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0111 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 111 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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particulars given of the continued patronage of Olopan and his doctrine under the Emperor Kaotsung (650-683),1 and of the spread of Christianity in the empire. In the end of the century Buddhism establishes a preponderance, and succeeds for a time in depressing the new doctrines. Under Hiwan-tsung (713-755) the church recovers its prestige, and a new missionary called Kiho appears. Sutsung (756-762), Taitsung (763-777), and Tetsung (780-783), continue to favour the Christians. Under this last reign the monument was erected, and this part of the inscription terminates with an elaborate eulogy of Issé, a sage and statesman, who, though apparently by profession a Buddhist, conferred many benefits upon the churches. 3rd. A recapitulation in octosyllabic stanzas of the purport of the inscription, but chiefly as regards the praises of the emperors who had favoured the progress of the church.

The record concludes with the date of erection (the second year Kienchung of the Great Thang, which Pauthier has shown perfectly to synchronise with the Greek date of the Syriac part of the inscriptiou,=A.n. 781) ; the name of the chief of the law, the Priest NINGCHU, charged with the instruction of the Christian population of the eastern countries (and, I presume, the same with the Adam, who appears as Metropolitan in the Syriac sentences) ; the name of a civil officer who wrote and engraved the Chinese inscription ; and the official approval of the whole.

70. It is reasonably supposed that this remarkable monument, the idea of which was probably taken from a Buddhist custom,2 may have been buried about the year 845, when the Emperor

Kaotsung was also the devout patron of the Buddhist traveller Hiwen Thsang. Kublai and Akbar are examples of like wavering among great kings.

2 Stone monuments and inscriptions highly analogous in character are very common in the precincts of pagodas and monasteries in Burma. Some account of a remarkable one on a marble slab, standing eight and a half feet high by six feet wide and eleven inches in thickness, is given at Pp. 66, 351 of the Mission to Ava in 1855. This contains on each side eighty-six lines of inscription beautifully executed. It is not older than the seventeenth century, but imitates others of far greater antiquity. See the like in the old Cambodian temples described by Bastian (J. R. G. S. xxxv, p. 85).