden Khan (who died in 1634). This was the Lu. Altan Tobchi or Golden History. Lubsandanzan incorporated 233 out of 282 paragraphs of the Secret History in his 178-page text with added information on Mongolia, Central Asia and China. This not only preserves for posterity about 83% of the original Mongol text of the Secret History, it also provides a vivid and accurate picture of the traditional Mongolian nomadic way of life. Apart from giving details of the geography, customs and politics of Mongolia, the Lu. Altan Tobchi also includes details of many other states and peoples in Central Asia. The Lu. Altan Tobchi is thus central to the documentation of the history of the whole of Central Asia and is the only substantial indigenous text. In addition, it is a major monument to Mongolian literary development, being a work of great literary merit. Only one original copy is known to survive. It was handwritten in vertical Mongolian script on Chinese paper, and was inscribed on the Asia-Pacific Memory of the World Register in 2010 and the International Memory of the World Register in 2011.




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