A History of Cambodia (4th Edition) by David Chandler

By David Chandler

During this transparent and concise quantity, writer David Chandler offers a well timed evaluate of Cambodia, a small yet more and more noticeable Southeast Asian state. Praised by means of the Journal of Asian experiences as an “original contribution, enhanced to the other present work,” this acclaimed textual content has now been thoroughly revised and up-to-date to incorporate fabric interpreting the early historical past of Cambodia, whose well-known Angkorean ruins now allure a couple of million travelers every year, the demise of Pol Pot, and the revolution and ultimate cave in of the Khmer Rouge. The fourth variation displays contemporary examine through significant students in addition to Chandler’s lengthy immersion within the topic and includes a wholly new part at the demanding situations dealing with Cambodia at the present time, together with an research of the present kingdom of politics and sociology and the expanding pressures of globalization. This entire review of Cambodia will light up, for undergraduate scholars in addition to normal readers, the heritage and modern politics of a rustic lengthy misunderstood.

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Extra info for A History of Cambodia (4th Edition)

Example text

Population pressure, of course, probably impelled some Cambodian rulers, perhaps including Jayavarman II, to take control over new territory where the population could be deployed to grow rice. There were periods of Cambodian history, under Jayavarman VII in the twelfth century, for example, when far-flung territorial control was an important part of a king’s prestige. Nonetheless, control over territory per se (mere forest in most cases) was rarely as important as controlling people. Indeed, the notion of alienable ownership of land, as distinct from land use, does not seem to have developed in pre-Angkorean Cambodia.

The tendency to syncretize, in fact, was noted by early Chinese visitors. The passage that refers to Siva’s continuous descent onto Mt. Motan, for example, also mentions a bodhisattva, or Buddha-to-be, that was held in reverence at the time. Occasionally, two Indian gods were blended with each other, as Siva did with Vishnu to form Harihara, a composite deity much favored by Angkorean kings. 24 The process of blending different religions meant that here and there local spirits received the names of Indian gods, just as localized Greek and Roman deities were renamed in the early years of Christianity.

It is also possible that Funan was thought to be a major kingdom because the Chinese wanted it to be one and, later, because French scholars were eager to find a predecessor for the more centralized kingdom of Angkor, which developed in northwestern Cambodia in the ninth century. Despite their usefulness in many ways, Chinese sources for this period present peculiar problems for the historian, as many of them uncritically repeat data from previous compilations as if they were still true. Nonetheless, Chinese descriptions are often as vivid as this one about Funan: The King’s dwelling has a double terrace on it.

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