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By Fa Hien, James Legge

The current paintings includes 3 components: the interpretation of Fa-hien's Narrative of his Travels; copious Notes; and the chinese language textual content of a duplicate from Japan.

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He was to rule within the tradition and to follow examples of the good princes; he had to observe customary laws and written rules, governing in the interest of his subjects and fol- 24 CHAPTER ONE lowing Buddhist precepts. Ralph Pieris points out that various rebellions against the king were the practical outcome of these limitations. 66 The absence of strict hereditary rules of succession was typical for Theravada kingdoms of the time. Though the king was considered almost godly, this divine characteristic was not necessarily transferred through direct bloodlines.

With the reign of his predecessor a new dynasty had come to the throne; this dynasty had its roots in the South Indian N¯ayak chieftaincies, hence the name N¯ayakkar. Though there had always been a South Indian connection with the Kandyan kingship, the accession of Sri Vijaya Rajasinha in 1739 is generally seen as a breach with the former dynasty. 28 CHAPTER ONE Being an outsider, and facing opposition of certain nobles and monks, Kirti Sri Rajasinha openly converted to Buddhism and became its patron.

In fact, though ch¯ena (shifting cultivation) had always been an important element of indigenous subsistence agriculture, the Dutch tried to restrict this to the forestlands where not one cinnamon tree was to be found. 85 The strong emphasis on cinnamon collection and the mobilization of one particular social group in its collection and production led to irreversible social changes. Over time, the Sal¯agamas gained in status, not because of their peeling activities for the Dutch as such, but because of the privileges they received for these activities.

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