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Forum LockedThe Greatest Southeast Asian Civilization

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    Posted: 09-Sep-2004 at 11:01
Which civilization would you say was the greatest in Southeast Asia, and why.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Sep-2004 at 14:03
the trading sultanate of Malacca, because I like trade oriented sea powers.  Certainly though the Thai would be my seconf fav though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scytho-Sarmatian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Sep-2004 at 07:21

Funan --

It was one of the earliest and most extensive S.E. Asian empires.  Funan traded as far afield as Rome.

Also, I have a lot of admiration for the so-called Dong-son culture, which was the earliest, even though it was not an empire. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Berosus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 07:23
If you're looking for the one that was most impressive in its heyday, I would pick the Khmers.  Their great temple-city of Angkor outclassed anything their rivals built, and in the eleventh-early twelfth century, they ruled most of the Southeast Asian mainland:  Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and two thirds of Vietnam.  For a while they even had an army stationed at Thanh Hoa, less than a hundred miles south of Hanoi.  However, it did not get the press it deserved, because Marco Polo never went to Angkor; when he passed through Southeast Asia, the only stops he made were at Champa and Sumatra.  A Chinese ambassador, Zhou Daguan, visited Angkor and reported on it in the thirteenth century, but Westerners had to wait until the ruins of Angkor were discovered by a French explorer around 1860.

For runners-up, I would first pick the Burmese kingdom of Pagan, for building thousands of pagodas at its capital.  The pagodas weren't built according to any plan like Angkor; the kings simply felt they needed to do it, to gain good karma and to show they cared for the spiritual welfare of the people.  Still, the amount of work needed to build them is astounding, so they are impressive as a group of buildings.  Another good runner-up would be the Malayo-Polynesian people as a whole, because they sailed across both the Indian and Pacific Oceans, reaching and settling places very far away from Southeast Asia like Madagascar, Hawaii and Easter Island.

For modern nations in the region, I would give the prize to Thailand.  The Thais aren't as rich as Malaysia, Singapore or Brunei, but unlike the rest of the region, they have never been dominated by any outside power, allowing them to progress at their own pace.  Culture shock has been avoided, and traditional institutions like the monarchy and Buddhism have entered the modern world relatively intact, a remarkable accomplishment when other Southeast Asian countries have either slipped into seedy socialist decay or lost their identity in a maze of skyscrapers, fast-food restaurants, and the pop culture of the West.  And the population, which has grown from 17 to 62 million since World War II, is now increasing at a much safer rate of 1.4%, almost as low as that of the developed West.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 13:29
they also get the underage prostitute availability award.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lars573 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2004 at 12:37
Thai/Siamese or the Nanman (that's a chinese name don't know the name they had for themselfs)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kulong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2004 at 13:08
Originally posted by lars573 lars573 wrote:

Thai/Siamese or the Nanman (that's a chinese name
don't know the name they had for themselfs)

Nanman, which literally means "Southern Barbarian" in Chinese, doesn't
refer to any single modern ethnic group. It was a term used for everyone
south of China.

Of course, this term is no longer used. And if you want to call Chinese
racist for having used such a term, consider that Romans and just about
every other superpower in human history have considered foreigners has
barbarians. Heck, even today, many Americans consider foreigners
although not really as "barbarians" but at least "beneathe them."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lars573 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2004 at 13:44

The Nanman I'm thinking of were probably a burmese proto people.

Also barbarian is just a latin term that means non-Roman.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kulong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2004 at 14:34
Originally posted by lars573 lars573 wrote:

The Nanman I'm thinking of were probably a
burmese proto people.


Also barbarian is just a latin term that means non-Roman.


Well then just refer to them as "Burmese proto people" or whatever
because the Chinese term of "Nanman" is much like how "barbarian"
refers to non-Romans except "Nanman" refers to specifically non-Chinese
who reside south of China, which covers numerous ethnic groups.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maersk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2004 at 20:31
the majahpit dynasty, the last hindu/buddist dynasty of indonesia, controlled 80% of the indonesian archepeligo in the 1300's
"behold, vajik, khan of the magyars, scourge of the pannonian plain!"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rajasa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jun-2005 at 08:04

THE KINGDOM of MAJAPAHIT from Java

bcoz they controlled all Indonesia teritory including Kamboja ( Campa ), Singapore ( Temasek ),some of Phillipine, biggest part of Malaysia, all Kalimantan/ Borneo, biggest part of Papua even some of our Historian says at its height they succesfull controlled Madagascar in east africa.

'and the second one maybe

THE KINGDOM of SRI VIJAYA from Sumatra

this Buddist kingdom controlled 80 % of Indonesia, Malaysia and Campa ( Kambodia ) they even had Buddist University which had link with India

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Auriflambe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Oct-2006 at 20:17
Majapahit Empire. Because they DEFEATED the Mongols and created the largest empire in SE-Asia, and Javanese culture also blossomed during their reign!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lorddhika Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Mar-2007 at 16:36
I think Majapahit Dynasty was the greatest. It could conquer an enormous teritory that are separated by so many starit and sea. How can such technology and political power on that period couls conntrol such a many island that are separated by sea. incredible
The real leader is that who will always remain in the heart of his followers although he has already gone even after thousands of years
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cahaya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Dec-2008 at 05:41
My pick will be..

1. Kesultanan Melayu Melaka
2. Majapahit
3. Srivijaya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Voskhod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Dec-2008 at 12:23
My pick: Khmer Empire - dominance of most of continental South East Asia in the medieval period, Angkor Wat, state structure, road system, irrigation system.

Honourable mentions (not in order):
Srivijaya - dominance of maritime South East Asia, centre of learning.
Malacca - very wealthy Islamic empire.
Atjeh - very resilient, lasting more than 400 years into the first years of the twentieth century.
Siam - continental dominance after the Khmers, high culture, resiliance in the face of foreign aggression, modern day economic success story (sort of).
Vietnam - ancient culture, literature, characteristic defeat of superpowers
Singapore, Malaysia - great economic success stories of the modern world.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Voskhod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Dec-2008 at 12:27
Originally posted by lars573 lars573 wrote:

Thai/Siamese or the Nanman (that's a chinese name don't know the name they had for themselfs)


That would be "Thai" (the "h" is not pronounced), or "Siam" (Sa-yahm) until 1939.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zomaan Shilogh Dyak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Apr-2009 at 18:22

1. Khmer Empire. Jayavarman and Suryavarman were great statesmen. Their Hindu culture has influenced all of mainland SE Asia, and they later played a role in the spread of Theravada Buddhism.

2. Majapahit and Srivijaya.
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