Ancient Kingdoms & Empires of Southeast Asia
* Angkor and the Khmer Civilization (Ancient Peoples and Places)
* Ayutthaya- Venice of the East
* Mon Nationalism and Civil War in Burma: The Golden Sheldrake
* The Cham of Vietnam: History, Society and Art
* The Kingdoms of Laos
|Angkor and the Khmer Civilization (Ancient Peoples and Places)|
The ancient city of Angkor has fascinated Westerners since its rediscovery in the mid-nineteenth century.
A great deal is now known about the brilliant Khmer civilization that flourished among the monsoon forests and rice paddies of mainland Southeast Asia, thanks to the pioneering work of French scholars and the application of modern archaeological techniques such as remote sensing from the space shuttle.
The classic-period Khmer kings ruled over their part-Hindu and part-Buddhist empire from AD 802 for more than five centuries. This period saw the construction of many architectural masterpieces, including the huge capital city of Angkor, with the awe-inspiring Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious structure. Numerous other provincial centers, bound together by an impressive imperial road system, were scattered across the Cambodian Plain, northeast Thailand, southern Laos, and the Delta of southern Vietnam. Khmer civilization by no means disappeared with the gradual abandonment of Angkor that began in the fourteenth century, and the book’s final chapter describes the conversion of the Khmer to a different kind of Buddhism, the move of the capital downriver to the Phnom Penh area, and the reorientation of the Khmer state to maritime trade.
Angkor and the Khmer Civilization presents a concise but complete picture of Khmer cultural history from the Stone Age until the establishment of the French Protectorate in 1863, and is lavishly illustrated with maps, plans, drawings, and photographs. Drawing on the latest archaeological research, Michael D. Coe brings to life Angkor’s extraordinary society and culture.
|Ayutthaya- Venice of the East>|
Between 1351 and 1767 AD, Ayutthaya, capital of Siam was one of the most important trading centres in Southeast Asia, renowned throughout the world for its wealth and beauty. Derick Garnier traces the history of Thailand’s 400 year capital in a scholarly yet engaging text.
|Mon Nationalism and Civil War in Burma: The Golden Sheldrake|
A major contribution to the literature of Burmese history and politics, this book traces the rich and tragic history of the Mon people of Burma and Thailand, from the pre-colonial era to the present day. This vivid account of ethnic politics and civil war situates the story of Mon nationalism within the ‘big picture’ of developments in Burma, Thailand and the region. Primarily an empirical study, it also addresses issues of identity and anticipates Burmese politics in the new millennium. A particular feature of the book is its first-hand descriptions of insurgency and displacement, drawn from the author’s experiences as an aid worker in the war zone.
|The Cham of Vietnam: History, Society and Art|
The Cham people once inhabited and ruled over a large stretch of what is now the central Vietnamese coast. Their Indianized civilization flourished for centuries, and they competed with the Vietnamese and Khmers for influence in mainland Southeast Asia. This book brings together essays on the Cham by specialists in history, archaeology, anthropology, art history, and linguistics. It presents a revisionist overview of Cham history and a detailed study of the various ways in which the Cham have been studied by different generations of scholars, as well as chapters on specific aspects of the Cham past. Several authors focus on archaeological work in central Vietnam that positions recent discoveries within the broader framework of Cham history. The authors synthesize work by scholars during the French colonial period and after who discuss what ‘Champa’ has represented over the centuries of its history. The book’s new perspectives on the Cham provide penetrating insights into the history of Vietnam that shed light on the broader dynamic of Southeast Asian history.
|The Kingdoms of Laos>|
Describes the changes in society over 600 years as Lan Xang was gradually dismembered and became a French colony. Most importantly, it shows the essence of the Lao and why, despite all that has happened, they possess their own social and cultural values that mark them as distinctive.