In the footsteps of Xuanzang, a medieval Chinese monk and traveler


In the 7th century, a Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang undertook a grandiose journey from China to India and left a narrative of this journey, The Great Tang Records on the Western Regions (Da-Tang xiyu ji). His goal was to seek Buddhist manustripts in India, many of which he translated from Sanskrit upon his return. However, being a naturally curious and gifted person, in his book he gave much attention to the descriptions of nature in the areas he passed on his way, thus leaving the data of considerable historical value.Xuanzang’s Records have been many times translated into numerous foreign languages and in 2012 they were finally translated into Russian too. Reading this book prompted the authors of this paper to look more closely into the Chinese traveler’s route in Central Asia and write some comments, being familiar with many areas in Central Asia passed by Xuanzang on his way. Some segments of his route could only be characterized hypothetically and, in such cases, possible variants of the route were discussed. In addition to this, we have discovered several interesting facts in the great traveler’s book that enabled us to reconstruct some of the natural settings of the early Middle Ages.


Recommended bibliographic description

, , In the footsteps of Xuanzang, a medieval Chinese monk and traveler, Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki [Studies in History of Science and Technology], , p.  268-279

    © Studies in the History of Science and Technology: Quarterly scientific journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences (2015)
    ISSN 0205-9606. Индекс 70143