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Ascent to throne
'Dus-rong ascended the Tibetan throne after the death of his father, Mangsong Mangtsen, in 676. The Tang annals say that 'Dus-srong was eight years old in 679 — nine years old by Western reckoning. He was, therefore, presumably born in 670 and was six or seven years old when he began his reign. Due to his youth, he was enthroned with the minister Gar Tongtsen's second son, Khri-'bring, to act as regent.
Political and military activities
In 676 the Tibetans made raids on Shanzhou, Kuozhou, Hezhou (now Linxia), Diezhou, Migong and Danling in the province of Gansu. The Chinese counterattacked, defeating the Tibetans at Longzhi. The Chinese army led by Li Jingxuan were soundly defeated near Kokonor, however, and by the end of 677 Tibet controlled the whole of the Tarim Basin and the mountainous regions to the southwest.
Revolt of Zhang Zhung and the leadership of his mother, Kri-ma-lod, and his ministers
The western kingdom of Zhang Zhung revolted soon after the death of King Mangsong Mangtsen or Trimang Löntsän (Khri-mang-slon-rtsan, r. 650-677), the son of Songtsän Gampo, but was brought back under Tibetan control by the "firm governance of the great leaders of the Mgar clan" the following year.
Under the leadership of his powerful mother, Khri-ma-lod, and his ministers and generals during the early part of his reign, Tibet continued to maintain and even expand its territory.
The Tibetans gained control of an important Tang fortress at Anrong in 678 on the Min River north of Chengdu which they held for more than sixty years as a frontier post. According to an 11th-century Chinese history, the Erhe people from the region of Lake Dali in 'Jang (one of the princedoms around the upper waters of the Yangtze which later made up Nanzhao) submitted to Tibet this same year, asking for an alliance against the Chinese. The Tang Annals report that:
"At that time, Tufan obtained Yangtong, Dangxiang as well as other Chiang people tribal territories. To the east it extended to Liangzhou, Songzhu, and so forth, and to the south it extended to India. On the west they attacked and took over four military governments such as Guici (Kucha), Sule (Kashgar), and so forth, while to the north they extended as far as over 10,000 li to the Tujue (Turks) area. Since the Han and the Wei dynasties, the western barbarians had seen no prosperity comparable to these days' prosperity."
The Chinese army led by Wei Daijia unsuccessfully invaded Tibet in 689. Many of the soldiers died and the commander of the troops was executed for his failure. It was also in this year that the Tibetan princess Khri-bangs was married to an 'A-zha chief to strengthen bonds between the two peoples. They had a son named Ma-ga Thogon Khagan.
Two Tibetan generals defected to the Chinese with their troops in 692. The Chinese then defeated the Tibetans, regaining control of the Tarim Basin and the lucrative trade routes to the West, which they held for almost a century before the Tibetans reconquered the region.
The Turkish Khagan Ton-ya-bgo (Ch. Ashina Tuizi), chief of the Western Turkish Dulu tribes in Dzungaria, visited the Tibetan court in 694. together they attacked and defeated the Chinese at Lengjuan.
mGar Khri-'bring went to Chang'an in 696 to try to negotiate peace with Empress Wu (r. 684–705) on condition that China remove all troops from Central Asia and divide the Western Turks between China and Tibet. She refused to negotiate.
'Dus-srong realised that members of the mGar family had become independent warlords and posed a threat to the central authority of the king. So, in 699 he pretended to organise a great hunt and then had his men turn on members of the mGar and their supporters. Then he personally marched north and confronted mGar Khri-'bring, who surrendered without a fight and, according to the Tang Annals, committed suicide. His brother fled to China.
After this, 'Dus-srong asserted the right of the power of the king over his ministers.
'Dus-srong personally led 10,000 troops into four battles in some unnamed place to the northeast in 702. The next year he "established his authority over the 'Jang (Nanzhao), he imposed tribute on the White Mywa, he subdued the Black Mywa (probably the Miao people), and so on."
Relations with Nepal
It seems Nepal remained tributary to Tibet throughout the reign of 'Dus-rong. A Nepalese stone edict of 695, during the reign of the Nepalese king, Shivadev II, records: "because of the reason that Nepal paid taxes to Tibet, five officials must take the responsibility of the coolies who carry the laguages [sic] [sic = luggage?] every year." This is confirmed by the Tang Annals which record that in 703, soon after 'Dus-rong's death, "the subject countries in the south, such as Nepal and others, all revolted." Furthermore, the Tibetan Annals record that 'Dus-rong spent the summers of 690, 697 and 699 in Nepal.
His wives and son
'Dus-srong he married two women from important Tibetan clans — 'Dam-gyi Cog-ro-bza', and Chimza Tsunmotog (Wylie: mChims-bza' bTsan-ma Thog-thog-sten), Princess of Chim, with whom he had a son Khri-lde-gtsug-btsan (also known later as Mes-ag-thoms) in 704. It seems 'Dus-rong also had a Turkish bride, as the Tibetan Annals record the death of the princess "Gatun" (= Turk: Khatun?) in 708.
His support of Buddhism
Although 'Dus-srong is primarily remembered as a warrior, according to the dBa' bzhed he supported Buddhism and had a temple called Khri-rtse built in Gling Khams, "and so on", which is recorded on an inscription at sKarchung written by Emperor Sadnalegs about a century later.
'Dus-srong's death and succession
'Dus-srong died in 704 in battle in Mywa territory in modern Yunnan. The Tang Annals state he was on his way to suppress tributary kingdoms on the southern borders of Tibet, including Nepal and parts of India. There was a dispute among his sons but, "after a long time" the people put Qilisuzan (Khri-lde-gtsug-btsan) or Me Agtsom, aged only seven, on the throne.
- Lee (1981), pp. 20–21.
- Ancient Tibet: Research materials from the Yeshe De Project, p. 233. 1986. Dharma Publishing, California. ISBN 0-89800-146-3.
- Shakabpa, Tsepon W. D. Tibet: A Political History, p. 31. (1967), Yale University Press, New Haven and London.
- Beckwith, Christopher I. The Tibetan Empire in Central Asia. A History of the Struggle for Great Power among Tibetans, Turks, Arabs, and Chinese during the Early Middle Ages, 1987, Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02469-3, p. 43.
- Shakabpa, Tsepon W. D. Tibet: A Political History (1967), p. 32. Yale University Press, New Haven and London.
- Lee (1981), p. 19.
- Richardson, Hugh. "Bal-po and Lho-bal." Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, No. 46 (1983), p. 136.
- Adapted from Lee (1981), p. 19.
- Lee (1981), p. 22.
- Lee (1981), pp. 22–23.
- Ancient Tibet: Research materials from the Yeshe De Project, p. 234. 1986. Dharma Publishing, California. ISBN 0-89800-146-3.
- Ancient Tibet: Research materials from the Yeshe De Project, p. 235. 1986. Dharma Publishing, California. ISBN 0-89800-146-3.
- Pelliot, Paul. Histoire Ancienne du Tibet, p. 92. Paris. Libraire d'amérique et d'orient. 1961.
- Lee (1981), p. 11.
- Beckwith, C. I. "The Revolt of 755 in Tibet", p. 5 note 10. In: Weiner Studien zur Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde. Nos. 10–11. [Ernst Steinkellner and Helmut Tauscher, eds. Proceedings of the Csoma de Kőrös Symposium Held at Velm-Vienna, Austria, 13–19 September 1981. Vols. 1–2.] Vienna, 1983.
- Bacot, J., et al. Documents de Touen-houang relatifs à l'Histoire du Tibet. (1940), pp. 149–50. Libraire orientaliste Paul Geunther, Paris. (Translated from the French)
- Tenzin, Acharya Kirti Tulku Lobsang. "Early Relations between Tibbet and Nepal (7th to 8th Centuries)." Translated by K. Dhondup. The Tibet Journal, Vol. VII, Nos. 1 &2. Spring/Summer 1982, p. 85.
- Lee (1981), p. 28.
- Bacot, J., et al. Documents de Touen-houang relatifs à l'Histoire du Tibet. (1940), pp. 37-39.
- Ancient Tibet: Research materials from the Yeshe De Project, pp. 238, 242. 1986. Dharma Publishing, California. ISBN 0-89800-146-3.
- Bacot, J., et al. Documents de Touen-houang relatifs à l'Histoire du Tibet. (1940), p. 42. Libraire orientaliste Paul Geunther, Paris. (Translated from the French)
- dBa' bzhed: The Royal Narrative Concerning the Bringing of the Buddha's Doctrine to Tibet, p. 33. Translation and Facsimile Edition of the Tibetan Text by Pasang Wangdu and Hildegard Diemberger. Verlag der Österreichischen Akadamie der Wissenschafen, Wien 2000. ISBN 3-7001-2956-4.
- Richardson (1985), p. 75.
- Beckwith, C. I. "The Revolt of 755 in Tibet", p. 3 note 7. In: Weiner Studien zur Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde. Nos. 10–11. [Ernst Steinkellner and Helmut Tauscher, eds. Proceedings of the Csoma de Kőrös Symposium Held at Velm-Vienna, Austria, 13–19 September 1981. Vols. 1–2.] Vienna, 1983.
- Richardson (1985), pp. 73, 75.
- Pelliot, Paul. Histoire Ancienne du Tibet. Paris. Libraire d'amérique et d'orient. 1961, p. 12.
- Lee (1981), p. 13.
- Ancient Tibet: Research materials from the Yeshe De Project, p. 239. 1986. Dharma Publishing, California. ISBN 0-89800-146-3.
- Richardson, Hugh E. (1985). A corpus of early Tibetan inscriptions. London: Royal Asiatic Society. ISBN 978-0-947593-00-1
- Lee, Don Y. (1981). The History of Early Relations between China and Tibet: From Chiu t'ang-shu, a documentary survey. Bloomington, IN: Eastern Press. ISBN 978-0-939758-00-5