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Schwartzberg Atlas, v. , p. 202.

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became a tributary to China. The Mongol/Chinese yoke lay heavier, however, on its northern neighbor, and it was there- fore not until after 1423, when Dai Viet finally freed itself from Chinese (then Ming) rule, that it was able to resume its perennial struggle against Champa, ending with the latter's virtual extinction in 1476 after a continuous existence of roughly twelve centuries. Of the humbling of the once-proud empire of Kambuja by Sukhothai and Ayuthia we have al- ready taken note. The Indianized Mon states of Haripunjaya and Louvo were destroyed by Lan Na and Ayuthia respec- tively. Farther west, the destruction of Pagan facilitated the rise of the essentially Mon state of Pegu (although its first in- dependent ruler, after a period of vassalage to Sukhothai, was a Thai) and of the Burmese state of Arakan. Somewhat later, in the mid-14th century, the Burmese state of Toungoo also arose, thereafter maintaining for nearly two centuries a pre- carious existence between the Shans to the north and the Mons of Pegu to the south. In the mid-16th century the rulers of Toungoo were able to seize Ava and reunify the Burmese state.

The effect of the Mongols on events in insular Southeast Asia, though not as readily perceived as on the mainland, was nevertheless significant. Most states of the area, including the formerly mighty Śrīvijaya, paid tribute to the Chinese Empire; but the east Javanese kingdom of Singhasāri had repeatedly spurned diplomatic overtures, inviting the others to do like- wise. Accordingly, in 1293 the Mongols dispatched a punitive naval expedition to Java. Although the mission did succeed in placing on the throne a rival to the current occupant (him- self a usurper), the new monarch managed to massacre a por- tion of his Chinese helpers and repulse their fleet. This auspi- cious beginning launched the kingdom of Majapahit, which in less than half a century was to forge the most extensive pre- modern empire ever to be seen in the Malay Archipelago. The hold of Majapahit on its outlying territories was even more tenuous than that of Śrīvijaya had been, and its power was never so great as to appreciably diminish the traditional diplo- matic preeminence of China in the affairs of Nan Yang (i.e., the Southern Seas or Southeast Asia). If anything, that pre- eminence was even greater under the Ming dynasty (1368– 1644) than under their Mongol predecessors.

The establishment during the 13th century of the Pax Mon- golica over the lands from Eastern Europe and Asia Minor across Eurasia to the Pacific enhanced the opportunities to conduct East-West trade by overland caravans, while at the same time the Mongol conquest of Persia reduced the domi- nant role middlemen from that country had come to occupy in maritime trade through Southeast Asia between China and the Middle East. This caused the commerce of the region to languish until the end of the 14th century, when Tīmūr (see plates V.1, map (b), and V.3), himself of Mongol extraction, again imposed a bar to peaceful overland trade.

It is largely with respect to trade that the direct influence of Islam in the affairs of Southeast Asia is to be understood; for it was the lure of commerce that first brought venturesome Muslims from Persia, Arabia, and other lands to the shores of farther India and beyond to the great emporia of China itself. (Arab merchants are known, in fact, to have been established in Canton by the 4th century A.D., well before the birth of the Prophet.) But it was not until after the Muslim conquest of much of India that the effect of Islam as a religion began to be experienced in Southeast Asia. (The dates of conversion of the rulers of specific areas are indicated on map (a).) Al- though the rulers of at least two minor coastal states of Su- matra embraced Islam in the late 13th century, the key event in the diffusion of the faith was its acceptance by the king of Melaka (Malacca) in 1414. Melaka enjoyed a sheltered posi- tion along the narrowest part of the strategic Malacca Straits and was well able to compete as an entrepôt with other ports in the region. Its ruler appears to have embraced Islam with the express purpose of enhancing his already good position by currying favor with the predominantly Muslim merchants, then largely from the Indian kingdom of Gujarat, engaged in the Indian Ocean trade. At the same time, he used the patronage of the Ming Chinese emperor to support his claims to inde- pendence from the formerly suzerain Thai state of Ayuthia. In both these courses his judgment was crowned with success. By the mid-15th century Melaka had become not only the capital of a sizable state but also the center of a trading network ex- tending over much of the Malay world. As the influence of Melaka spread, so did that of Islam. The trading communities in the coastal cities spearheaded the process of conversion. In eastern Java they used Islam as a unifying factor to throw off the hegemony of the inland power of Majapahit. (In Malaya Islam served a similar function vis-à-vis the alien Buddhist power of Ayuthia.) But for most of the population the com- mercial advantages of conversion were meaningless. The ap- peal to the masses came, rather, from Sufi mysticism, which emanated largely from India and was similar in spirit to the familiar mystical elements inhering in Hinduism. In any event, on the whole the process of conversion proceeded in a peaceful manner and the new faith was gradually embraced by the greater part of the Malay world. It was still spreading when Europeans came upon the scene early in the 16th century.

The swelling of the stream of Islamic influence in Southeast Asia was concurrent with, and related to, the drying up of the stream transporting the cultural matter of Hinduism; for the Muslim conquest of the Indian subcontinent cut off the latter stream at its very sources. The pilgrimages Southeast Asians formerly undertook to state-supported Hindu and Buddhist shrines in South Asia were now largely precluded, except for the still-vigorous contacts between Sri Lanka and the Thera- vāda Buddhist lands of the mainland. It was thus the virtual absence of a continuing Hindu input into Southeast Asian cul- ture and a limitation of the external Buddhist output to that of Theravāda inspiration that did so much, along with the events we have described in the previous paragraphs, to alter the In- dianness of the region.

The role Theravāda Buddhism played in Southeast Asia was significantly different from that of Mahāyāna. The latter often enjoyed lavish state patronage, was associated with the building of great works, such as those at Angkor and Borobudur, and was in a sense exploitative. Theravāda Buddhism, on the other hand, stressed the virtues of simplicity and poverty and through the lives of its monastic followers exercised an even greater appeal to the masses than did Mahāyānism. The Theravāda sect had been particularly well developed in the Mon countries and in Burma, and after their conquest by various Thai peoples it came also to be accepted, along with other aspects of South Asian culture, by the conquerors themselves. The process of diffusion eastward from Burma into Thailand, Laos, and Cam- bodia endured until well into the 16th century.

Of the advent of the Europeans in Southeast Asia little need be said, since the most basic changes in the connections be- tween that area and South Asia had already been made in the ways and through the events described above. It is worth not- ing, however, that the influence of Europe was felt in the area long before the first Portuguese ship sailed into the harbor of Malacca in 1509. It was largely to satisfy Europe's appetite for spices that Muslim and other traders came to Southeast Asia. And it was largely for control of the sources of spices in the Moluccas that the political rivalries of the maritime states of the region were set in motion. When the Portuguese seized Malacca in 1510 they entered into a tangled political and eco- nomic web that was essentially not of their making. Their suc- cess was stunning but short-lived; for other European powers followed quickly in their wake, not only in Southeast Asia, but in South Asia as well. The story of what happened after 1510 is better told from the European perspective in connection with the plates of atlas subsection VI.B.

As for the survivals of Hinduized states in Southeast Asia beyond the period covered by plate V.6, the table below map (a) provides a cursory outline.


L. P. Briggs (1949); J. O. M. Broek (1962); J. F. Cady (1964), (1966); G. Coedès (1966), (1968); D. G. E. Hall (1968b); D. G. E. Hall, ed. (1964, listed under Atlases); G. E. Harvey (1925); U Htin Aung (1967); C. Jack-Hinton (1964); Lê- thành-Khôi (1955); J. C. van Leur (1955); G. Maspero (1928); Nederlandsch Aardrijkskundig Genootschap (1938, listed under Atlases); T. G. Pigeaud (1962); T. Pires (1944); B. J. O. Schrieke (1960); R. R. Sellman (1954, listed under Atlases); F. W. Stapel, ed. (1938–40); G. R. Tibbetts (1956); B. H. M. Vlekke (1965); P. Wheatley (1961); O. W. Wolters (1970); W. A. R. Wood (1933).


Valuable editorial assistance was provided by Professors Paul Wheatley and O. W. Wolters in the preparation of plate V.7.

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