In which we begin our look at the Tibetan Empire of the Early Middle Ages. Tibet is a land of harsh extremes, environmentally and geographically. The people who live here have gotten used to the inhospitable landscape, but it is still surprising in many ways that they ever forged a settled empire at all.
Before we begin our discussion of the imperial era of Tibet, however, we must understand the Tibetan view of history, and how Tibetans today relate to the past. We will do so through the lens of the Fifth Dalai Lama, Losang Gyatso, who penned A History of Tibet in 1642 right as he had taken the reigns of Tibetan government with the help of the Mongol leader Gushri Khan.
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