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Early Kingdoms of The Indonesi [Paperback]

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Item description for Early Kingdoms of The Indonesi by Paul Michel Monoz...

At a period when sea navigation depended more on the skill and courage of sailors than on technology, men were nonetheless able to build maritime regional empires that stretched from Indochina to the Indonesian Archipelago.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Didier Millet
Pages   392
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   1.44 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 25, 2007
Publisher   Editions Didier Millet
ISBN  9814155675  
ISBN13  9789814155670  

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Asia > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Asia > Indonesia
3Books > Subjects > History > World > General
4Books > Subjects > History > World

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A compilation with many faults and repetitions  Jan 9, 2008
Dear reader! If you want to know about early Southeast Asia, let your first choice be the famous and peerless monograph by George Coedes "The Indianized States of Southeast Asia". You can find it on www.this .
On the contrary, the monograph by Paul Michel Munoz appears to be very problematic for any reader. First, it's a compilation with many mistakes and faults. For example, Munoz asserts that the inscription of Kalasan is written in Sanskrit and Old Malay (p. 132)! This record is truly written in Sanskrit but there are no parts in Old Malay (see Sarkar, Corpus of the Inscriptions of Java, vol. 1, 1971, p. 35-36). Munoz writes about Brahmans in the inscriptions of the king Mulavarman from East Borneo (p. 95) whereas these records refer only to viprah `priests'. Munoz believes that Srivijaya and Tarumanagara (on West Java) left "many/numerous" inscriptions (pp. 117, 104) whereas it's a well-known fact that the corpus of these records is very limited. Munoz asserts that "no officers or Brahmans were mentioned in Purnavarman's inscriptions" (p. 206) but only two pages above he cited the Tugu inscription of the king where you can read brahmanair "by the Brahmans". That the area of Bukit Seguntang near modern Palembang formed the `city thriving between economic activity between the 7th and 13th centuries" (p. 117), is not completely wrong but we knows nothing about its functioning in the second half of the 8th - first half of the 9th centuries as Prof. Manguin has shown in his papers concerning the archaeology of Sumatra. Munoz translates the Kedukan Bukit inscription of Srivijaya as "On April 682 AD, a king left the city with vessels..." ( p. 124). But in the original there is another calendar based on the Saka era (78 AD as the initial year) and the Old Malay text tells us only "our divine Lord embarked to carry out a successful expedition" (dapunta hiyang nayik di samvau manalap siddhayatra) [See Coedes, 1964, p. 25]. Munoz explains the Old Malay word kadatuan as a compound of two substantives kada and tuhan "the place of the tuhan - lord" (p. 125, n. 23) but in fact it is formed by prefix ka- and suffix -an with the root datu `chief'. I can enlarge the list of Munoz's faults but I think that's enough.
Second, Munoz even fabricates the facts. The most obvious example of such undertaking is his references to Fa Hsien. Munoz says that this Chinese pilgrim mentions three rulers of East Borneo including Mulavarman - a king who left us 7 inscriptions on the sacrificial posts (p. 95). He also refers to the Records of Fa Hsien discussing Java in the times of Purnavarman (p. 206). But in reality, Fa-Hsien mentions the land of "Java" interpretation of which is the point at issue among the scholars. It can mean Java itself, Western Borneo or Sumatra. The most important fact is that the pilgrim never mentions the rulers of Southeast Asia by their names.
Third, Munoz often repeats one and the same text with minor distinctions: The text about Kutei on pp. 95 and 303-304 as well as the text about Tarumanagara on pp. 104-105 and 204-206 is almost identical. I wonder why the author gives his reader so repetitious book.
Fourth, Munoz omits very important papers from his bibliography. One cannot find the valuable monograph by Roy Jordaan on the historiography of Sailendra dynasty, the state-of-the-art review of early statehood by Jan Wisseman Christie, even the Corpus of the Inscriptions of Java by H.B. Sarkar. One can only wonder why.
To my mind, the monograph of Munoz may be used only by specialists as an incomplete compilation of modern historiography.

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