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A Record of Cambodia: The Land and Its People [Paperback]

By Zhou Daguan, Peter Harris (Translator) & David Chandler (Foreward By)
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Item description for A Record of Cambodia: The Land and Its People by Zhou Daguan, Peter Harris & David Chandler...

Only one person has given us a first-hand account of the civilization of Angkor. This is the Chinese envoy, Zhou Daguan, who visited Angkor in 1296-97 and wrote A Record of Cambodia: The Land and Its People after his return to China. To this day Zhou's description of the royal palace, sacred buildings, women, traders, slaves, hill people, animals, landscapes, and everyday life remains a unique portrait of thirteenth-century Angkor at a time when its splendors were still intact.

Very little is known about Zhou Daguan. He was born on or near the southeastern coast of China, and was probably a young man when he traveled to Cambodia by boat. After returning home he faded into obscurity, though he seems to have lived on for several decades. Much of the text of Zhou's book has been lost over the centuries, but what remains gives us a lively sense of Zhou the man as well as of Angkor.

In this edition, Peter Harris translates Zhou Daguan's work directly from Chinese to English to be published for the first time. Earlier English versions depended on a French translation done over a century ago, and lost much of the feeling of the original as a result. This entirely new rendering, which draws on a range of available versions of the Zhou text, brings Zhou's many observations vividly and accurately back to life. An introduction and extensive notes help explain the text and put it in the context of the times.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Silkworm Books
Pages   150
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.25" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 30, 2007
Publisher   Silkworm Books
ISBN  9749511247  
ISBN13  9789749511244  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Ancient > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Ancient
3Books > Subjects > History > Asia > Cambodia
4Books > Subjects > History > Asia > China > General
5Books > Subjects > History > Asia > China
6Books > Subjects > History > Asia > General
7Books > Subjects > History > World > General
8Books > Subjects > History > World > Medieval

Reviews - What do customers think about A Record of Cambodia: The Land and Its People?

Not just for tourists  Apr 18, 2008
For visitors to Angkor Wat, this book is a "must". However, it's more than just a late afternoon read after touring Angkor Thom and environs. It's an excellent translation of a valuable work with very helpful footnotes for academics and independent scholars. The excellent footnotes and explanations and inclusion of Chinese characters makes it a valuable reference work for those of us studying Cambodian, Vietnamese (Champa) and Chinese history. Don't let its slim size and popularity with armchair and real visitors distract you from its value.
Rare, readable, relevant...and entertaining!  Jan 27, 2008
If you're heading to Cambodia as a tourist on your first visit...or if you're a scholar immersed in Southeast Asian studies...this book is for you. It's unusual to find a work of this depth that holds such broad appeal.

Zhou Daguan's 700 year old report of his diplomatic journey to the fabulously wealthy ancient Khmer capital of Angkor is rare. In fact, it is one of the only written records about this mysterious kingdom that has survived to the present day.

Two things make this edition unique:

Author Peter Harris provides the first direct Chinese to English translation of this historic record of Asian travel with many new insights and interpretations.

Second, Harris accomplishes this in a readable style, also including fascinating comparisons to Marco Polo's China journey, which was contemporary with Zhou's account.

The result is a book that will enhance any recreational visit to Cambodia, but at the same time offers concrete facts and references for academic readers.

This edition includes 28 full color photos and two maps giving readers modern references to temples and concepts in Zhou's original account. Academics will be pleased to find 44 pages of detailed endnotes, more than 100 bibliographic references, two appendices and a detailed index. All the reference tools include Chinese characters for Sino-linguists.

"A Record of Cambodia" delivers cultural relevance, readability and rigorous scholarship in a compact and inexpensive volume.
An Angkor Essential  Dec 28, 2007
This is the only substantial record of the Angkorian civilization that we have. It was written in the 13th century by a Chinese traveller, Zhou Daguan and has been translated directly into English for the first time. This book is an invaluable accessory for any trip to Angkor Wat, the descriptions provided give a life to the dead temples and ruins that they themselves can no longer project.

Unfortunately even this record is fragmentary and much of this book is filled with extremely helpful translator's notes and footnotes. Also included are maps and photographs of some of the landmarks described in some of the books. I would heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in Angkor Wat and would consider it essential for anyone actually going there.

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