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 seen Southeast Asian country. Praised through the Journal of Asian reviews as an original contribution, better to the other current work,” this acclaimed textual content has now been thoroughly revised and up-to-date to incorporate fabric reading the early heritage of Cambodia, whose recognized Angkorean ruins now allure multiple million travelers every year, the dying of Pol Pot, and the revolution and ultimate cave in of the Khmer Rouge. The fourth version displays contemporary learn by way of significant students in addition to Chandler’s lengthy immersion within the topic and comprises a completely new part at the demanding situations dealing with Cambodia at the present time, together with an research of the present country of politics and sociology and the expanding pressures of globalization. This complete evaluate 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 resources for A History of Cambodia (4th Edition)
5 These were often located for ritual purposes in stones that naturally resembled phalluses or were carved to look like them. Sacrifices to the stones, it was thought, ensured the fertility of the soil. Cults like this were not confined to Asia, but it is useful to see, as Mus has, that an Indian traveler coming across them in Cambodia would “recognize” them as Indian cults honoring the god Siva or one of his consorts. Similarly, a Cambo- 0813343631-Chandler 1 5/25/07 12:26 PM Page 17 T H E B E G I N N I N G S O F C A M B O D I A N H I S T O RY 17 dian visiting India, or hearing about it, would see some of his own cults in those that honored the Indian god.
To improve personal status, then, one could accumulate merit by performing virtuous acts, like subsidizing a temple or being generous to monks, donating a gilded image of a god, or sponsoring religious festivals. Acts like these were thought to redeem the person performing them. As we shall see, the great temples at Angkor were also thought of as redemptive gestures of this kind, as bargains struck by kings with their immediate ancestors and, through them, with the gods. No one at the time or later could see if the bargains were a success, but the thought of neglecting to make them, especially when the afterlife meant a return to earth, occurred seldom if at all.
Nonetheless, Chinese descriptions are often as vivid as this one about Funan: The King’s dwelling has a double terrace on it. Palisades take the place of walls in fortified places. The houses are covered with leaves of a plant which grows on the edge of the sea. These leaves are six to seven feet long, and take the form of a fish. The king 0813343631-Chandler 1 5/25/07 12:26 PM Page 21 T H E B E G I N N I N G S O F C A M B O D I A N H I S T O RY 21 rides mounted on an elephant. His subjects are ugly and black; their hair is frizzy; they wear neither clothing nor shoes.