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    Imperial Kingdoms in Southeast Asia: The Case of Bagan (Pagan)

    Frasch, Tilman (2022) Imperial Kingdoms in Southeast Asia: The Case of Bagan (Pagan). In: Empires to be remembered: Ancient Worlds through Modern Times. Springer Nature, pp. 379-397. ISBN 9783658340032

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    Any study of empires in early Southeast Asia will have to take into account the peculiar position of the region between the two India and China, which both exerted tremendous influence upon it. India provided her superior culture to the region – writing systems, calendars and computation of time, rituals and religions, art and architecture – while China’s economic and technological leadership were accompanied by its claim to political hegemony, which relegated any neighbouring state or ruler to a tributary or otherwise inferior status. In recognition of this situation, this paper will employ Kulke’s term of the “imperial kingdom” instead of “empire”, as the term captures both the kingdom’s ‘internal’ achievements (rising from a chieftaincy to an early kingdom and beyond) and its relative insignificance especially vis-à-vis China or India.

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