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The northern neighbors of the Tangut*


From the 11th century onwards, the Xixia state grew into a major power along the northwestern frontier of Song China. This article examines the Tangut perspective of their geo-political environment as it is reflected in a translation of a Chinese military treatise called Jiangyuan, a work attributed to Zhuge Liang. The concluding part of the original text presents the traditional Sino-centric worldview with the four barbarian tribes (Yi, Man, Rong and Di) around the empire. The Tangut translation, however, omits three of the four tribes and discusses only the Northern Di, thus adapting the Chinese viewpoint to fit their own situation.

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Imre Galambos