KhAngkE

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Phase I Variables (polity-based)

General variables

♠ RA ♣ Daniel Mullins; Enrico Cioni; Jenny Reddish ♥ Main text by DM, additions by Enrico Cioni, general description by Jenny Reddish.

♠ Original name ♣ Early Angkor ♥ 'The second and apparently unrelated legend involves a hermit named Kambu, who was given an apsaras or celestial nymph name demure by the great god Shiva (the major patron deity of Khmer rulers). This this marriage sprang the Khmer royal line as well as the people themselves. The Khmer thus came to call their land Kambudesa or 'Country of Kambu', later abridged to Kambuja; it is the latter that the modern name 'Cambodia' is derived.'[1]

♠ Alternative names ♣ Kambudesa; Khmer; Khmer Kingdom; Angkor Period; Kambuja-desa; Kambdynaudesa; Kambuja ♥

♠ Peak Date ♣ 900 CE ♥ Peak of territorial expanse.[2]


Temporal bounds

♠ Duration ♣ 802-1100 CE ♥

• This period begins in 802 CE because an inscription (the Sdok Kak Thom) notes that a king (Jayavarman II) conducted a ceremony to free Cambodia from Java by declaring himself the universal monarch (chakravarti).
• This period ends in 1100 CE because that is approximately the year that a new dynasty (the Mahīdharapura, originally from the Khorat area) began under Jayavarman VI.
• 'The Angkor period is commonly understood to start in 802 CE with the proclamation of Jayavarman II as the chakravartin (universal-king) from a location in the Kulen mountains (Phnom Kulen), overlooking the vast alluvial plain where Angkor would begin to emerge in the following centuries (Figure 1). In doing so, Jayavarman confirmed himself as the great unifier; drawing Cambodia’s disparate polities together under the first ‘god king’ and establishing the Khmer state and the basis of its empire. Phnom Kulen was known as Mahendraparvata; ‘‘the hill of the great Indra’’. The extant history of Mahendraparvata is based on several inscriptions, the most well-known being an 11th century CE inscription (K.235) found at the Sdok Kak Thom temple, in eastern Thailand [4]. The inscription, dated to 1052 CE, outlines the lineage of a private family serving successive Khmer Kings for two and a half centuries, the first mentioned being Jayavarman II.' [3]
• 'Shadowy as he appears through retrospective inscriptions, Jayavarman II still occupies a central position in the history of Angkor, becauase he was regarded for centuries after his death as he who founded the state, in a traditional date of 802 AD.'[4]
• The end of the Angkor in approximately 1432 CE with the Siamese 'invasion' or 'sacking' of Angkor. "Scholars usually place the Angkorean period of Cambodian history between 802 and 1431.'[5]
• 'There was a watershed, dated to the year 802, whereby a series of competing polities were joined into one enduring and powerful central state. This transition involved a process of contralization instituted by the overlord Jayavarman II (ruled 802 to 834). Jayavarman seems to have identified a means of unifying formerly competing overlords that was rooted first in military conquest, then by placing his followers in positions of authority. This had the effect of establishing a central rule through replacing independent polities by provinces. He also must have appreciated the importance of stressing the mystical properties of kingship by instituting the cult of the kamraten jagat ta raja, meaning "the god who is king." Deification of the ruler, linked with vesting the rights to consecrate a new god-king in successive members of a given family, meant that the succession should be assured. Remarkably, the ensuing five centuries witnessed a considerable degree of legitimacy in the succession, being largely confined to members of the aristocratic lineage of Aninditapura.'[6]
• 'Traditionally, the Angkorian period is said to have begun in 802, the year that Jayavarman II (r. 802-834) was crowned king. In a ritual evoking the mythology of ̋iva and celebrated in the Phnom Kulen (Kulen Mountains), north of Angkor, he became the cakravartin/cakkavatti (universal monarch) of the new kingdom.'[7]
• 'The elephant was most clearly recorded during the Khmer empire dating from roughly 809 C.E. to 1431 C.E. During this time, the great temple of Angkor Wat and the Bayon were built.The frequent wars against theThais and Chams involved use of large “tuskers,” or superior male elephants, as well as elephants that carried men and goods. Elephants were important in moving the stones that built the temples, the logs that built the palaces, and the rice and other foods produced by the popu- lace to feed the royalty and the priests.The war elephants are wonderfully illustrated in the reliefs on the gallery walls of Angkor Wat. Similarly, many elephants are found among the carvings on the walls of Borobudur, the great Javanese Hindu-Buddhist temple dating to about 800 C.E.'[8]
• 'In the history of Cambodia, the year 802 symbolizes the beginning of the Angkor era because the Sdok Kak Thom inscription specifies that Jayavarman II conducted a ceremony to free Cambodia from Java in that year.'[9]
• 'Cambodian history is normally divided into the pre-Angkor (third century to 802 CE), Angkor (802-1432), and post-Angkor periods. The pre-Angkor period is mainly known from seventh-century inscriptions; Angkor epigraphy begins in the late ninth century. Thus there is a crucial gap in our sources during the critical transitional phase.'[10]
• 'The founder of Angkor, King Jayavarman II, is a shadowy figure and we still have no entirely satisfactory explanation as to why he moved his capital from the Mekong Valley to the drier region at the north-west tip of the Great Lake. He left no inscriptions that we know of. We know that he established his court in the region in 802 AD and that he reigned for almost 50 years before his death at Roluos, south-east of the main complex at Angkor.'[11]

♠ Degree of centralization ♣ unitary state ♥

• 'All the institutions of government reviewed above give the impression that they belong to an apparatus of (as least potentially) oppressive, even totalitarian, power. Indeed, it is altogether likely that after the time of Rajendravarman the kings of Angkor presided over a much more centralized regime than the Khmers had known before. Institutions of government embodied no principles of constitutional checks upon royal power beyond the notion of religious morality. An impulse to totalitarian government was present, and found expression whenever rulers found themselves temporarily without dangerous rivals still at large. We must remember, though, that this tate lacked all the advantages of modern communications and technology to assert its control in detail, and that all sorts of regional, personal and factional loyalties were liable to obstruct the impulse to totalitarianism before too long.'[12]
• 'Angkor under Suyavarman [II] was at the peak of its glory. The institutional reforms of Rajendravarman were secure, giving a measure of centralisation to the administration of the empire.[13] :• :• 'The central administration in Angkor must have had fairly detailed information for the purposes of taxation and core labour of all the empire's inhabitants, for according to Zhou a census was taken during the ninth Cambodian month, where everyone (or, more likely, all heads of families) was called to the capital, and passed in review before the Royal Palace. Such census registers were kept in Aymonier's day, and revised every three years.'[14] 'Because the Angkor kingdom commanded a significant army and a large centralized administrative apparatus and because thousands of workers were needed to build and maintain its enormous building complexes, it has been assumed that around the stone constructions of the palaces and temples a city with a substantial population must have existed.'[15]
• 'Jayavarman II appears to have brought significant land and regional lords into a ‘single’ domain by 802 CE. We can begin to discern a ‘united’ polity, and a series of single or at least preeminent capitals: Hariharālaya (Roluos); Yaśodharapura (Angkor); Koh Ker.'[16]
• 'All such leaders were tied to the overlord by webs of family, mar- riage, and patronage whose instability ensured constant fluctuations in the center’s territorial influence. Reliable royal control in the sense of resource exaction was therefore confined to the capital zone, which nor- mally included the empire’s most populous districts but which might not exceed a 60-mile radius. In Pagan, Angkor, and to a lesser extent perhaps early Champa and Dai Viet, temples and monasteries served simultaneously as agencies of agricultural reclamation, ritual validation, and intra-elite alliance. Because these wealthy, self-regulating religious institutions helped to stabilize labor and to concentrate resources, they tended to compress and, in some ways, to obviate royal administration. Nonetheless, the ruler remained indispensable as ritual intermediary between kingdom and cosmos, as military leader, and as coordinator of temple as well as secular patronage. Thus, while accepting that these were weak forms of the genus, we can still recognize charter-era entities as “states” according to Charles Tilly’s minimalist definition: “coercion- wielding organizations that are distinct from households and kinship groups and exercise clear priority in some respects over all other orga- nizations within substantial territories.”45'[17]

♠ Supra-polity relations ♣ none ♥

• Although Sūryavarman I formed alliances with Champa and China against Annam as did other leaders, these alliances were not long-standing or enshrined by inter-marriage. While tribute was at times paid to China, this too was not consistent or indicative of a subordinate relationship.
• 'George Coedes connected the Khmer request for aid to the internal politics of the Angkorian empire. In doing so, he noted the statement of the PrdsdtBen inscription, that Jayaviravarman's"universal glory was not destroyed by the times. Although beaten, he remainedstableon the earth ..." 67). Elaborating on this statement, Coedes suggested that the gift of the "king of Kambaja"in the Puttur plates correspondedin time to a Khmer military campaign into the Chao Phrayariver valley and was SuiryavarmanI's request for aid against his rival Jayaviravarmanand Tambralinga. Faced with a possible [...] alliance,Tambralinga turned for aid to Srivijaya. In Coedes'view, the result of this complicated diplomacy was the raid,which, as expressed in the famous Tanjore inscription of o030 was directed at Srivijaya and its ports-one of which was Tambralinga (Midimalifigam)68). Completing his argument, Coedes stated that the Ch6la expedition led to the reintroduction of Khmer influence in the isthmian region during the second quarter of the century.'[18]

Supra-cultural relations

♠ preceding (quasi)polity ♣ Chenla ♥ {Chenla- Water; Chenla- Land}
♠ relationship to preceding (quasi)polity ♣ continuity ♥ 'The establishment of a grand and long-lasting civilization centred on the northern shore of the Tonle Sap does not represent a major dislocation with the preceding Chenla statelets, nor indeed with the preceding prehistoric period, for Iron Age burials and occupation have been identified under the early Hindu temple of Prei Khmeng, just west of Angkor, and next to the southern entrance to the city of Angkor Thom. [...] All the characteristics of ANgkor were previsouly evolving in the Chenla polities, but they were magnified and given stability through the centralising manupulation of power excersised by a succession of rulers imbued with unusual charisma and prowess.'[19] 'It is clear that during the two centuries or so preceding AD 802 - the founding date of the Khmer Empire - there were a number of independent states in Khmer territory, not just the one, or at most two of the so-called 'Zhenla' of the Chinese annals. Each of these was a highly stratified class society, rather than the tribal one of the old upon chiefdoms.'[20] 'In Southeast Asia new and powerful kingdoms arose. In Cambodia the Khmer kingdom of Angkor replaced Zhenla [...]'[21]
♠ succeeding (quasi)polity ♣ Classical Angkor ♥
♠ Supracultural entity ♣ Indianized Southeast Asia ♥ 'In contrast, the Hindu religion and its trappings offered the benefits of royal ideology tailor-made for nascent Southeast Asian kings, no political strings attached [as in Chinese-style imperial bureaucracy]. Here is what Indianization eventually brought to the region: the rich and complex Hindu religion, its mythology and cosmology, and its ritual (see p. 80); in particular, the cults of the gods Shiva and Vishnu, with whom local kings could identify. The Sanskrit language, the vehicle of Hinduism and one sect of Buddhism, and the source of many loan-works in early Khmer. The Indic (Brahmi) writing system, stone inscriptions and palm-leaf books. The Hindu temple complex, and an architectural tradition of brick and/or stone based upon Gupta prototypes. Statuary representing gods, kings and the Buddha. Cremation burial, at least of the upper stratum of society. Rectilineal town and city plans. Artificial water systems, including rectangular reservoirs (the srah and bray of Classic Khmer culture), as well as canals. Wheel-made pottery, which supplemented but did not supplant the local paddle-and-anvil ceramic tradition.'[22]
♠ scale of supra-cultural interaction ♣ 2,175,000 ♥ km squared. Estimated by using Google Earth Pro to trace the boundaries of modern Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia.

♠ Capital ♣ Kulen Hills; Hariharalaya; Yasodharapura; Koh Ker; Yasodharapura ♥ Kulen Hills: 802ce; Hariharalaya: 803-889ce; Yasodharapura: 889-922ce; Koh Ker: 922-944ce; Yasodharapura: 922-1080ce. 'Jayavarman II [...] established his first capital in the Kulen Hills', but '[s]ome time after his coronation in the Kulen Hills, Jayavarman II established a new capital at Hariharalaya, near modern Roluos, supposedly to take advantage of the resources of the Tonle Sap and its floodplain'; following this, 'Yasovarman I is associated with moving the capital once again, this time centred at the Phnom Bakheng. This new city, referred to as Yasodharapura, would become the political core for most of Angkor’s kings over the next 500 years'. Then, '[a]fter apparently usurping power in a struggle with Harshavarman I in 922 CE [Jayavarman IV] decided to construct a new capital 80 km away from the core political centre on the Tonle Sap Lake', named Koh Ker: however, '[f]ollowing his death the capital was returned to Angkor [i.e. Yasodharapura] and interest in Koh Ker waned with only a single inscription of the following king, Rajendravaraman, evident at the site' [23]. The exact year for the switch from Kulen Hills to Hariharalaya appears to be unknown.

'Jayavarman II appears to have brought significant land and regional lords into a ‘single’ domain by 802 CE. We can begin to discern a ‘united’ polity, and a series of single or at least preeminent capitals: Hariharālaya (Roluos); Yaśodharapura (Angkor); Koh Ker.'[24] 'Early Angkor, in the eighth and early ninth centuries, consisted of two ccenters: one around Ak Yum dating from the seventh century, under what is now the western end of the West Baray; and the other, Hariharalaya, from the eighth century, at what is now called Roulos in Southeast Angkor. Both centers were unbounded and apparently low-density settlements (Pottier 2006). [...] In the late ninth century, the centre was moved to Phnom Bakheng and the East Baray built. This capital, named Yasodharapura, was also unbounded (Pottier 2000) and incorporated both Hariharalya and Ak Yum to form Greater Angkor. Thereafter until the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, the locations of administrative centers and palaces moved around within the network of the urban complex. Only in the late twelfth century, with the construction of the walled and moated central enclosure of Angkor Thom, did the practice of relocating the administrative centre cease. Thereafter, the Bayon, the central temple of Angkor Thom, also became the permanent state temple and Angkor'[25] 'We know little of the history of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and the Khmer chronicles are primarily eighteenth- and nineteenth-century court documents created in the eastern Khmer capitals, in particular Phnom Phenh, with a specific political agenda in mind.'[26] 'Angkor was the vast low-density capital of the Khmer Kingdom, from the early 9th to the mid-14th/15th centuries of the Common Era (CE). At its peak, Angkor sprawled over nearly 1000 km2 [1] and may have housed more than three quarters of a million people [2,3]. The primary administrative centre in a kingdom that dominated most of mainland Southeast Asia by the 11th century CE, Angkor was the largest preindustrial city on Earth and remains the world’s largest archaeological site. The Angkor period is commonly understood to start in 802 CE with the proclamation of Jayavarman II as the chakravartin (universal-king) from a location in the Kulen mountains (Phnom Kulen), overlooking the vast alluvial plain where Angkor would begin to emerge in the following centuries (Figure 1). In doing so, Jayavarman confirmed himself as the great unifier; drawing Cambodia’s disparate polities together under the first ‘god king’ and establishing the Khmer state and the basis of its empire. Phnom Kulen was known as Mahendraparvata; ‘‘the hill of the great Indra’’. The extant history of Mahendraparvata is based on several inscriptions, the most well-known being an 11th century CE inscription (K.235) found at the Sdok Kak Thom temple, in eastern Thailand [4]. The inscription, dated to 1052 CE, outlines the lineage of a private family serving successive Khmer Kings for two and a half centuries, the first mentioned being Jayavarman II.' [27] 'Founded by Yasovarman I in AD 889 to the north of the great lake of Tonle Sap, Angkor, originally known as Yasodhapura, was the capital for almost 500 years.'[28] 'With the fading of the ANGKOR era, Cambodia shifts capitals south to Longvek, then to Udong, and finally to PHNOM PENH.This period also sees the waning of HINDUISM and the rise of THERAVADA BUDDHISM.'[29] 'Circa 928 Jayavarman IV rules from Koh Ker, wehre he has estates some 50 miles northeast of Angkor. There he builds a new urban center, with his palace, a baray, and a stepped pyramid temple to Shiva. 944 Rajendravarman II returns the capital to Angkor. The name “Angkor,” from the Sanskrit word for “city,” was given to the capital only in the 16th century. Temple inscriptions during imperial times call it Yashodharapura, “glory—bearing city.”'[30] 'The Khmer pronunciation of Sanskrit negara, signifying capital of a kingdom. The ancient Khmer capital now known as Angkor was originally called Yasodharapura after Yasovarman, the ruler who moved the capital there in 889.'[31] 'EAST BARAY. Originally called Yasodharatataka after the ruler, Yasovarman, who planned its construction, this is a large artificial body of water (6 by 2.4 kilometers/3.5 by 1.5 miles) in the eastern area of Angkor (see map 5), in the midst of which a shrine called East Mebon was built in 952 by Yasovarman’s nephew Rajen- dravarman. The baray is now dry. It apparently ceased to function in the 10th century, perhaps influencing the decision of Jayavarman IV (921-941) to move to Koh Ker. When the capital was moved from Koh Ker back to Angkor, the East Baray was altered by moving the south bank farther south and raising its height from 2 meters (6.5 feet) to 5 meters (16.5 feet). This reconstruction began in the reign of Harsavarman II (941-944) and was completed during the reign of Rajendravarman (944-968).'[32]
'HARIHARALAYA. Modern Roluos, a site located 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) southeast of Angkor (see map 5). The name refers to the god who is half Siva (Hari) and half Vishnu (Hara). Indravarman II constructed a huge reservoir here, the Indratataka, measuring 3,800 by 800 meters (2.3 by 0.5 miles), approximately 100 times larger than any previous such construction in Cambodia. Other important struc- tures here include Bakong and Lolei. The next ruler, Yasovarman I, moved the capital to the site now known as Angkor.'[33]

♠ Language ♣ Old Khmer ♥ Khmer or Cambodian[34] 'The Khmer language, which is distantly related to Vietnamese and many minority languages spoken in mainland Southeast Asia, belongs to the Mon-Khmer subset of the Austroasiatic family of languages. Over fifty distinct Austroasiatic languages are spoken across a wide swath of the Asian main- land, stretching from eastern India westward to Vietnam. Of these languages, only Khmer and Mon possess alphabets of their own.The Mons and the Khmers are also the only speakers of Austroasiatic languages to practice settled agri- culture. The earliest evidence of written Khmer comes from an inscription incised in southern Cambodia of the seventh century C.E., using an alphabet derived from southern India, which, in modified form, remains in use in contemporary Cambodia. The Thais adapted the alphabet for their own use in the thirteenth century C.E.'[35] 'Linguistically and genetically an Austro-Asiatic group, the Mon belong to the Mon-Khmer ethnological unit. Archaeological remains have shown that they inhabited the area of the Mekong Delta and Tonle Sap regions of present- day Cambodia, northeast Thailand, and around the Gulf of Thailand from at least the beginning of the Common Era (C.E.). Perhaps they date even earlier, as evidence of an Austro-Asiatic group has been found in western Thailand in Kanchanaburi Province near the village of Ban Kao, dating from Neolithic times (10,000 B.C.E.). Archaeological remains indicate that a Mon civilization based on Theravada Buddhism was present in northeast Thailand up to around the early ninth century, when it was overtaken by the Khmers of Angkor expanding from cen- tral Cambodia at the beginning of the reign of Jayavarman II (770/790/802?-834 C.E.).'[36]

General Description

The Khmer Empire was established in 802 CE, when a ruler known as Jayavarman II had himself proclaimed 'universal monarch' in a ceremony performed by Sanskrit-speaking priests on a mountain close to the Tonlé Sap lake.[37] By bringing previously independent polities under their control, Jayavarman II and his successors expanded their realm across mainland Southeast Asia, including parts of modern-day Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.[38] Our Early Angkor period runs from 802 to 1100 CE, after which a new dynasty ‒ named after their place of origin, Mahidharapura ‒ came to power.[39]

Population and political organization

Numerous small kingdoms formed in the lower Mekong Basin in the mid-1st millennium CE, but until the conquests of Jayavarman II, most failed to outlive their founders.[40] Jayavarman II managed to unify previously warring local lords under his aegis, turning independent polities into provinces and laying the foundations for over six centuries of Khmer rule centred on the Siem Reap plain.[41]
Like many polities in Southeast Asia at the turn of the 1st millennium CE, the new kingdom, with its growing urban centre on the north shore of the Tonlé Sap, borrowed from Indian religious practices, concepts of divine kingship, language, writing and iconography in order to legitimize royal power.[42][43] Its kings patronized both Hindu and Buddhist institutions, building monasteries and sanctuaries dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and the Buddha that doubled as outposts of royal power throughout the realm.[44][45] However, in this early period, it was the Hindu concepts that were most dominant: the ruler was exalted as a devaraja (god-king) and symbolically linked to Shiva.[46] Temples built in the kingdom before 1100 CE include Preah Ko, Bakheng, Pre Rup and Baphuon.[47]
The riches of Angkor ultimately flowed from wet-rice agriculture,[48] and an institutionalized hierarchy of officials developed to funnel surplus rice produced in villages, as well as other goods like honey, spices, cloth and gold, to the royal centre.[49][50] Angkor kings also used corvée labour to build temples, irrigation infrastructure and other public works.[51][52]
The Khmer Empire is famous for its sprawling but low-density urban sites.[53] It has been claimed that Angkor itself was the 'largest settlement complex of the preindustrial world':[54] at its peak in the 12th century (after this period) it covered 1000 square kilometres and may have housed over 750,000 people.[55] However, the total population of the empire in this period is still unclear.

Social Complexity variables

♠ RA ♣ Daniel Mullins ♥

Social Scale

♠ Polity territory ♣ 916,847 ♥ in squared kilometers. 'Angkor, largest of all the agrarian low-density urban sites, controlled a core area of 70,00-100,000 km^2 under Suryavarman I (Early eleventh century), Suryavarman II (early twelfth century), and Jayavarman VII (late twelfth to early thirteenth centuries) (Hendrickson 2010) and periodically laid claim to an empire that extended into modern Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam with an area as great as 420,000 km^2.'[56] 'I begin with territorial consolidation. During most of the period c. 900 to 1350, four major polities ruled large sectors of the mainland. Pagan, centered in Upper Burma, controlled the Irrawaddy basin and a modest upland and peninsular perimeter. Angkor dominated the middle and lower Mekong basin, much of the Chaophraya basin, and more intermit- tently, parts of what is now northern and peninsular Thailand.'[57]

♠ Polity Population ♣ ♥ Estimated population of the polity; can change as a result of both adding/losing new territories or by population growth/decline within a region

♠ Population of the largest settlement ♣ 300,000: 800 CE; 400,000: 900 CE ♥ 'We do not know how much of the walled area of Yasodharapura was settled nor the size of its population.'[58]

Yasodharapura capital 900 CE 4km on sides, 16km2, 1600 ha. 250 per hectare = 400,000 people

"Around the year 900 CE, King Yasovarman I ('Protected by Glory; r.899-917 CE) created yet another new city, along with a new state temple and a new significantly larger baray. The city, Yasodharapura ('Glory-Bearing City'), was, like its predecessor, perfectly square, but it was much larger: about 4 kilometers on a side."[59]

Hariharalaya 800 CE 12 km2, 1200 ha. 250 per hectare = 300,000 people

"The city called Hariharalaya was laid out as a perfect square about 3 kilometers on a side."[60]


Hierarchical Complexity

♠ Settlement hierarchy ♣ 5 ♥ levels.

(1) Capital city (monumental structures, theatre, market, hospital, central government buildings),
(2) Major centres a day's journey or less than 25km from Angkor (market, administrative buildings),
(3) Regional centres approximately 150km from Angkor (administrative buildings, storehouse),
(4) Village centres less than 350km from Angkor (taxation office, shrine), and
(5) Hamlet (residential only). 'At any rate, administrative divisions were standardized.

On one widely shared interpretation the designation of many territories as visa where previously there had been praam indicated that formerly autonomous princely fiefs were integrated as provinces. It appears that the former was primarily a geographical term, while the latter came to refer to a specific administrative division, possibly equivalent to a province.' In the thirteenth century, Chou Ta-kuan writes that there were over ninety provinces, each with a fortified citadel. At the level of the locality, there officials whom he called maichiech in the villages, possibly equivalent to me grok, custodians of settlements. Village elders, gramavrddha, are mentioned in the epigraphy, and appear to have had official responsibilities such as delivering criminals, suitably caged, into the custody of royal officials.'[61] 'With distance from Angkor, the inscriptions appear to diminish in number in two stages, consistent with three decreasing levels of influence. Frequencies remain fairly constant up to about 150 km. Beyond this distance, there are fewer inscriptions to 350 km, and after that there are almost none.108 The shapes of the curves may also be a function of the pattern of settlement. For example, the dip in the 25-50 km interval may be related to the proximity of the Tonle Sap Lake, the associated swamps and the Kulen Hills, where there are few temples, while at 150 km the Dangrek Mountains could have affected settlement patterns. It may also be partly due to the existence of modern political boundaries and a potential for Khmer sites and inscriptions in Laos, Vietnam and Thailand to be less frequently recorded or published than those inside Cambodia.'[62] See also Lustig's (2009) six classes of inscription 'density'[63]

♠ Administrative levels ♣ 5 ♥ levels.

(1) the overall ruler (raja),
(2) leaders of regional power bases (terms vary),
(3) provincial (visaya) leaders,
(4) officials of the settlement (maichiech),
(5) village elders (gramavrddha).

'At any rate, administrative divisions were standardized. On one widely shared interpretation the designation of many territories as visa where previously there had been praam indicated that formerly autonomous princely fiefs were integrated as provinces. It appears that the former was primarily a geographical term, while the latter came to refer to a specific administrative division, possibly equivalent to a province.' In the thirteenth century, Chou Ta-kuan writes that there were over ninety provinces, each with a fortified citadel. At the level of the locality, there officials whom he called maichiech in the villages, possibly equivalent to me grok, custodians of settlements. Village elders, gramavrddha, are mentioned in the epigraphy, and appear to have had official responsibilities such as delivering criminals, suitably caged, into the custody of royal officials.'[64] 'Classic Angkor was the centre of an empire, the huge territory of which was divided into provinces. [...] There are two words for 'province': probably both synonyms. Each of these was in turn divided into villages (souk or drama). At every level there were mandarin bureaucrats (khlon, chiefs) representing the central administration, and who ensured that revenues (rice, goods, corvee labour, and the like) flowed smoothly upwards through the system.' [...] The khlon visa was the provincial chief, overseeing the fiscal officers responsible for tax collections, as well as pretor transactions and the fixing of boundaries. Each village had its headman (khlon souk), in reality a royal agent; the actual representatives of the Cambodian village were the gramavrddha, the village elders, who acted as a link between the local and central administrations.'[65] 'Seventh-century inscriptions focus on officials called pon, who ob- tained high status by founding temples and controlled trawang, artifi- cial reservoirs. Some pon were chiefs of small villages around ponds, while others had influence over broader areas. The societies of these small pon-doms were highly stratified, with numerous levels: officials entitled pon or mratan occupied the summit, followed by females who had important ritual functions; then dancers, singers, and musicians; craft specialists; and at the bottom, agricultural workers.'[66] 'Not until the mid-10th century - at roughly the same time as Pagan apparently began to extend its power in Upper Burma - did the notion of a single Khmer kingdom gain stable expression. Starting with Rajendravarman (r. 944-968), we encounter what Ian Mabbett termed “one of the major discontinuities” of Khmer history, arguably more significant than that represented by Jayavarman’s 802 consecration or the establishment of a long-lived capital at Yasodharapura.11 From the mid-10th through the 11th centuries, the following developments point to a truly novel phase. Local dynasts of ancient principalities were increasingly absorbed into a central apparatus, more officials were dispatched to the provinces, and administrative divisions were to some extent standardized. The core population around Angkor expanded markedly, facilitating the construction of unprecedentedly grand hydraulic projects and religious buildings. Shortly before Pagan expanded from Upper Burma to conquer the coast, the Khmer empire itself expanded from the Mekong and around the Great Lake to in- corporate the Mun and Chi valleys to the north and the rich region around Lopburi to the west. A more shadowy authority extended over the upper peninsula.12 Ecclesiastical foundations spearheaded frontier colonization, particularly west and northwest of Angkor in what is now eastern and central Thailand, where Khmer culture and language exer- cised growing influence.13 As the economy grew more complex, it has been suggested that the number of urban sites in the empire more than doubled.14 By the reign of Suryavarman II (r. 1113-1145/1150), builder of Angkor Wat, the empire was arguably at its height, with varying de- grees of authority over the Chaophraya basin, Champa, and much of what is now northern and southern Thailand and Laos.</ref>(Lieberman 2003, pp. 218-219)</ref>

♠ Religious levels ♣ 4 ♥ levels.

(1) purohita (chief priest of the king)
(2) royal hotar (sacrificer)
(3) religious functionaries who received the Sanskrit title of acharya, a learned priest who acted as teacher and spiritual guide; or pandit, someone versed in sacred lore; or of upadhyaya, a teacher and preceptor learned in the vedas
(4) local priests

'Because all the Classic inscriptions deal with matters that are fundamentally religious in nature [...] we have much information on the central religious hierarchy, but little about the secular one. [...] The religious authorities and functionaries in the royal court were certainly almost entirely Brahmin caste [Level 2], although some priests in the provinces and villages [Level 1] may not have been so. Most of them may have received the honorific Khmer title of sten an, reserved for learned men. We already run across the purohita [Level 4]. In peninsular India, this Sanskrit word indicated a family priest or chaplain; in Classic Angkor, this important individual was the chaplain and chief priest of the king and, at least according to the self-serving Sdok Kak Thom stela, was a hereditary officer charged with maintaining the cult of the devajara. The Sanskrit title of hotar or 'sacrificer' occurs frequently in the texts; this is also supposed to indicate 'royal chaplain' - but the exact scope of the term is unclear since while the royal purohita of the devaraja was a hotar, there were other hotars [Level 3]. Most of these may have had important administrative roles. There were many religious functionaries who received the Sanskrit title of acharya, a learned priest who acted as teacher and spiritual guide; or pandit, someone versed in sacred lore; or of upadhyaya, a teacher and preceptor learned in the vedas [Level 2]. As with many Classic Khmer titles, there is little information on whether these were or were not interchangeable.'[67]

♠ Military levels ♣ 6 ♥ levels. ?? King (level 6), leaders of military divisions and mercenary chief (level 5), captains of militia (level 4), member of elephant corps (level 3), member of calvary (level 2), units farmer-builder-soldier class (level 1). According to David Chandler, 'Though the king, who led his country into battle, sometimes engaged his chief enemy in single combat, Khmer military strength rested on the junior officers, the captains of militia. These men commanded the loyalty of peasant groups in their particular locality. If the king conquered a region, a new captain of militia would be enrolled and put under an oath of allegiance. The captains were simply headmen of the outlying regions, but their connection with the king enhanced their status. In time of war they were expected to conscript the peasants in their district and to lead them to Angkor to join the Khmer army. If the captains disobeyed the king they were put to death. The vast majority of the Khmer population were of the farmer-builder-soldier class.'[68] 'One major feature of the 'imperial state' was its maintenance of a large court and a corps of officials. Angkor has a sizeable bureaucracy staffed by officials of many sorts. Like so much about the Khmer kingdom in ancient times, the structure of government and the categories of the civil service are known to us through temple inscriptions, which frequently name various types of official or local dignitary in listing those present to witness the formal demarcation of land bestowed upon religious foundations; they mention a variety of grades and titles, some of them obscure. The khlon rajakarya was responsible for the administration of 'royal work', probably corvee among other things. The tamrvac was an inspector; the officials who swore allegiance to Suryavarman I had this title, for example. The gunadosadarsin (assessor of virtues and defects) was concerned with temple property. A variety of functionaries were called khlon (inspector) and had responsibilities in various areas such as grain, temple dues, management of religious foundations and several aspects of court proceedings. Revenue was usually in kind, being paid in grain, but some special districts paid in other commodities such as honey and wax. There is evidence that some of the categories in which officials were placed were not types of professional specialisation but divisions of the government service placed under the patronage of particular chiefs belonging to the royal family, a system that was indeed known in later centuries. Some of the groups of dignitaries named in named in the inscriptions, again, appear to have been the bearers of hereditary privileges in the royal household; the term varna, for example, designates any of a number of orders of dignity, which have such official functions as religious teachers, performers of rites, door guardians, garden keepers, palace servants, bearers of flywhisks, and artists.'[69] 'At Angkor Wat at the head of the "historic" march past, appears a foreign contingent identified by an epigraphic inscription as the chief of the Siamese and his troops. Is this mercenary chief in the service of Suryavarman II, part of the king's own Siamese guard, similar to the Japanese and even Portuguese guards which some post-Angkorean rulers possessed, or a military contingent from a Siamese principality then a vassal of Cambodia, as S. Shai suggests? We cannot decide.'[70]

Professions

♠ Professional military officers ♣ present ♥ 'There was a chief of corvee labour, inspectors of quality and defaults, chief of the warehouse, and vrah guru, a guardian of the bedchamber in the third category. On inscription mentions a court of justice. Mratan Sri Narendrasimha was a senapati, or military general.'[71] 'Inscriptions help us to identify some of the generals and contingents. Thus, units from Lavo are commanded by Prince Sri Jayasmhavarman, and at the right-end of the parade we see a Thai contingent. Significantly, they are represented as a motley, ill-drilled bunch, marking out of step in contrast to the nearby Khmers.'[72] 'The ordinary Khmer soldiers as well as officers might carry a lance; or a bow, with the arrows being held in a quiver; or sabres of different length; or various sizes of knives and daggers; or a kind of halberd known as a phka'h. The latter was basically an iron axe mounted on a long handle curved at one end. At Angkor Wat, the phka'k is held in the hands of high-ranking warriors mounted on elephants or horses; it is still in use in the twentieth century for hunting or work in the forest. Crossbows were known, but are extremely rare in the reliefs.'[73]

♠ Professional soldiers ♣ present ♥ 'It was everyone's ambition to be "rescued from the mud", but very few were. Most of those were placed, in Angkorean times, into various varna, or caste groupings, which made up perhaps a tenth of society as a whole. These people included clerks, artisans, concubines, artists, high officials, and priests, as well as royal servants, relatives, and soldiers.'[74] 'The ordinary Khmer soldiers as well as officers might carry a lance; or a bow, with the arrows being held in a quiver; or sabres of different length; or various sizes of knives and daggers; or a kind of halberd known as a phka'h. The latter was basically an iron axe mounted on a long handle curved at one end. At Angkor Wat, the phka'k is held in the hands of high-ranking warriors mounted on elephants or horses; it is still in use in the twentieth century for hunting or work in the forest. Crossbows were known, but are extremely rare in the reliefs.'[75]

♠ Professional priesthood ♣ present ♥ 'The bestowal of usufruct could bring tax benefits to a landowner; the orders of scholar-priests dwelling within them offered careers to the sons of great families; the sacramental power of their holy offices ensured rewards in the lives to come for their pious benefactors.'[76] 'Gifts made to temples included all that was needed to support the cycle of rituals and its attendant priesthood: beans, sesame, beeswax, ginger, honey, syrup, clarified butter made from the milk of specially maintained herds, perfume specially ground for temple use.'[77] 'It was everyone's ambition to be "rescued from the mud", but very few were. Most of those were placed, in Angkorean times, into various varna, or caste groupings, which made up perhaps a tenth of society as a whole. These people included clerks, artisans, concubines, artists, high officials, and priests, as well as royal servants, relatives, and soldiers.'[78] 'Temple building and maintenance of monuments, large numbers of state-supported Buddhist clergy, and punitive wars, coupled with the more egalitarian characteristics of THERAVADA BUDDHISM and the rise of the T’AIS, contributed to the decline of ANGKOR.'[79] 'Evidence permits only a few observations about the economic, social, and political organization of the Angkorean polity. It is certain that the economy was based upon wet-rice agriculture, that temples were promi- nent custodians of land and peasants, and that royal authority was expressed through a relatively well-developed hierarchy that included priests and religious sanctions.'[80] :'There was a caste of hereditary priests (a remnant of the broader Indian caste system, perhaps) who purported to trace their ancestry back to those who had served Jayavarman II.'[81]

Bureaucracy characteristics

♠ Full-time bureaucrats ♣ present ♥ 'One major feature of the 'imperial state' was its maintenance of a large court and a corps of officials. Angkor has a sizeable bureaucracy staffed by officials of many sorts. Like so much about the Khmer kingdom in ancient times, the structure of government and the categories of the civil service are known to us through temple inscriptions, which frequently name various types of official or local dignitary in listing those present to witness the formal demarcation of land bestowed upon religious foundations; they mention a variety of grades and titles, some of them obscure. The khlon rajakarya was responsible for the administration of 'royal work', probably corvee among other things. The tamrvac was an inspector; the officials who swore allegiance to Suryavarman I had this title, for example. The gunadosadarsin (assessor of virtues and defects) was concerned with temple property. A variety of functionaries were called khlon (inspector) and had responsibilities in various areas such as grain, temple dues, management of religious foundations and several aspects of court proceedings. Revenue was usually in kind, being paid in grain, but some special districts paid in other commodities such as honey and wax. There is evidence that some of the categories in which officials were placed were not types of professional specialisation but divisions of the government service placed under the patronage of particular chiefs belonging to the royal family, a system that was indeed known in later centuries. Some of the groups of dignitaries in named in the inscriptions, again, appear to have been the bearers of hereditary privileges in the royal household; the term varna, for example, designates any of a number of orders of dignity, which have such official functions as religious teachers, performers of rites, door guardians, garden keepers, palace servants, bearers of flywhisks, and artists.'[82]

♠ Examination system ♣ inferred absent ♥ Many positions appear to have been hereditary. 'In this country there are ministers, generals, astronomers, and other officials, and, below them, all kinds of minor employees; only their names differ from ours. Mostly princes are designated for [official] positions; in other cases those selected offer their daughters as royal concubine.'[83] 'Administrative officials were classified in four divisions, apparently horizontally arranged, which may have had a geographical basis, but about which little is known (Sahai 1978: 18). At least some administrative posts were hereditary, especially in the Angkorian period. For example, the purohita and the yājaka usually seem to have been hereditary officials and a single family was said to have been in charge of the devarāja cult for a period of 250 years (ibid., 24-25). A number of positions close to the kings (purohita, hotar, guru, ācārya and guṇadośadarśi) are referred to in Angkorian period inscriptions written by officials. These tend to be Sanskrit terms which had religious connotations, but as Vickery (2002: 93) points out, some of these became secular, as in India, and perhaps were so in Cambodia from the start. Researchers are not in agreement on issues such as whether certain roles and titles had to be held by Brahmins, could be held by women or were hereditary (Mabbett 1978: 33; Sahai 1978: 28; Chakravarti 1980: 53).'[84]

♠ Merit promotion ♣ inferred absent ♥ Many positions appear to have been hereditary. 'In this country there are ministers, generals, astronomers, and other officials, and, below them, all kinds of minor employees; only their names differ from ours. Mostly princes are designated for [official] positions; in other cases those selected offer their daughters as royal concubine.'[85] 'Administrative officials were classified in four divisions, apparently horizontally arranged, which may have had a geographical basis, but about which little is known (Sahai 1978: 18). At least some administrative posts were hereditary, especially in the Angkorian period. For example, the purohita and the yājaka usually seem to have been hereditary officials and a single family was said to have been in charge of the devarāja cult for a period of 250 years (ibid., 24-25). A number of positions close to the kings (purohita, hotar, guru, ācārya and guṇadośadarśi) are referred to in Angkorian period inscriptions written by officials. These tend to be Sanskrit terms which had religious connotations, but as Vickery (2002: 93) points out, some of these became secular, as in India, and perhaps were so in Cambodia from the start. Researchers are not in agreement on issues such as whether certain roles and titles had to be held by Brahmins, could be held by women or were hereditary (Mabbett 1978: 33; Sahai 1978: 28; Chakravarti 1980: 53).'[86]

♠ Specialized government buildings ♣ present ♥ The religious education centre of Ta Prohm. 'One of the major temples of Jayavarman VII - in fact, a temple-monastery - Ta Phrom features a set of concentric galleries with corner towers and gopuras, but with many additional buildings and enclosures. [...] Ta Phrom's original name was Rajavihara, 'the royal monastery'. In the initial plan for Ta Prohm, 260 divinities were called for; many more were added later.'[87].

Law

♠ Formal legal code ♣ present ♥ 'Justice was administered according to principles about which we have little detailed information, though certainly such Indian texts as the Manusmrti [...] were known. The king was recognised as the final court of appeal and final authority in law. Before a case reached the king, it might go through various lower courts; inscriptions frequently mention officials who appear to have functions connected with courts of law.'[88] 'The Sanskrit poems proclaim the grandeur of kings; the Khmer inscriptions exhibit the precision with which jurisdictional squabbles were prosecuted and slaves registered.'[89] 'As in the rest of the Indic world, the Angkor state and empire were government by rules laid down in the Code of Manu, a great compendium of Brahmanic law probably composed around the 4th century BC. [...] Every judicial act was theoretically inscribed on stone as well as on plaques of gold, silver or copper. The Khmer king was the defender of the law and order in Cambodia. His law courts, present on every administrative level right down tot he village, instituted criminal proceedings against transgressors and guaranteed the integrity of landholdings and the settling of boundary problems. Not even religious institutions such as temples were immune, sine they as well as private individuals could be sued over land.'[90] 'Indian notions of kingship, which included the erection of commemorative stelae, architectural and art styles, the legal code, the use of a script, and the Hindu religion were selectively and skillfully woven into the emerging state-like polities of Cambodia.'[91] 'The contents of Khmer temple libraries which may have been reproduced over the centuries, and the Khmer language royal chronicles, for which we have some evidence, are no longer extant (Jacques and Dumont [1990]1999: 17-18). This situation contrasts with that in some other parts of tropical Southeast Asia, where non-temple documents produced several hundred years ago still exist, having either been written on lasting materials such as copper plate or continuously reproduced (e.g. Wisseman 1977: 198-199; Aung Thwin 1985: 8-12; Wisseman Christie 1993: 180-181). These are sometimes able to provide alternative views of the society in which they were produced and can be compared with the temple inscription texts. In Burma, for example, the availability of a variety of historical text types (government archives, law codes, histories and administrative records, civil codes and chronicles giving narrative accounts) represent contemporary Burmese society somewhat more comprehensively (Aung Thwin 1983: 48; 1985: 8-12).'[92]

♠ Judges ♣ present ♥ 'Persons accused of crimes were taken before examining magistrates called sabhachara; these were peripatetic investigators of the court. Witnesses were called, testimony sworn, and written depositions taken. Often, fines were assessed, but punishments for serious infractions of the law was severe.'[93] 'The king was recognised as the final court of appeal and final authority in law. Before a case reached the king, it might go through various lower courts; inscriptions frequently mention officials who appear to have functions connected with courts of law. There is no way of measuring the extent of discrimination and corruption in the administration of justice. The ideal of fairness to all was certainly recognized; one judge, or [sic] example, is declared to have been appointed on the strength of his impartiality'[94] [95] 'From its earliest appearance, the Khmer language adopted a great many lexical terms from Sanskrit (Bhattacharya 1991: 6; Pou 2003: 283). However, the content of the Khmer inscriptions differ markedly from the Sanskrit ones. They are not addressed to gods, but to a temporal audience: authorities and officials, relatives of the founders, and in their broad imprecations, to the world in general. The authors tend not to express a political agenda here, in that they do not praise or assert power. The Khmer inscriptions seem more like legal documents - they often record the history of endowments made to foundations and they establish the ownership of land, setting out the rights of the foundation and the founder’s family. Vickery (1985) has suggested that many such texts in the 10th and 11th centuries have a certain political agenda on the part of the authors, who often appear to be concerned with their claims to titles and land. The texts may list and describe in detail the property of the foundation, record the donors, the circumstances under which land was acquired, the price paid, and settlement of disputes by courts. They may note the weight, quantity and material of temple ‘treasure’ or objects used in exchanges, the rice production of foundation lands, sometimes their location and dimensions. Requirements for continuing support for divinities and temple personnel may be set out and personnel might be listed, sometimes by name, gender, dependents, duties or place of origin, or else as totals. The texts may also refer to imposts or immunities granted to the foundations. The king is frequently acknowledged in inscriptions authored by individuals other than rulers, and a date is often recorded. The king is depicted as having a key role in state administration, establishing inquiries and being at least nominally responsible for legal decisions, ordering building works to be initiated, etc. There is an emphasis on the role of the ruler or of his predecessors in giving land, granting permission to purchase it or materially supporting the foundation, presumably placing the founder and his relatives under some future obligations. The authors record the merit, accrued by the ruler through his generosity, which is mostly dealt with poetically in the Sanskrit texts. Inscriptions written by rulers in Old Khmer are edicts relating mostly to matters of law, temple administration or land allocation and taxation. The texts are somewhat formulaic, though of varying length. Presumably, wealthier temples had more resources warranting recording, and had more literate scribes to produce the texts.'[96]

♠ Courts ♣ present ♥ 'One major feature of the 'imperial state' was its maintenance of a large court and a corps of officials. Angkor has a sizeable bureaucracy staffed by officials of many sorts. Like so much about the Khmer kingdom in ancient times, the structure of government and the categories of the civil service are known to us through temple inscriptions, which frequently name various types of official or local dignitary in listing those present to witness the formal demarcation of land bestowed upon religious foundations; they mention a variety of grades and titles, some of them obscure. The khlon rajakarya was responsible for the administration of 'royal work', probably corvee among other things. The tamrvac was an inspector; the officials who swore allegiance to Suryavarman I had this title, for example. The gunadosadarsin (assessor of virtues and defects) was concerned with temple property. A variety of functionaries were called khlon (inspector) and had responsibilities in various areas such as grain, temple dues, management of religious foundations and several aspects of court proceedings. Revenue was usually in kind, being paid in grain, but some special districts paid in other commodities such as honey and wax. There is evidence that some of the categories in which officials were placed were not types of professional specialisation but divisions of the government service placed under the patronage of particular chiefs belonging to the royal family, a system that was indeed known in later centuries. Some of the groups of dignitaries named in named in the inscriptions, again, appear to have been the bearers of hereditary privileges in the royal household; the term varna, for example, designates any of a number of orders of dignity, which have such official functions as religious teachers, performers of rites, door guardians, garden keepers, palace servants, bearers of flywhisks, and artists.'[97] 'As in the rest of the Indic world, the Angkor state and empire were government by rules laid down in the Code of Manu, a great compendium of Brahmanic law probably composed around the 4th century BC. [...] Every judicial act was theoretically inscribed on stone as well as on plaques of gold, silver or copper. The Khmer king was the defender of the law and order in Cambodia. His law courts, present on every administrative level right down tot he village, instituted criminal proceedings against transgressors and guaranteed the integrity of landholdings and the settling of boundary problems. Not even religious institutions such as temples were immune, sine they as well as private individuals could be sued over land.'[98]

♠ Professional Lawyers ♣ present ♥ 'The king was recognised as the final court of appeal and final authority in law. Before a case reached the king, it might go through various lower courts; inscriptions frequently mention officials who appear to have functions connected with courts of law. There is no way of measuring the extent of discrimination and corruption in the administration of justice. The ideal of fairness to all was certainly recognized; one judge, or [sic] example, is declared to have been appointed on the strength of his impartiality'[99] [100] 'Persons accused of crimes were taken before examining magistrates called sabhachara; these were peripatetic investigators of the court. Witnesses were called, testimony sworn, and written depositions taken. Often, fines were assessed, but punishments for serious infractions of the law was severe.'[101] 'Within the village were local judicial courts (rah sabha), and there was always a keeper of records - an office that continued down to the nineteenth century.'[102] 'Yang (2004) following Xia (1981) using the Shuofu A text, points to an inexactitude in Pelliot, whose text maintained the contrary, that scrivener's shops did exist.'[103]

Specialized Buildings: polity owned

♠ irrigation systems ♣ present ♥ 'Recent work at Angkor by the EFEO and the Greater Angkor Project has mapped a vast water management network extending across approximately 1000 sq km. From the new map an outline can be provide of the development of the network between the 8th-9th and the 14th centuries. Each large extension of the network tapped water from a succession of natural rivers flowing from NE to SW. Each river was further north and was tapped further to the west. The network had five major components - E-W embankments that trapped water flowing from the north and northeast; N-S channels that eventually delivered water to large reservoirs (baray); the baray and the large temple moats; embankments and channels oriented from NW to SE that could distribute water back from west to east across the slope of the land; and channels oriented towards the southwest which could dispose of water rapidly to the lake, the Tonle Sap. Significantly the later major channels, such as the Angkor Wat canal and the canal that pre-dated the current Siem Reap river, were drains that served to dispose of water into the lake.'[104] '[T]he Khmer practised water management on a scale dwarfing that of the Maya and most other regions of the world. Angkor’s surrounds were converted into an artificial landscape criss-crossed with canals, embankments, reservoirs, dams and other massive engineering works to redirect river flows, store water for the dry season and avert floods by disposing of excess water during monsoons. The Khmer struggled for centuries to maintain their hydraulic landscape until it became overwhelmed by climate change, producing floods that broke embankments and canals filled with sediments from eroded terrains'[105] [106] ‘Retention and storage of surplus water during the rainy and flood seasons for use during the rest of the year was, along with the buildings of religious monuments, the major preoccupation of Khmer engineers throughout the long history of the empire.’[107] 'Aside from the destructive effects of recurrent wars, Khmer kings constructively made it a priority to build reservoirs and canals, all necessary for collective irrigation. Some kings built rest houses along roads; others built hospitals.'[108] 'Tikal featured constructed reservoirs in the centre among the main monuments and around the periphery of the central area that could hold about 568,000 m^3 of water at one time and more than 900,000 m^3 during the course of a year (Scarborough and Galloping 1991:661). By contrast, the West Baray at Angkor could hold more than 50 million m^3 of water at one time and covered 16 km^2 (Fletcher et al. 2008).'[109] 'Pre-Angkor inscriptions refer to donations of rice field workers to temples, but not to irrigation. Thus agriculture was probably depen- dent on trapping floodwater or rainfall. Another possibility in certain areas around the Great Lake was a system of natural pumping created by raising the level of groundwater through creating a unique, com- plex system arising from local ecology. This might have been the rea- son for the construction of the large baray of the Angkor period. Early Cambodian water retention systems may have consisted of earthen dams open on one side, in a system similar to that of Java. Inscriptions contain no references to plowing, but do mention water buffalo and use of a yoke.'[110]
♠ drinking water supply systems ♣ present ♥ ‘The importance of preserving this watershed as a source of water for the rice paddies and to fill the city’s transportation canals and municipal water system was clearly understood by the earliest inhabitants of the area’ [111] ‘Each water-based feature fulfilled several functions. Barays provided agricultural and domestic water, and fish and plant foods. Canals channeled water for public sanitation, and transport arteries. Embankments and dikes were usually oriented east-west following the contours and acted both as levees ti control floods and elevated causeways for roads. Moats surrounding temples, monuments, and inhabited areas also fulfilled several functions: they served as sacred boundaries, they were a source of domestic water and food, and they provided fill for foundations to raise the level of the terrain for drainage and protection. Access to domestic water was provided by tanks and basins dug into the water table.’[112] 'More recently, a similar pattern was identified in the spacing of rectangular water tanks (trapeang) at four or five kilometre intervals along most of the Angkorian roads (Hendrickson 2004). This combined information points to an elaborate road network with a centrally-planned infrastructure to support the regular movement of people across a region'[113] 'As the population in chiefly urban centers grew, so steps had to be taken to conserve and reticulate water. This was achieved by digging circular moats around settlements and allowing water to flow into the rice fields beyond. It is likely that such a system was used only to maintain the absence of wet season rains, and the moats would have also supplied the populace with water, defines, and aquatic food.'[114]
♠ markets ♣ present ♥ 'In other scenes, wrestling palace guards amuse themselves by tying one another into knots; and, in the marketplace, pedlars grapple with baskets, hung from the shoulder-yole, that are still a familiar sight in monsoon Asia.'[115] According to Zhou Daguan, '"In Cambodia it is the women who take charge of trade... Market is held every day from six o'clock until noon. There are no shops in which merchants live; instead, they display goods on a matting spread upon the ground".'[116]
♠ food storage sites ♣ present ♥ 'State temples linked by river and road tot he capital not only promulgated the royal cult, but also served as repositories for the surpluses of rice, oil, medicines, and all the other products necessary to sustain the the social system.'[117] 'Chou Ta-kuan was in Cambodia less than a century after the reign of Jayavarman VII, who founded 102 medical institutions in all parts of the kingdom. Inscriptions list in detail the provisions that had to be made for the upkeep of these institutions, which required a huge investment in food, furnishing, and medicinal herbs. They are usually called 'hospitals', though it is not clear whether they had any in-patients. It is more likely that they were warehouses and dispensaries for medicines.'[118]

Transport infrastructure

♠ Roads ♣ present ♥ ‘Each water-based feature fulfilled several functions. Barays provided agricultural and domestic water, and fish and plant foods. Canals channeled water for public sanitation, and transport arteries. Embankments and dikes were usually oriented east-west following the contours and acted both as levees ti control floods and elevated causeways for roads. Moats surrounding temples, monuments, and inhabited areas also fulfilled several functions: they served as sacred boundaries, they were a source of domestic water and food, and they provided fill for foundations to raise the level of the terrain for drainage and protection. Access to domestic water was provided by tanks and basins dug into the water table.’[119] 'In spite of a century of Angkorian research, the study of the great system of highways that tied together the provinces of the Classic Khmer Empire has hardly begun.'[120] '[Jayavarman VII] saw to the construction of many other buildings across his empire, including roads with guesthouses every 9.3 miles (15 km) that linked Angkor with viceregal centers such as Phimai.'[121] 'Highways were built—straight, stone-paved roads running across hundreds of kilometers, raised above the flood level, with stone bridges across rivers and lined with rest houses every 15 kilometers.'[122]
♠ Bridges ♣ present ♥ The Phnom Sres (1022 CE) inscription found in the Battambang region makes reference to the construction of reservoirs along roads and a wooden bridge across a river (Jacques 1968:616-617). [123]
♠ Canals ♣ present ♥ ‘The importance of preserving this watershed as a source of water for the rice paddies and to fill the city’s transportation canals and municipal water system was clearly understood by the earliest inhabitants of the area’[124] ‘The Rolous River, along which the first capital city of Angkor, Hariharalaya, was founded in the 9th century A.D. Note how the river bed was wide and straightened in ancient times to increase capacity and facilitate transport.’[125]
♠ Ports ♣ present ♥ Though the seat of power during Angkor moves to the Tonle Sap, it remains attached to the shorelines of the Mekong and its tributaries. Inscriptions make reference to transport by boat. [126] Ports were undoubtedly used, but unlike the monumental ports of the Mediterranean, the structures in Cambodia must have been more modest if we look at how port areas are organized nowadays in the Mekong. The drastic water level changes prevents the construction of fixed structures, therefore the ports may have been composed of stilted buildings, floating platforms and elevated trackways from the platforms to the shore or from boats to the shore. [127]. Perhaps the largest ports were built by the state, but smaller transit points for riverine trade would have probably been organized by local communities, as they wouldn't require great investments. [128]. Other researchers have suggested that there were no ports: '[...] Cambodia had no deep-water port of its own until the 1950s'[129] 'Given the location of Angkor in relation to Chinese or Cham ports, some or much of the reported trade was probably overland rather than via coastal ports.'[130] It could be argued that the type of boats used in Cambodia do not require deep ports, but larger boats are documented in the bas-reliefs of Angkor [131]. Even though there may not have ventured into the Tonle Sap lake, the large planked vessel represented in the Bayon indicates that large vessels arrived in Angkorian ports. Similarly, ethnographic data shows an extensive use of boats for transport, so even if the coastal trade may have been limited, as Lusting suggests, trade using inland waters must have been necessarily conducted. [132].

Special purpose sites

♠ Mines or quarries ♣ present ♥ 'While the dynastic sequence has been established on the basis of inscriptions and art history, it is archaeology that has illuminated crucial aspects of the state structure: the control of water, the infrastructure of roads, bridges, hospitals and quarries, and industrial production.'[133] The LiDAR archaeological survey by Evans (2016) and others provides an incredibly detailed illustration of the large-scale quarrying that was carried out near Phnom Kulen and elsewhere.[134]

Information

Writing System

♠ Mnemonic devices ♣ present ♥ 'Each year the mandarin chooses a day in the month which corresponds to the fourth Chinese month and notifies all the country. Each family with a daughter subject to chen-t'an notifies the mandarin. The mandarin sends a candle on which a mark is made. At nightfall of the appointed day, the candle is lighted and when it burns up to the mark, the moment of chen-t'an has arrived.'[135]
♠ Nonwritten records ♣ inferred absent ♥ Not mentioned by sources.
♠ Written records ♣ present ♥ According to Miriam Stark, '[i]ndividuals increased their karma for the next life by establishing temples or making donations to extant temple (see also Hagesteijn 1996:189, passim). Entrenched and aspiring elite members recorded their temple offerings in stone. Such activity is clear in the earliest dated Khmer inscription (K. 600) from Angkor Borei in southern Cambodia. This inscription lists donations to the temple/foundation by two elite individuals: nine males, nine females, two children, eighty head of cattle, two buffalo, ten goats, forty coconut trees, and two rice fields (Vickery 1998:227)',[136] and 'most indigenous inscriptions record the beneficence of aspiring elite individuals'[137]
♠ Script ♣ present ♥ 'From the mid first millennium AD onward, Khmers constructed brick, stone, and laterite monuments with dedicatory stelae bearing Khmer, Sanskrit, or Khmer and Sanskrit inscriptions; these constitute the primary indigenous documentary source.'[138] 'The first dated Khmer-language inscription from Cambodia was incised in 611, and the earliest Sanskrit inscription was carved two years later.[139] 'No one knows for certain how long people have lived in what is now Cambodia, where they came from, or what languages they spoke before writing was introduced, using an Indian-style alphabet, around the third century CE.'[140] 'The Pre-Angkorian Sanskrit texts were generally short ‘literary gestures’ (ibid., 219), but by the Angkorian period, they used very sophisticated poetry, employing polished orthography and grammar, as in India. These display knowledge of Indian intellectual and political thought and of literature including the metrics of poetry (Majumdar 1953: xvii-iii; Bhattacharya 1991: 2-4; Pollock 1996: 218-220; Dagens 2003: 217). Yet, although Indian Brahmins were occasionally brought in (Wolters 1982: 91), Sanskrit culture was generally indigenised, with local inflections present from the beginning. Khmer Brahmins are said to be the authors of major Sanskrit works such as the Ta Prohm and Prah Khan inscriptions (Pollock 1996: 220; 222). In Jacques’ (1986: 328) view, the elite that knew Sanskrit was very small and since the texts are found only on temple sites, this may suggest that the only audience for the Sanskrit inscriptions was the gods. Whereas the use of Sanskrit in public writing died out quickly in Burma and Java, it lasted up to the late 13th century in Cambodia (Footnote 47). Its decline is linked with the spread of Theravada Buddhism (Houben 1996:11).'[141] 'This ascendance has important implications when considering the inscriptions of Southeast Asia. The earli- est of these, from VO CANH in southern coastal Vietnam, was written in Sanskrit, as were those of the coastal state of FUNAN. Indeed, Sanskrit was the preferred language of all the major inscriptions of CHENLA and the kingdom of ANGKOR, in Cambodia, although Old KHMER was also used in subsidiary texts on many occasions. The quality of the Sanskrit employed was admirable, as seen in the long dedicatory inscriptions of the temples of the PRE RUP, PREAH KHAN, and TA PROHM at Angkor.'[142]
♠ Phonetic alphabetic writing ♣ present ♥ ‘The signally used in the Khmer language is and Indic-based script which dates back about 1500 years. It was used in inscription as far back as the sixth century and remains in use throughout Cambodia. The system is highly complex. Much of the complexity is due to its long history, since the phonology of the language has changed radically while the writing system has remained fairly constant. The writing system is alphasyllabic […] and written from left to right. The primary graphic graphic element represents a consonant, with vowels indicated by symbols on either side of the consonant or hovering above or below. The consonant is written first, and then the vowel is added, even if the vowel sign is written to the left of the consonant. The space below the primary consonant is used for secondary consonants. Diacritics which affect the interpretation of the consonant appear both above and below the consonant, sometimes shifting position depending on the shape of the consonant.’ […] Khmer was originally carved in stone and written on palm leaves.’ [143] 'No one knows for certain how long people have lived in what is now Cambodia, where they came from, or what languages they spoke before writing was introduced, using an Indian-style alphabet, around the third century CE.'[144]

Kinds of Written Documents

♠ Lists, tables, and classifications ♣ present ♥ According to Miriam Stark, '[i]ndividuals increased their karma for the next life by establishing temples or making donations to extant temple (see also Hagesteijn 1996:189, passim). Entrenched and aspiring elite members recorded their temple offerings in stone. Such activity is clear in the earliest dated Khmer inscription (K. 600) from Angkor Borei in southern Cambodia. This inscription lists donations to the temple/foundation by two elite individuals: nine males, nine females, two children, eighty head of cattle, two buffalo, ten goats, forty coconut trees, and two rice fields (Vickery 1998:227)',[145] and 'most indigenous inscriptions record the beneficence of aspiring elite individuals'[146], and '[g]enealogies frequently appear in royal inscriptions [...]'[147] 'From its earliest appearance, the Khmer language adopted a great many lexical terms from Sanskrit (Bhattacharya 1991: 6; Pou 2003: 283). However, the content of the Khmer inscriptions differ markedly from the Sanskrit ones. They are not addressed to gods, but to a temporal audience: authorities and officials, relatives of the founders, and in their broad imprecations, to the world in general. The authors tend not to express a political agenda here, in that they do not praise or assert power. The Khmer inscriptions seem more like legal documents - they often record the history of endowments made to foundations and they establish the ownership of land, setting out the rights of the foundation and the founder’s family. Vickery (1985) has suggested that many such texts in the 10th and 11th centuries have a certain political agenda on the part of the authors, who often appear to be concerned with their claims to titles and land. The texts may list and describe in detail the property of the foundation, record the donors, the circumstances under which land was acquired, the price paid, and settlement of disputes by courts. They may note the weight, quantity and material of temple ‘treasure’ or objects used in exchanges, the rice production of foundation lands, sometimes their location and dimensions. Requirements for continuing support for divinities and temple personnel may be set out and personnel might be listed, sometimes by name, gender, dependents, duties or place of origin, or else as totals. The texts may also refer to imposts or immunities granted to the foundations. The king is frequently acknowledged in inscriptions authored by individuals other than rulers, and a date is often recorded. The king is depicted as having a key role in state administration, establishing inquiries and being at least nominally responsible for legal decisions, ordering building works to be initiated, etc. There is an emphasis on the role of the ruler or of his predecessors in giving land, granting permission to purchase it or materially supporting the foundation, presumably placing the founder and his relatives under some future obligations. The authors record the merit, accrued by the ruler through his generosity, which is mostly dealt with poetically in the Sanskrit texts. Inscriptions written by rulers in Old Khmer are edicts relating mostly to matters of law, temple administration or land allocation and taxation. The texts are somewhat formulaic, though of varying length. Presumably, wealthier temples had more resources warranting recording, and had more literate scribes to produce the texts.'[148]
♠ Calendar ♣ present ♥ 'At Angkor Wat [...] the measurements of both parts and whole contain calendrically and cosmologically significant totals. As an illustration of the part/whole relationship, the circumference of the fourth (outer) enclosure at Angkor Wat measures 1 lunar year expressed as 354.36 units. (There are 354.36 days in 12 lunar months). The circumference also includes a 28-unit ritual path through the triad of eastern, northern, and southern entrances. One lunar month is often expressed as 28 days of length and is a subdivision the lunar year. IN other words, the 28-unit path is contained within the 354.36-unit circumference, and the 28-day month is contained within the 354-day year. The part-whole relationship in architecture parallels the part/whole relationship in the calendar.'[149] 'In Khmer astronomy, the positions of the planets and stars can be determined without using trigonometry. Nevertheless, at some point between the second and fifth centuries A.D., Indian astronomy adopted the trigonometric calculations of the Greeks and Romans. These methods may have been introduced into Cambodia by the fifth or sixth centuries. When solar and lunar alignments were found at Angkor Wat in 1976, it was clear that the angles between the towers, the moon or sun, and the observation points were carefully calculated, further suggesting that a knowledge of trigonometry was current when the temple was constructed.[150] 'Calendrical values were part of a living cultural context and invariably emerge in Khmer inscriptions. In this simple one-sentence inscription, two or three words were enough to say that a Siva gingham was set up (read:in a temple constructed for that purpose), but it took several lines to explain when that happened. The planets' positions in the 12 zodiac signs or in the 27/28 naksatra, the light or dark half of the lunar month, the solar month, the day of the week, and the year come first by custom-before the main statement. According to tradition, the era date is given 'backwards,' with the smallest year first and the century last, and spelled out through numerical symbols.'[151] Attested as present during Angkorean times by David Chandler[152]. The central administration in Angkor must have had fairly detailed information for the purposes of taxation and core labour of all the empire's inhabitants, for according to Zhou a census was taken during the ninth Cambodian month, where everyone (or, more likely, all heads of families) was called to the capital, and passed in review before the Royal Palace. Such census registers were kept in Aymonier's day, and revised every three years.'[153]
♠ Sacred Texts ♣ present ♥ 'Most of the subjects are drawn from the Indian epics and sacred books—Ramayana, Mahabarata, Harivamsa, Puranas—and portray legendary scenes from the lives of Rama and Krishna, avatars of Vishnu. They begin less than a meter from the floor and cover more than two meters in height. Owing to their extent, their accessibility, and their perfect lighting, these bas-reliefs are among the most striking specimens of Khmer art and among those longest remembered.'[154]
♠ Religious literature ♣ present ♥ 'This means that the sources available to us consist mainly of those that were inscribed on stone. The stone inscriptions were normally composed as records of endowments to temples, and they were overwhelmingly skewed to the affairs of religious institutions.'[155] 'For several hundred years, Sanskrit was used in inscriptions that supposedly addressed the gods. Khmer, on the other hand, was the predominant language of Cambodian men and women, those who were protected by the gods and descended, as gods did not, from their ancestors and the highly localised nak ta.'[156] 'This section also includes a discussion of the Riemker, which is the Khmer version of the great Indian epic, the Ramayana, and how they differ. He identifies indigenous additions and changes and notes similarities between later versions of the Riemker and scenes depicted on the bas-reliefs at Angkor Wat.'[157]
♠ Practical literature ♣ present ♥ 'The Indian combat manual Kautiliya Arthashastra gives an idea of the ideal battle array, specifying 'three combat foot-soldiers per horsemen, fifteen per chariot (which in fact were not in combat use in Cambodia) or for an elephant plus five horse.' The same proportions applied to the 'foot-guards' who were probably grooms attending to the animals. So the ideal combat unit consisted of sixty warriors for an elephant and five calvary. [...] The same Indian military manual relates that on the eve of a battle the chaplain would make offerings to the Fire.'[158]'
♠ History ♣ present ♥ 'Sanskrit inspirit, in verse, praise the actions of kings and the elite, such as building Hindu temples, sponsoring Buddhist monasteries, winning wars, and offering gifts to monks and brahmans. Some of the speakers trace or doctor their genealogies, as is to cash in on or invent ancestral merit; many praise brahmans at the expense of other segments of society; and all are fulsome in praise of those in power, who have, after all, allowed the temples to be built and the stone inscriptions to be incised.'[159] 'From now on [1327] the only sources of information are the Royal Chronicles of Cambodia, known in several recensions, but generally regarded as unreliable; they are supposed to date from 1346 and were drawn up as lists of kings with details of the main events of each king's reign. However written on perishable palm-leaf, they were often rewritten and re-edited to suit later reigns.'[160] 'The contents of Khmer temple libraries which may have been reproduced over the centuries, and the Khmer language royal chronicles, for which we have some evidence, are no longer extant (Jacques and Dumont [1990]1999: 17-18). This situation contrasts with that in some other parts of tropical Southeast Asia, where non-temple documents produced several hundred years ago still exist, having either been written on lasting materials such as copper plate or continuously reproduced (e.g. Wisseman 1977: 198-199; Aung Thwin 1985: 8-12; Wisseman Christie 1993: 180-181). These are sometimes able to provide alternative views of the society in which they were produced and can be compared with the temple inscription texts. In Burma, for example, the availability of a variety of historical text types (government archives, law codes, histories and administrative records, civil codes and chronicles giving narrative accounts) represent contemporary Burmese society somewhat more comprehensively (Aung Thwin 1983: 48; 1985: 8-12).'[161]
♠ Philosophy ♣ present ♥ 'During the first five hundred years or so of the current era, India provided Cambodia with a writing system, a pantheon, meters for poetry, a language (Sanskrit) to write it in, a vocabulary of social hierarchies (not the same as a caste system), Buddhism, the idea of universal kingship, and new ways a looking at politics, sociology, architecture, iconography, astronomy, and aesthetics.'[162]
♠ Scientific literature ♣ present ♥ 'During the first five hundred years or so of the current era, India provided Cambodia with a writing system, a pantheon, meters for poetry, a language (Sanskrit) to write it in, a vocabulary of social hierarchies (not the same as a caste system), Buddhism, the idea of universal kingship, and new ways a looking at politics, sociology, architecture, iconography, astronomy, and aesthetics.'[163]
♠ Fiction ♣ inferred present ♥ Religious dramas and their derivations dominate the popular literature.


Money

♠ Articles ♣ present ♥ 'The Khmer empire never developed a standardized currency, instead using exchange equivalents in gold, silver, rice, cloth, cattle, butter and slaves (Sedov 1978:125), and remained a marginal player in the China-Southeast Asia trade network.'[164] 'Revenue was usually in kind, being paid in grain, but some special districts paid in other commodities such as honey and wax.'[165]
♠ Tokens ♣ absent ♥ 'The Khmer empire never developed a standardized currency, instead using exchange equivalents in gold, silver, rice, cloth, cattle, butter and slaves (Sedov 1978:125), and remained a marginal player in the China-Southeast Asia trade network.'[166]
♠ Precious metals ♣ present ♥ 'The Khmer empire never developed a standardized currency, instead using exchange equivalents in gold, silver, rice, cloth, cattle, butter and slaves (Sedov 1978:125), and remained a marginal player in the China-Southeast Asia trade network.'[167]
♠ Foreign coins ♣ present ♥ 'In China's Song dynasty (AD 960-1279), contemporaneous with the period most closely associated with that height of the Khmer empire, records of Khmer tributary missions are scare compared to missions reported for neighbouring polities including Champa (central Vietnam) and southern Sumatra (Wong 1979). During this era, polities in Java and Sumatra developed multiple shipping ports, hosted foreign merchants, and established coinage (Christie 1999). The Khmer empire never developed a standardized currency, instead using exchange equivalents in gold, silver, rice, cloth, cattle, butter and slaves (Sedov 1978:125), and remained a marginal player in the China-Southeast Asia trade network.'[168]
♠ Indigenous coins ♣ absent ♥ 'In China's Song dynasty (AD 960-1279), contemporaneous with the period most closely associated with that height of the Khmer empire, records of Khmer tributary missions are scare compared to missions reported for neighbouring polities including Champa (central Vietnam) and southern Sumatra (Wong 1979). During this era, polities in Java and Sumatra developed multiple shipping ports, hosted foreign merchants, and established coinage (Christie 1999). The Khmer empire never developed a standardized currency, instead using exchange equivalents in gold, silver, rice, cloth, cattle, butter and slaves (Sedov 1978:125), and remained a marginal player in the China-Southeast Asia trade network.'[169] 'The economy of Angkor, now receiving detailed scholarly attention is somewhat peculiar because, unlike most neighbouring states, the empire never used money of any kind.'[170] 'Some major differences between the pre-Angkor and Angkor peri- ods include the transfer of the center of power and population from southeast to northwest Cambodia (see map 4); the title pon disap- peared; inscriptions adopted a different format; new names were used for deities; and new words for economic subjects appeared. The system of coinage used in early Cambodia was discontinued; the Angkor period economy was moneyless.'[171] 'Coinages were arguably introduced into Southeast Asia to expand the economies of early Indianised polities, including Funan, and to enhance the status of rulers. The absence of coins in later polities, such as Pagan and Angkor, is attributed to the redistribution of surplus wealth through the temples and monasteries, rather than the royal courts (Gutman 1978: 8-10)'[172]
♠ Paper currency ♣ absent ♥ 'The Khmer empire never developed a standardized currency, instead using exchange equivalents in gold, silver, rice, cloth, cattle, butter and slaves (Sedov 1978:125), and remained a marginal player in the China-Southeast Asia trade network.'[173] 'The economy of Angkor, now receiving detailed scholarly attention is somewhat peculiar because, unlike most neighbouring states, the empire never used money of any kind.'[174] 'Some major differences between the pre-Angkor and Angkor peri- ods include the transfer of the center of power and population from southeast to northwest Cambodia (see map 4); the title pon disap- peared; inscriptions adopted a different format; new names were used for deities; and new words for economic subjects appeared. The system of coinage used in early Cambodia was discontinued; the Angkor period economy was moneyless.'[175]

Postal System

♠ Couriers ♣ present ♥ Coe (2003), citing Mabbett, states, 'Inevitably, a ruler lived spider-like at the centre of a huge web of activities, surrounded by an army of clerks, cleaners, attendants, cooks, porters, messengers, carters, valets, maintenance workers, engineers, and so forth.'[176] 'Suryavarman II is famed as a great concjueror. For several years his soldiers dominated the northern Chams, whom he recruited as allies in a series of unsuccessful invasions of Dai Viet. The Khmers communicated with the northern Cham territories through mountain passes from the Mekong Valley, and, interestingly, the southern Cham territories appear not to have felt the power of Suryavarman II.'[177]
♠ Postal stations ♣ inferred absent ♥ Temple clusters functioned as postal stations. 'The findings challenge a few currently held views (e.g. that transactions were conducted without a unit of account), corroborate others (e.g. that officials based in regional areas acted in multiple roles, including the collection of levies), and provide some additional insights into the political economy of the Khmer state (e.g. that there were clusters of temple sites of long duration together forming communication corridors).'[178]
♠ General postal service ♣ absent ♥ Administrative and trade communication was widespread, but their is no evidence of private communication channels. 'Though Khmer territory is not considered extremely fertile by global stan- dards, the low population density has almost always allowed for the production of a large rice surplus throughout the country. This abil- ity of all regions to produce their own food and the general uniformity of resources throughout the country led to a situation of minimal trade relations within the kingdom itself. Internal in- frastructure such as roads, bridges, and canals was never attended to, and there was little need for ordinary Khmers from different regions to communicate with one another. Instead all interactions moved up and down the social hi- erarchy. Externally Khmer royalty purchased gold, silk, porcelain, lacquerware, umbrellas, and other luxury goods from China and India, in turn trading beeswax, bird feathers, rhinoc- eros horn, and other tropical forest products.'[179]

Warfare variables

♠ RA ♣ Daniel Mullins, Robert Ross ♥

Military Technologies

Military use of Metals

♠ Copper ♣ inferred present ♥ Bronze armor have been found and copper is needed to make bronze, so it seems reasonable to assume that copper weapons were probably used too.
♠ Bronze ♣ present ♥ 'From all this, we can bear in mind that Khmer breastplates, as we have described them, possibly used the materials cited by Bezacier: buffalo skins, tree bark, and bronze, even if this metal was replaced with iron at the period we are discussing, if indeed metal was used in making this armour. This was the case of the king, if we can believe Zhou Daguan, who in the thirteenth century AD indicates that the sovereign "had his body class in iron, so that even knives and arrows, striking his body, could not harm him".'[180]
♠ Iron ♣ present ♥ 'For personal defence, there were two kinds of shields: round ones ornamented with vegetal or flower motifs, and long ones ornamented on the top border. The latter could be grouped together to form a kind of rampart. Both were probably of wood and hide, with metal plaques. Although most warriors wore only a kind of short-sleeved jacket (sometimes resembling the quilted 'armour' in use in Mesoamerica), many were protected by a cylindrical cuirass, often with one or two knives lashed over it for close combat.'[181] 'From all this, we can bear in mind that Khmer breastplates, as we have described them, possibly used the materials cited by Bezacier: buffalo skins, tree bark, and bronze, even if this metal was replaced with iron at the period we are discussing.'[182]
♠ Steel ♣ inferred absent ♥ 'From all this, we can bear in mind that Khmer breastplates, as we have described them, possibly used the materials cited by Bezacier: buffalo skins, tree bark, and bronze, even if this metal was replaced with iron at the period we are discussing, if indeed metal was used in making this armour. This was the case of the king, if we can believe Zhou Daguan, who in the thirteenth century AD indicates that the sovereign "had his body class in iron, so that even knives and arrows, striking his body, could not harm him".'[183] Polity expert Charles Higham "I dont think there was ever a transition to steel but will ask the iron expert, Oliver Pryce for his view." (pers. comm. with Harvey Whitehouse 04/08/2017)

Projectiles

♠ Javelins ♣ inferred absent ♥ Jacq-Hergoualc'h's in-depth and authoritative analysis of Khmer weaponry includes no mention of javelins.[184]
♠ Atlatl ♣ absent ♥ New World weapon
♠ Slings ♣ inferred absent ♥ Jacq-Hergoualc'h's in-depth and authoritative analysis of Khmer weaponry includes no mention of slings.[185]
♠ Self bow ♣ present ♥ The date of the inscription of Baset—the only inscription that got away from the Mekong and its path to the sea—hints that it may have been carved before Jayavarman I was really settled on the throne. The inscriptions seem to indicate that after long campaigns he pacified the country; but the location of his inscriptions hint that he may have made a mistake in abandoning his bow and arrows. During his later years at least he does not seem to have had all Chenla under his control; for, in a reign of perhaps more than 40 years, with more inscriptions than any other king before Yasovarman I, the inscriptions of his reign seem but once or twice to get away from the immediate region of the Mekong and its route to its port.'[186] According to Coe (2003), iron was used in weaponry, including knives, spears and arrowheads since Iron Age chiefdoms (c. 500 BC to c. 200-500 CE). 'Iron was used not only for axes (for land clearance) and digging implements, but also for weaponry, principally knives, spears and arrowheads; in fact, weapons are often found in burials'[187] 'But before we do this, to avoid repetition, we shall consider what was the technological level of this army, that is, what were the weapons it used, for, of course, contrary to what Zhou Daguan affirms, namely that the use of bows, arrows, ballistae, and breastplates was unknown to the Khmer army, it did in fact have these arms.'[188] 'After the lance, the bow, at least at Angkor Wat, is the most common weapon.'[189]
♠ Composite bow ♣ inferred absent ♥ Jacq-Hergoualc'h's in-depth and authoritative analysis of Khmer weaponry includes no mention of compound bows. 'They hold their bows almost vertically, left arm taut, the thumb on the inside of the flexed bow, the end of the arrow being upheld by the hand, with the right hand drawing back the bowstring as far as the chin, and holding the base of the arrow.'[190]
♠ Crossbow ♣ present ♥ 'The ordinary Khmer soldiers as well as officers might carry a lance; or a bow, with the arrows being held in a quiver; or sabres of different length; or various sizes of knives and daggers; or a kind of halberd known as a phka'h. The latter was basically an iron axe mounted on a long handle curved at one end. At Angkor Wat, the phka'k is held in the hands of high-ranking warriors mounted on elephants or horses; it is still in use in the twentieth century for hunting or work in the forest. Crossbows were known, but are extremely rare in the reliefs.'[191] 'Others, equally rare, carry an arbalest. This weapon (Fig 12.5), very poorly reproduced, seems to consist of a bow and a grooved guide. G. Groslier suggests it is a wooden trigger holding taught the bowstring; this seems possible but we have found nothing like it.'[192]
♠ Tension siege engines ♣ absent ♥ Jacq-Hergoualc'h (2007 [1979]) discusses the royal army and its weapons examining the bas-reliefs of three temples: Angkor Wat, the Bayon, and Banteay Chhmar. The bas-reliefs of Agkor Wat depict the conquests of Suryavarman II (1113-c. 1150 CE), while those at the Bayon and Banteay Chhmar depict the conquests of Jayavarman VII (1181-c. 1218 CE). Thus, the detailed bas-reliefs of these three temples allows the scholar to examine Khmer military history spanning roughly one hundred years. Unfortunately, Jacq-Hergoualc'h does not make explicit (or quantify) the evolutionary changes over this time period. The earlier military technology at Angkor Wat depicts 'the most basic weapons, essentially lances, bows and arrows, and bucklers, sometimes in tandem with breastplates' (Jacq-Hergoualc'h 2007: 173). As noted by Coe (2003: 186), '[f]ar more sophisticated armament is to be seen on the Bayon and at Banteay Chhmar, especially among the infantry. This includes the ballista, mounted either on elephant back or on a wheeled vehicle that could be rolled onto the field of battle [...].' According to Jacq-Hergoualc'h (2007: 35), none of these 'big machines' are present on the bas-reliefs of Angkor Wat, the construction of which (c. 1113-1145 CE) pre-dates the great battles with the Chams during the reign of Jayavarman VII (beginning in c. 1181 CE). Furthermore, the emphasis on horses diminished and chariots were abandoned in favor of a more developed and elaborate corps of elephants surrounded by infantry.
♠ Sling siege engines ♣ absent ♥ Jacq-Hergoualc'h (2007 [1979]) discusses the royal army and its weapons examining the bas-reliefs of three temples: Angkor Wat, the Bayon, and Banteay Chhmar. The bas-reliefs of Agkor Wat depict the conquests of Suryavarman II (1113-c. 1150 CE), while those at the Bayon and Banteay Chhmar depict the conquests of Jayavarman VII (1181-c. 1218 CE). Thus, the detailed bas-reliefs of these three temples allows the scholar to examine Khmer military history spanning roughly one hundred years. Unfortunately, Jacq-Hergoualc'h does not make explicit (or quantify) the evolutionary changes over this time period. The earlier military technology at Angkor Wat depicts 'the most basic weapons, essentially lances, bows and arrows, and bucklers, sometimes in tandem with breastplates' (Jacq-Hergoualc'h 2007: 173). As noted by Coe (2003: 186), '[f]ar more sophisticated armament is to be seen on the Bayon and at Banteay Chhmar, especially among the infantry. This includes the ballista, mounted either on elephant back or on a wheeled vehicle that could be rolled onto the field of battle [...].' According to Jacq-Hergoualc'h (2007: 35), none of these 'big machines' are present on the bas-reliefs of Angkor Wat, the construction of which (c. 1113-1145 CE) pre-dates the great battles with the Chams during the reign of Jayavarman VII (beginning in c. 1181 CE). Furthermore, the emphasis on horses diminished and chariots were abandoned in favor of a more developed and elaborate corps of elephants surrounded by infantry.
♠ Gunpowder siege artillery ♣ absent ♥ 'Military campaings were probably conducted in the Post-Classic period as they had been during the Classic Era, but on a lesser scale: it is doubtful if any king of Lovek or Udong could muster the armies that were fielded by rulers like Suryavarman II. There was no standing army - in times of war, the patron was expected to muster a force of his clients, and place himself or an officer designated by the king at the head. The arms that they bore were substantially like those wielded by Classic warriors, with the addition of firearms and canon (after 1600). Again the principle of five ruled, as there were five corps: the vanguard, the rear guard, the right flank, the left flank, and the central corps or main body of the army, where the king kept himself with his war elephants. These animals were strengthened magically from time to time by bring sprayed with water mixed with human bile (or so say our sources); magical ideas also led the warriors to cover themselves with protective amulets. The king would be surrounded by Brahmins who conducted ritual ablutions, and by soothsayers who were consulted on the placement of military camps and for auspicious days for military operations.'[193]
♠ Handheld firearms ♣ absent ♥ 'Military campaings were probably conducted in the Post-Classic period as they had been during the Classic Era, but on a lesser scale: it is doubtful if any king of Lovek or Udong could muster the armies that were fielded by rulers like Suryavarman II. There was no standing army - in times of war, the patron was expected to muster a force of his clients, and place himself or an officer designated by the king at the head. The arms that they bore were substantially like those wielded by Classic warriors, with the addition of firearms and canon (after 1600). Again the principle of five ruled, as there were five corps: the vanguard, the rear guard, the right flank, the left flank, and the central corps or main body of the army, where the king kept himself with his war elephants. These animals were strengthened magically from time to time by bring sprayed with water mixed with human bile (or so say our sources); magical ideas also led the warriors to cover themselves with protective amulets. The king would be surrounded by Brahmins who conducted ritual ablutions, and by soothsayers who were consulted on the placement of military camps and for auspicious days for military operations.'[194] 'The only major novelty is the appearance at the Bayon and Banteay Chmar of war machines which put the army a step up the ladder of technical prowess. But we are still far from the appearance of firearms.'[195]

Handheld weapons

♠ War clubs ♣ inferred absent ♥ Jacq-Hergoualc'h's in-depth and authoritative analysis of Khmer weaponry includes no mention of war clubs.[196]
♠ Battle axes ♣ present ♥ 'The ordinary Khmer soldiers as well as officers might carry a lance; or a bow, with the arrows being held in a quiver; or sabres of different length; or various sizes of knives and daggers; or a kind of halberd known as a phka'h. The latter was basically an iron axe mounted on a long handle curved at one end. At Angkor Wat, the phka'k is held in the hands of high-ranking warriors mounted on elephants or horses; it is still in use in the twentieth century for hunting or work in the forest. Crossbows were known, but are extremely rare in the reliefs.'[197] According to Jacq-Hergoualc'h (2007), 'typical axes, or phka'ks' were present.[198]
♠ Daggers ♣ present ♥ 'The permanent guard maintained at the capital was probably better. Relief sculpture portrays guards wearing helmets wrought with elaborate motifs; door guards wearing helmets wrought with elaborate motifs; door guardians carrying ceremonial weapons, their points protected by covers; sentinels carry lances, swords and shields. Ordinary soldiers carried lances in their right hands and shields in their left. The arsenal included sabres, swords, shields, broadswords, daggers, catapults and other contrivances.'[199]
♠ Swords ♣ present ♥ 'Inscriptional eulogies as a matter of routine describe kings as carrying swords red with the blood of their enemies, felling foes with vibrant blades, and cleaving the bodies of their enemies.'[200]
♠ Spears ♣ present ♥ According to Coe (2003), iron was used in weaponry, including knives, spears and arrowheads since Iron Age chiefdoms (c. 500 BC to c. 200-500 CE). 'Iron was used not only for axes (for land clearance) and digging implements, but also for weaponry, principally knives, spears and arrowheads; in fact, weapons are often found in burials'[201]
♠ Polearms ♣ present ♥ 'The ordinary Khmer soldiers as well as officers might carry a lance; or a bow, with the arrows being held in a quiver; or sabres of different length; or various sizes of knives and daggers; or a kind of halberd known as a phka'h. The latter was basically an iron axe mounted on a long handle curved at one end. At Angkor Wat, the phka'k is held in the hands of high-ranking warriors mounted on elephants or horses; it is still in use in the twentieth century for hunting or work in the forest. Crossbows were known, but are extremely rare in the reliefs.'[202] 'Remaining to be studied is a weapon, the phkn'h, a kind of axe (which in this translation will be termed the Khmer axe) which, like the knives and cutlasses, remains the same in form from generation to generation until the present.'[203]

Animals used in warfare

♠ Dogs ♣ inferred absent ♥ Dogs are not held in high esteem and fighting with them would be disgraceful. Jacq-Hergoualc'h' (2007) exhaustive discussion of the military structure and weaponry of the Khmers makes no mention of the use of camels, dogs, or donkeys.[204] 'Only dogs are forbidden entry through the gates [of Angkor Thom]. 'The wall is a very regular square, and on each side is a stone tower. Criminals who have had their toes cut are also forbidden entry.'[205]
♠ Donkeys ♣ inferred absent ♥ Jacq-Hergoualc'h' (2007) exhaustive discussion of the military structure and weaponry of the Khmers makes no mention of the use of camels, dogs, or donkeys.[206]
♠ Horses ♣ present ♥ 'Armies did not consist of permanent standing armies but were raised ad hoc for particular campaigns by the great men of their provinces, who were responsible for supplying troops for royal service. Often enough, huge armies could be raised this way; Chau Ju-kua claims that the Khmers in his time had 200,000 elephants and many horses (albeit small ones). It is difficult to trust such figures. No doubt there could be enormous hordes of cheaply maintained foot soldiers - Chou Ta-kuan says that there had been universal conscription for a recent exhausting war against the Siamese - though the levies might be ill-trained and poorly equipped. Chou tells us that the Khmer soldiers were unclothed and barefoot; they lacked discipline and were poorly led'.[207] 'The ordinary Khmer soldiers as well as officers might carry a lance; or a bow, with the arrows being held in a quiver; or sabres of different length; or various sizes of knives and daggers; or a kind of halberd known as a phka'h. The latter was basically an iron axe mounted on a long handle curved at one end. At Angkor Wat, the phka'k is held in the hands of high-ranking warriors mounted on elephants or horses; it is still in use in the twentieth century for hunting or work in the forest. Crossbows were known, but are extremely rare in the reliefs.'[208] 'Calvary horses were ridden without saddle or stirrups, and during combat the mounted knights often stood on their steeds' backs. [...] War chariots were very similar to nags-decorated carts, but were roofless, and drawn by a pair of horses.'[209] 'Seen in profile, as is most often the case, the chariot appears like a kind of cart drawn by two horses, the second animal often merging with the first and being very unclear.'[210] 'We will close this section on the calvary with a few words about the arms carried by the horsemen. At Angkor Watt [sic], these arms are above all offensive; the lance is common, as are also the sabre and the Khmer axe (Fig 44.1). The only weapon they never carry is the bow.'[211] 'The acquisition of a calvary raised many more problems: horses had to be imported, perhaps from India-like those of the embassy of the Funan, Fan Zhan, received as a gift from the court of the Murundas around AD 230-240, most likely from China via Vietnam. This difficulty must always have acted as a restraint on the development of this corps.[212] 'There is some correlation between centers of horse breeding and core regions of classical empires, suggesting that easy access to horses contributed to the military might of Pagan, Angkor, Champa, and Majapahit. This is most strikingly illustrated by well-preserved bas- reliefs of prancing Khmer horses. An elite cul- ture of horsemanship diffused from India in the course of the first millennium C.E., reflected in Sanskrit words embedded in many Southeast Asian languages, with China as another influen- tial model. Numerous Indian and Chinese texts relating to horses were available, but the mili- tary technology and court rituals of Southeast Asia remained distinct.To a greater extent than in India, horses were subordinate to elephants, for both war and prestige. Mounted infantry was more common than cavalry proper, and the technique of the mounted archer was scarcely employed.'[213]
♠ Camels ♣ absent ♥ Jacq-Hergoualc'h' (2007) exhaustive discussion of the military structure and weaponry of the Khmers makes no mention of the use of camels, dogs, or donkeys.[214]
♠ Elephants ♣ present ♥ 'Armies did not consist of permanent standing armies but were raised ad hoc for particular campaigns by the great men of their provinces, who were responsible for supplying troops for royal service. Often enough, huge armies could be raised this way; Chau Ju-kua claims that the Khmers in his time had 200,000 elephants and many horses (albeit small ones). It is difficult to trust such figures. No doubt there could be enormous hordes of cheaply maintained foot soldiers - Chou Ta-kuan says that there had been universal conscription for a recent exhausting war against the Siamese - though the levies might be ill-trained and poorly equipped. Chou tells us that the Khmer soldiers were unclothed and barefoot; they lacked discipline and were poorly led'.[215] 'The ordinary Khmer soldiers as well as officers might carry a lance; or a bow, with the arrows being held in a quiver; or sabres of different length; or various sizes of knives and daggers; or a kind of halberd known as a phka'h. The latter was basically an iron axe mounted on a long handle curved at one end. At Angkor Wat, the phka'k is held in the hands of high-ranking warriors mounted on elephants or horses; it is still in use in the twentieth century for hunting or work in the forest. Crossbows were known, but are extremely rare in the reliefs.'[216] 'The elephant was harnessed very simply, to judge by the few models found in the outer gallery of the Bayon (Fig. 17). It has a breast strap, a saddle girth, and a crupper of a special type, these three ropes being interlinked. To these should be added a headpiece and small bell around the back, attached to the breast strap.'[217] 'The elephant was most clearly recorded during the Khmer empire dating from roughly 809 C.E. to 1431 C.E. During this time, the great temple of Angkor Wat and the Bayon were built.The frequent wars against theThais and Chams involved use of large “tuskers,” or superior male elephants, as well as elephants that carried men and goods. Elephants were important in moving the stones that built the temples, the logs that built the palaces, and the rice and other foods produced by the popu- lace to feed the royalty and the priests.The war elephants are wonderfully illustrated in the reliefs on the gallery walls of Angkor Wat. Similarly, many elephants are found among the carvings on the walls of Borobudur, the great Javanese Hindu-Buddhist temple dating to about 800 C.E.'[218]

Armor

♠ Wood, bark, etc ♣ present ♥ 'For personal defence, there were two kinds of shields: round ones ornamented with vegetal or flower motifs, and long ones ornamented on the top border. The latter could be grouped together to form a kind of rampart. Both were probably of wood and hide, with metal plaques. Although most warriors wore only a kind of short-sleeved jacket (sometimes resembling the quilted 'armour' in use in Mesoamerica), many were protected by a cylindrical cuirass, often with one or two knives lashed over it for close combat.'[219] 'The warrior could always extend his buckler with an addition (Fig 8.3) which might have been made of finely-woven rattan, as is clearly seen in type 10.'[220]
♠ Leather, cloth ♣ present ♥ 'From all this, we can bear in mind that Khmer breastplates, as we have described them, possibly used the materials cited by Bezacier: buffalo skins, tree bark, and bronze, even if this metal was replaced with iron at the period we are discussing, if indeed metal was used in making this armour. This was the case of the king, if we can believe Zhou Daguan, who in the thirteenth century AD indicates that the sovereign "had his body class in iron, so that even knives and arrows, striking his body, could not harm him".'[221]
♠ Shields ♣ present ♥ 'The permanent guard maintained at the capital was probably better. Relief sculpture portrays guards wearing helmets wrought with elaborate motifs; door guards wearing helmets wrought with elaborate motifs; door guardians carrying ceremonial weapons, their points protected by covers; sentinels carry lances, swords and shields. Ordinary soldiers carried lances in their right hands and shields in their left. The arsenal included sabres, swords, shields, broadswords, daggers, catapults and other contrivances.'[222] 'For personal defence, there were two kinds of shields: round ones ornamented with vegetal or flower motifs, and long ones ornamented on the top border. The latter could be grouped together to form a kind of rampart. Both were probably of wood and hide, with metal plaques. Although most warriors wore only a kind of short-sleeved jacket (sometimes resembling the quilted 'armour' in use in Mesoamerica), many were protected by a cylindrical cuirass, often with one or two knives lashed over it for close combat.'[223] 'This includes a ballista, mounted either on elephant back or on a wheeled vehicle that could be rolled onto the field of battle; it consisted of two opposed bows, worked by two men, and shot arrows with tremendous force. Michel Jacq-Hergoulac'h, the leading authority on Khmer warfare, believes it may have been of Chinese origin. Shield 'ramparts' mounted on wheels are another innovation of Kayavarman's VII's reign.'[224] Jacq-Hergoualc'h (2007 [1979]) discusses the royal army and its weapons examining the bas-reliefs of three temples: Angkor Wat, the Bayon, and Banteay Chhmar. The bas-reliefs of Agkor Wat depict the conquests of Suryavarman II (1113-c. 1150 CE), while those at the Bayon and Banteay Chhmar depict the conquests of Jayavarman VII (1181-c. 1218 CE). Thus, the detailed bas-reliefs of these three temples allows the scholar to examine Khmer military history spanning roughly one hundred years. Unfortunately, Jacq-Hergoualc'h does not make explicit (or quantify) the evolutionary changes over this time period. The earlier military technology at Angkor Wat depicts 'the most basic weapons, essentially lances, bows and arrows, and bucklers, sometimes in tandem with breastplates' (Jacq-Hergoualc'h 2007: 173). As noted by Coe (2003: 186), '[f]ar more sophisticated armament is to be seen on the Bayon and at Banteay Chhmar, especially among the infantry. This includes the ballista, mounted either on elephant back or on a wheeled vehicle that could be rolled onto the field of battle [...].' According to Jacq-Hergoualc'h (2007: 35), none of these 'big machines' are present on the bas-reliefs of Angkor Wat, the construction of which (c. 1113-1145 CE) pre-dates the great battles with the Chams during the reign of Jayavarman VII (beginning in c. 1181 CE). Furthermore, the emphasis on horses diminished and chariots were abandoned in favor of a more developed and elaborate corps of elephants surrounded by infantry.
♠ Helmets ♣ present ♥ 'The warriors are nearly always bear-headed. In the outer gallery at the Bayon there is one example in a poor condition of a dealers (Fig. 58E). [...] The head and nape of the neck seem to be covered by a kind of helmet with three protuberances: the central one is highest, and all three are embossed with regular concentric circles.'[225] 'The permanent guard maintained at the capital was probably better. Relief sculpture portrays guards wearing helmets wrought with elaborate motifs; door guards wearing helmets wrought with elaborate motifs; door guardians carrying ceremonial weapons, their points protected by covers; sentinels carry lances, swords and shields. Ordinary soldiers carried lances in their right hands and shields in their left. The arsenal included sabres, swords, shields, broadswords, daggers, catapults and other contrivances.'[226]
♠ Breastplates ♣ present ♥ 'For personal defence, there were two kinds of shields: round ones ornamented with vegetal or flower motifs, and long ones ornamented on the top border. The latter could be grouped together to form a kind of rampart. Both were probably of wood and hide, with metal plaques. Although most warriors wore only a kind of short=sleeved jacket (sometimes resembling the quilted 'armour' in use in Mesoamerica), many were protected by a cylindrical cuirass, often with one or two knives lashed over it for close combat.'[227] 'But before we do this, to avoid repetition, we shall consider what was the technological level of this army, that is, what were the weapons it used, for, of course, contrary to what Zhou Daguan affirms, namely that the use of bows, arrows, ballistae, and breastplates was unknown to the Khmer army, it did in fact have these arms.'[228] 'At Angkor Wat, breastplates were mostly worn by soldiers of higher rank riding elephants and horses rather than by foot soldiers. The breastplates have a special wrap-around form which encloses the chest, leaving the arms and neck free.'[229] 'Some soldiers also wore a sort of breast plate in two pieces bound togather across the chest with twine. Their use seems to have been discontinued dueing the reign of Jayavarman VII.'[230] Jacq-Hergoualc'h (2007 [1979]) discusses the royal army and its weapons examining the bas-reliefs of three temples: Angkor Wat, the Bayon, and Banteay Chhmar. The bas-reliefs of Agkor Wat depict the conquests of Suryavarman II (1113-c. 1150 CE), while those at the Bayon and Banteay Chhmar depict the conquests of Jayavarman VII (1181-c. 1218 CE). Thus, the detailed bas-reliefs of these three temples allows the scholar to examine Khmer military history spanning roughly one hundred years. Unfortunately, Jacq-Hergoualc'h does not make explicit (or quantify) the evolutionary changes over this time period. The earlier military technology at Angkor Wat depicts 'the most basic weapons, essentially lances, bows and arrows, and bucklers, sometimes in tandem with breastplates' (Jacq-Hergoualc'h 2007: 173). As noted by Coe (2003: 186), '[f]ar more sophisticated armament is to be seen on the Bayon and at Banteay Chhmar, especially among the infantry. This includes the ballista, mounted either on elephant back or on a wheeled vehicle that could be rolled onto the field of battle [...].' According to Jacq-Hergoualc'h (2007: 35), none of these 'big machines' are present on the bas-reliefs of Angkor Wat, the construction of which (c. 1113-1145 CE) pre-dates the great battles with the Chams during the reign of Jayavarman VII (beginning in c. 1181 CE). Furthermore, the emphasis on horses diminished and chariots were abandoned in favor of a more developed and elaborate corps of elephants surrounded by infantry.
♠ Limb protection ♣ inferred absent ♥ 'Most of the breastplates show on their lower edge a flounce which is not, in spite of its appearance, to be confused with the end of the short jacket the soldiers wear underneath: this is always confirmed by its short sleeves.'[231]
♠ Chainmail ♣ present ♥ As we have seen, Indravarman married the daughter of Jayavarman VIII, forced the abdication of that monarch, disposed of the legitimate claimant and began to reign himself, at the end of 1295 or early in 1296. Chou Ta-kuan speaks of him as a soldier and a vigorous young ruler. The only inscription of his reign which gives much information about him speaks as if he reorganized a disunited country. It contains a panegyric in which he congratulates his subjects on replacing an old king by a young one: "If the land, sustained by an ancient king, experienced ordinarily the inconveniences of a superabundance of enemies, now, guarded by a young king, it does not experience the least inconvenience" (392, st. 12). This new king, covered with mail, ventured on the streets, which the old king had not dared to do. Chou Ta-kuan says that, during the year he spent at Angkor, he saw the king set out from the palace four or five times.' [232]
♠ Scaled armor ♣ inferred absent ♥ Jacq-Hergoualc'h's (2007) in-depth and exhausting examination of Khmer armor discusses breastplates, rattan, resin-coated rattan, and thickly-braided cotton protective wear, but makes no mention of scaled armour, laminar armour, or plate armour.[233]
♠ Laminar armor ♣ inferred absent ♥ Jacq-Hergoualc'h's (2007) in-depth and exhausting examination of Khmer armor discusses breastplates, rattan, resin-coated rattan, and thickly-braided cotton protective wear, but makes no mention of scaled armour, laminar armour, or plate armour.[234]
♠ Plate armor ♣ inferred absent ♥ Jacq-Hergoualc'h's (2007) in-depth and exhausting examination of Khmer armor discusses breastplates, rattan, resin-coated rattan, and thickly-braided cotton protective wear, but makes no mention of scaled armour, laminar armour, or plate armour.[235]

Naval technology

♠ Small vessels (canoes, etc) ♣ present ♥ 'The Khmer sources for this Cham victory refer to a surprise naval attack, sending a fleet up the Tonle Sap to the Great Lake. This illustrates the importance of shipping, for naval warfare as well as commerce; the Khmers, long accustomed to navigation on the Lake and the great waterways that seamed their territory, were not backward when it came to war at sea, and in the twelfth-century war against the Vietnamese it was claimed that they sent a fleet of 700 vessels round the coast.'[236]
♠ Merchant ships pressed into service ♣ inferred absent ♥ Jacq-Hergoualc'h's in-depth and exhaustive examination of Khmer naval history does not produce any evidence of the use of merchant ships in military affairs.[237]
♠ Specialized military vessels ♣ present ♥ 'The Khmer sources for this Cham victory refer to a surprise naval attack, sending a fleet up the Tonle Sap to the Great Lake. This illustrates the importance of shipping, for naval warfare as well as commerce; the Khmers, long accustomed to navigation on the Lake and the great waterways that seamed their territory, were not backward when it came to war at sea, and in the twelfth-century war against the Vietnamese it was claimed that they sent a fleet of 700 vessels round the coast.'[238] 'Elsewhere we see a land battle (with the Cham enemies wearing their characteristic head-dress with floral crests), and a naval battle, in which fierce-prosed longboats are crowded by standing warriors who wield spears above their heads, while shoals of fish below them suggest the otherwise invisible water.'[239] 'Great naval battles with the Cham appear on the Bayon and at Banteay Chhmar, both sides employing essentially identical ships embellished with garudas on the prow and nagas on the stern. Each vessel had 20 to 42 rowers plus a steersman, and must have been enormous. The bloody engagements on the waters of the Great Lake included the use of grappling hooks.'[240] 'The representation of naval craft used in war, on their own or taking part in a battle, is found twice in the Khmer bas-reliefs we are studying: once at Bayon on the end wall of the other gallery, S side, E wing (Fig. 111), a scene whose portrayals or naval vessels can be linked to those in the same wing but farther west (Fig. 110), and the on some panels on the south-east corner of the same gallery. The other is found at Banteay Chmar where another naval battle fills a panel on the outer east gallery, south wing (Fig. 112).',[241] 'According to Maspero (2002[1928]: 75; see also Cœdès 1968[1964]: 159-160), Sūryavarman had his own fleet which might not have been confined to the Mekong and other river systems, since later Vietnam sources report Khmer attacks in 1128 by over 700 ships to loot the coasts of Thanh-hoa. In 1147, the Chinese resumed diplomatic relations with the Khmer by honouring the (Chenla) king, and negotiated a commercial agreement (Cœdès 1968[1964]: 162; Briggs 1999[1951]: 189).'[242]

Fortifications

♠ Settlements in a defensive position ♣ present ♥ 'King Jayavarman II’s restlessness did not end when he moved his court to the Great Lake region. During his reign he would build three capitals, abandoning each before he made his final choice at Roluos. Regarding his move to Angkor, Michael Vickery has suggested that it resulted from military and political pressure from the hostile kingdom of Champa. Angkor was also remote from the coast of the South China Sea—and seaborne enemies such as the Javanese—with access hindered by the numerous sandbars and treacherous currents of the Mekong delta.'[243] 'Military campaings were probably conducted in the Post-Classic period as they had been during the Classic Era, but on a lesser scale: it is doubtful if any king of Lovek or Udong could muster the armies that were fielded by rulers like Suryavarman II. There was no standing army - in times of war, the patron was expected to muster a force of his clients, and place himself or an officer designated by the king at the head. The arms that they bore were substantially like those wielded by Classic warriors, with the addition of firearms and canon (after 1600). Again the principle of five ruled, as there were five corps: the vanguard, the rear guard, the right flank, the left flank, and the central corps or main body of the army, where the king kept himself with his war elephants. These animals were strengthened magically from time to time by bring sprayed with water mixed with human bile (or so say our sources); magical ideas also led the warriors to cover themselves with protective amulets. The king would be surrounded by Brahmins who conducted ritual ablutions, and by soothsayers who were consulted on the placement of military camps and for auspicious days for military operations.'[244] 'As the population in chiefly urban centers grew, so steps had to be taken to conserve and reticulate water. This was achieved by digging circular moats around settlements and allowing water to flow into the rice fields beyond. It is likely that such a system was used only to maintain the absence of wet season rains, and the moats would have also supplied the populace with water, defines, and aquatic food.'[245] 'Groslier (1998[1986]: 262) argues that Jayavarman VII built Vat Nokor and Ta Prohm of Bati (in the Vat Bati cluster), both west of the Mekong, to establish a borderland and military bases against the Cham, with whom the Khmer were engaged in numerous conflicts in the south (Hendrickson 2007: 250).'[246]
♠ Wooden palisades ♣ present ♥ 'The enclosure of Banteay Prei Nokor is the largest and most formidable of which we have any knowledge in pre-Angkorian Cambodia. It was surrounded by a large earthen rampart, probably surmounted by a wooden palisade. The rampart is about 2.50 kilometers square. A moat, about 100 meters wide, surrounded the rampart [...].'[247] 'This was the greatest blow Cambodia had suffered since its conquest by the Malays. The Cham fleet sailed up the Tonle Sap and probably the Siemreap river to Yasodharapura (576, 164). The wooden palisades offered no adequate defense. The wooden residences and public buildings and many temples with their gilded spires and idols of gold were sacked or burned.'[248]
♠ Earth ramparts ♣ present ♥ 'The enclosure of Banteay Prei Nokor is the largest and most formidable of which we have any knowledge in pre-Angkorian Cambodia. It was surrounded by a large earthen rampart, probably surmounted by a wooden palisade. The rampart is about 2.50 kilometers square. A moat, about 100 meters wide, surrounded the rampart [...].'[249]
♠ Ditch ♣ present ♥ 'The first city conformed with the classic form of Khmer capital with certain fundamental elements: a defensive bank and ditch with a state temple at its centre, built from brick or stone, and a wooden palace. There would also have been many secular buildings, constructed almost entirely of wood, in and around the enceinte. The state temple at Roluos, the Bakong, and the temple built in memory of the royal ancestors, Preah Ko, were erected around 880. Another essential feature of a Khmer capital, a large reservoir, was added a decade later, with in its centre a third temple built to the north-west of Roluos, around the hill of Phnom Bakeng, now known as the Eastern Baray.'[250]
♠ Moat ♣ present ♥ 'The enclosure of Banteay Prei Nokor is the largest and most formidable of which we have any knowledge in pre-Angkorian Cambodia. It was surrounded by a large earthen rampart, probably surmounted by a wooden palisade. The rampart is about 2.50 kilometers square. A moat, about 100 meters wide, surrounded the rampart [...].'[251] Banteay Prei Nokor was 'a very large city demarcated by a wall and exterior moat.'[252]
♠ Stone walls (non-mortared) ♣ present ♥ 'We do not know how much of the walled area of Yasodharapura was settled nor the size of its population.'[253] 'The wall [of Angkor Thom] is entirely made of superimposed blocks of stone; it is about two [sic] fathoms high. The bonding of the stones is very compact and solid, and no weeds are found there. There is no crenellation.' On the ramparts, in certain places gangling [kuang-lang, kouang-lang] trees have been planted. At regular distances are found empty casemates. The inner side of the wall is like a ramp wider than ten fathoms. On top of each ramp are huge doors, closed at night, and open in the morning. There are also guards at the gates.'[254]
♠ Stone walls (mortared) ♣ absent ♥
♠ Fortified camps ♣ present ♥ 'By the 11th century royally-sanctioned temples, garrisons, and officials were in place well beyond the Angkorian plain.'[255]
♠ Complex fortifications ♣ present ♥ 'The wall [of Angkor Thom] is entirely made of superimposed blocks of stone; it is about two [sic] fathoms high. The bonding of the stones is very compact and solid, and no weeds are found there. There is no crenellation.' On the ramparts, in certain places gangling [kuang-lang, kouang-lang] trees have been planted. At regular distances are found empty casemates. The inner side of the wall is like a ramp wider than ten fathoms. On top of each ramp are huge doors, closed at night, and open in the morning. There are also guards at the gates.'[256] Inside the outer, city walls, were additional layers of concentric walls, ultimately surrounding 'the golden tower' [the Bayon], which Zhou Daguan calls "the centre of the kingdom.'[257]
♠ Long walls ♣ 12 ♥ km. 12km 'The walls of the city are about twenty li in circumference. They have five gates, and each gate is double. On the east side, there are two gates, and the other sides have only one. Outside the wall is a huge moat, across which are the great bridges of the access roads.'[258] One li, according to Zhou and Smithies (2001) equals approximately 576 meters, which would mean that 20 li equals approximately 11,520 metres. Archaeological surveys reveal a circumference wall enclosing 'the 9 km2 conventionally recognized within the walls of Angkor Thom'[259], with each wall of the square city measuring in at 3km. 3km * 4 = 12,000m. 'He [Jayavarman VII] also built the square city walls, measuring 3 kilometers on a side, and other structures in different parts of Cambodia, including the huge Banteay Chhmar near the Thai border in the northwest.'[260] Long walls variable does not count city walls
♠ Modern fortifications ♣ absent ♥ The walls of Angkor Thom, one of the Khmer Empire's most advanced fortifications formed 'a very regular square, and on each side is a stone tower.'[261]


Phase II Variables (polity-based)

Institutional Variables

♠ RA ♣ ♥

Limits on Power of the Chief Executive

Power distributed

♠ Constraint on executive by government ♣ absent ♥ 'As devarajas, their power surpassed even that of the European monarchs who claimed to rule by divine right. The inscriptions indicate that they were seen as incapable of breaking religious laws, and they were the source of all legal power in the empire. The law itself was administered via a hierarchy of courts and legal officials. The lower courts dealt with routine matters, but the royal court itself could deal with even the pettiest of matters. Zhou Daguan records that every day the king held two audiences, for which no agenda was provided and which could be attended by both ‘func- tionaries and ordinary people’ for the adjudication of disputes. The inscriptions show that commoners could bring lawsuits against one another and a common method of ascertaining who was in the wrong was to place the plaintiff and the accused in stone towers for a period of three to four days. It was held that the person in the wrong would always develop an illness, such as catarrh, fever or ulcers. The penalties for convicted malefactors were often draconian. For the gravest crimes the punishment was death, possibly by decapitation with a sharp sword, as in the 19th century, but it was possible for felons to be buried alive.'[262]
♠ Constraint on executive by non-government ♣ absent ♥ 'As devarajas, their power surpassed even that of the European monarchs who claimed to rule by divine right. The inscriptions indicate that they were seen as incapable of breaking religious laws, and they were the source of all legal power in the empire. The law itself was administered via a hierarchy of courts and legal officials. The lower courts dealt with routine matters, but the royal court itself could deal with even the pettiest of matters. Zhou Daguan records that every day the king held two audiences, for which no agenda was provided and which could be attended by both ‘func- tionaries and ordinary people’ for the adjudication of disputes. The inscriptions show that commoners could bring lawsuits against one another and a common method of ascertaining who was in the wrong was to place the plaintiff and the accused in stone towers for a period of three to four days. It was held that the person in the wrong would always develop an illness, such as catarrh, fever or ulcers. The penalties for convicted malefactors were often draconian. For the gravest crimes the punishment was death, possibly by decapitation with a sharp sword, as in the 19th century, but it was possible for felons to be buried alive.'[263] 'All the institutions of government reviewed above give the impression that they belong to an apparatus of (as least potentially) oppressive, even totalitarian, power. Indeed, it is altogether likely that after the time of Rajendravarman the kings of Angkor presided over a much more centralized regime than the Khmers had known before. Institutions of government embodied no principles of constitutional checks upon royal power beyond the notion of religious morality. An impulse to totalitarian government was present, and found expression whenever rulers found themselves temporarily without dangerous rivals still at large. We must remember, though, that this tate lacked all the advantages of modern communications and technology to assert its control in detail, and that all sorts of regional, personal and factional loyalties were liable to obstruct the impulse to totalitarianism before too long.'[264]
♠ Impeachment ♣ absent ♥ 'As devarajas, their power surpassed even that of the European monarchs who claimed to rule by divine right. The inscriptions indicate that they were seen as incapable of breaking religious laws, and they were the source of all legal power in the empire. The law itself was administered via a hierarchy of courts and legal officials. The lower courts dealt with routine matters, but the royal court itself could deal with even the pettiest of matters. Zhou Daguan records that every day the king held two audiences, for which no agenda was provided and which could be attended by both ‘func- tionaries and ordinary people’ for the adjudication of disputes. The inscriptions show that commoners could bring lawsuits against one another and a common method of ascertaining who was in the wrong was to place the plaintiff and the accused in stone towers for a period of three to four days. It was held that the person in the wrong would always develop an illness, such as catarrh, fever or ulcers. The penalties for convicted malefactors were often draconian. For the gravest crimes the punishment was death, possibly by decapitation with a sharp sword, as in the 19th century, but it was possible for felons to be buried alive.'[265] 'All the institutions of government reviewed above give the impression that they belong to an apparatus of (as least potentially) oppressive, even totalitarian, power. Indeed, it is altogether likely that after the time of Rajendravarman the kings of Angkor presided over a much more centralized regime than the Khmers had known before. Institutions of government embodied no principles of constitutional checks upon royal power beyond the notion of religious morality. An impulse to totalitarian government was present, and found expression whenever rulers found themselves temporarily without dangerous rivals still at large. We must remember, though, that this tate lacked all the advantages of modern communications and technology to assert its control in detail, and that all sorts of regional, personal and factional loyalties were liable to obstruct the impulse to totalitarianism before too long.'[266]

Social Mobility

Status

Elite status

♠ elite status is hereditary ♣ present ♥ 'The important Ba Phnom inscription of 667 records that for four generations, one family served as ministers to five kings (Rudravar- man, Bhavavarman II, Mahendravarman (Chitrasena), Isanavarman, and Jayavarman I).'[267] 'Kingship was a hereditary and divinely-sanctioned office which in theory devolved on the king's son, known as the yuvaraja. In practice, membership of the king's family down to and including the fourth generation qualified a person for the succession, the choice being made by a council of ministers which took account of the dead king's preference.'[268] 'Hereditary rank had developed by the eighth century. Pre-Angkor inscriptions rarely refer to military action, but it seems that warfare must have been common.'[269] 'Pon status was inherited matrilineally, from one’s mother’s brother. Pre-Angkor inscriptions of kings suggest a tendency toward a similar pattern of inheritance, though rulers sometimes tried to en- able their own sons to succeed them.'[270] 'Angkor, in common with most state societies throughout recorded history, was never a democracy and although social stratification in Cambodia has never been as rigid as the caste system of India, there was little social mobility. The ruling elites owed their position to birthright and the lower orders by and large accepted their status as natural, particularly as it was closely bound up with the religious idea of one’s station in this life being a reward or punishment for deeds in past lives. Liberty was an alien condition beyond the social imagination, without words to express it, although some ‘plebeian’ revolts do appear to have broken out before being brutally suppressed. The doctrine of reincarnation at least held out the promise of better luck next time, if one had lived an honest, obedient and virtuous life. As we shall see, life for the common people and slaves was onerous indeed and legends such as the Churning of the Sea of Milk gave hope to the downtrodden. This legend, depicted on the bas-reliefs of Angkor Wat, shows lines of people pulling a rope backwards and forwards, looped around a pole which is resting on the back of Kurma the tortoise. The aim of the exercise was to recover lost objects from the sea, foremost of which was ambrosia, the gift of immortality. Ambrosia also meant prosperous times, ample food, and well-deserved rest after the rigours of labour in the fields or construction sites. The strict stratification of Khmer society was reflected in the division of the common people themselves into different categories; the knum who were bound to the monasteries, temples and religious orders; the peasants or the soldier-builder-farmer class; and slaves.'[271] 'There was a caste of hereditary priests (a remnant of the broader Indian caste system, perhaps) who purported to trace their ancestry back to those who had served Jayavarman II.'[272] 'Yet the court never sought to divest powerful provin- cial families, nor could it prevent princes from developing autonomous provincial bases that they used in repeated military bids for the throne. The possibility that succession could pass laterally among brothers as well as vertically through generations bred endemic uncertainties. Of 26 Angkorian rulers, only eight were sons or brothers of their predeces- sors, and one of these had to fight his way to the throne in a conflict that may have destroyed the royal city.56'[273]

Religion and Normative Ideology

♠ RA ♣ Dan Mullins, Jill Levine, Enrico Cioni ♥

Deification of Rulers

♠ Rulers are legitimated by gods ♣ present ♥ 'The Angkor period is commonly understood to start in 802 CE with the proclamation of Jayavarman II as the chakravartin (universal-king) from a location in the Kulen mountains (Phnom Kulen), overlooking the vast alluvial plain where Angkor would begin to emerge in the following centuries (Figure 1). In doing so, Jayavarman confirmed himself as the great unifier; drawing Cambodia's disparate polities together under the first 'god king' and establishing the Khmer state and the basis of its empire. Phnom Kulen was known as Mahendraparvata; the hill of the great Indra. The extant history of Mahendraparvata is based on several inscriptions, the most well-known being an 11th century CE inscription (K.235) found at the Sdok Kak Thom temple, in eastern Thailand [4]. The inscription, dated to 1052 CE, outlines the lineage of a private family serving successive Khmer Kings for two and a half centuries, the first mentioned being Jayavarman II.' [274] 'There was a watershed, dated to the year 802, whereby a series of competing polities were joined into one enduring and powerful central state. This transition involved a process of contralization instituted by the overlord Jayavarman II (ruled 802 to 834). Jayavarman seems to have identified a means of unifying formerly competing overlords that was rooted first in military conquest, then by placing his followers in positions of authority. This had the effect of establishing a central rule through replacing independent polities by provinces. He also must have appreciated the importance of stressing the mystical properties of kingship by instituting the cult of the kamraten jagat ta raja, meaning "the god who is king." Deification of the ruler, linked with vesting the rights to consecrate a new god-king in successive members of a given family, meant that the succession should be assured. Remarkably, the ensuing five centuries witnessed a considerable degree of legitimacy in the succession, being largely confined to members of the aristocratic lineage of Aninditapura.'[275] 'Traditionally, the Angkorian period is said to have begun in 802, the year that Jayavarman II (r. 802-834) was crowned king. In a ritual evoking the mythology of ̋iva and celebrated in the Phnom Kulen (Kulen Mountains), north of Angkor, he became the cakravartin/cakkavatti (universal monarch) of the new kingdom.'[276] 'In the history of Cambodia, the year 802 symbolizes the beginning of the Angkor era because the Sdok Kak Thom inscription specifies that Jayavarman II conducted a ceremony to free Cambodia from Java in that year.'[277] 'In the Angkor Cambodia realm, a symbolic Mount Mahendra/Meru temple mountain became the ritual home of the devaraja in the cult of Jayavarman II in the early ninth century—a cult that inclusively incorporated and subordinated worship of local deities to the king's worship of Siva (see chapter 6). As the traditional abode of ancestor spirits, mountains were already considered sacred by indigenous tradition. By patronizing the external god Siva, who was known in Indian philosophy as the Lord of the Mountains and for his association with fertility, the kings reinforced their local stature. It remained for Cambodian kings to link themselves ritually with this mountain, the domicile of the ancestors and Siva, and thereby make a profound statement about their ability to guarantee the flow of life-power from the realm of the ancestors—and Siva—to their subjects.'[278] 'For six centuries, Angkor was the centre of an illustrious state ruled by god-kings (Jacques and Freeman 1998).[279] 'In 881 [AD], King Indravarman had an inscription carved which read 'In 881 AD, the king, like a god, dispenser of riches, has erected a linga named Indresvara here.' This name links that of the king with the supreme Hindu god Siva.'[280]

♠ Rulers are gods ♣ present ♥ 'While "god-king" was a mistranslation of kamrateng jagat ta raja, it may not have been far off the mark as a description of how people felt about the king of Cambodia. An eleventh-century inscription describes the king as possessing a "subtle inner self " that actually resided in a lingam found in the king's royal pyramid-temple. This "subtle inner self " implies that whatever essence is shared by the king and the lingam derives from Uiva. As a verification, inscriptions also refer to the king as having within himself a portion (amsa) of Uiva. An inscription praising King Udayadityavarman (r. 1050- 1066), the same king of the "subtle inner self," states that "the most minor details of the ritual of Uiva prescribed in the texts . . . were known in their totality. . . by this king who was a portion of Uiva (Uivamsa)." If these statements do not exactly make the king Uiva incarnate, he at least embodied some indefinable segment of the divine Uiva." [281]

Normative Ideological Aspects of Equity and Prosociality

♠ Ideological reinforcement of equality ♣ absent ♥ 'The Hindu devaraja model of state organization had created a strict pyramidal structure in which the god-king was the top of the pyramid, owned all land and agricultural surplus, and legitimated his power and wealth by being seen as divine. Below the king were the other nobility and the thousands of priests dedicated to the king's royal cults. At the bottom of the pyramid were the majority of Khmers, commoners who farmed, built temples, waged war, and otherwise supported the god-king's hold over them. With the adoption of Buddhism, which was quickly embraced by most Khmers, this kind of hierarchy could no longer be maintained. Buddhism's teachings about equality, salvation, and karma all led to a severe weakening of subsequent god-kings' hold over their subjects. [...] The Buddhist Khmer kings saw themselves as responsible to their people in terms of providing assistance during difficult times. They were obliged to care for the old and sick; they also began building and maintaining civil infrastructure such as roads and canals as part of their responsibility to their people. This situation differed from the pattern that had emerged earlier, in which the god-king simply used his people as servants and laborers to build structures to glorify himself and in which all wealth flowed upward to the top of the pyramid. The Buddhist kings saw themselves as father figures to their people, worthy of respect and having authority over them but also having responsibility to raise them up and care for their needs.'[282]

♠ Ideological thought equates rulers and commoners ♣ absent ♥ 'The Hindu devaraja model of state organization had created a strict pyramidal structure in which the god-king was the top of the pyramid, owned all land and agricultural surplus, and legitimated his power and wealth by being seen as divine. Below the king were the other nobility and the thousands of priests dedicated to the king's royal cults. At the bottom of the pyramid were the majority of Khmers, commoners who farmed, built temples, waged war, and otherwise supported the god-king's hold over them. With the adoption of Buddhism, which was quickly embraced by most Khmers, this kind of hierarchy could no longer be maintained. Buddhism's teachings about equality, salvation, and karma all led to a severe weakening of subsequent god-kings' hold over their subjects. [...] The Buddhist Khmer kings saw themselves as responsible to their people in terms of providing assistance during difficult times. They were obliged to care for the old and sick; they also began building and maintaining civil infrastructure such as roads and canals as part of their responsibility to their people. This situation differed from the pattern that had emerged earlier, in which the god-king simply used his people as servants and laborers to build structures to glorify himself and in which all wealth flowed upward to the top of the pyramid. The Buddhist kings saw themselves as father figures to their people, worthy of respect and having authority over them but also having responsibility to raise them up and care for their needs.'[283]
♠ Ideological thought equates elites and commoners ♣ absent ♥ 'The Hindu devaraja model of state organization had created a strict pyramidal structure in which the god-king was the top of the pyramid, owned all land and agricultural surplus, and legitimated his power and wealth by being seen as divine. Below the king were the other nobility and the thousands of priests dedicated to the king's royal cults. At the bottom of the pyramid were the majority of Khmers, commoners who farmed, built temples, waged war, and otherwise supported the god-king's hold over them. With the adoption of Buddhism, which was quickly embraced by most Khmers, this kind of hierarchy could no longer be maintained. Buddhism's teachings about equality, salvation, and karma all led to a severe weakening of subsequent god-kings' hold over their subjects. [...] The Buddhist Khmer kings saw themselves as responsible to their people in terms of providing assistance during difficult times. They were obliged to care for the old and sick; they also began building and maintaining civil infrastructure such as roads and canals as part of their responsibility to their people. This situation differed from the pattern that had emerged earlier, in which the god-king simply used his people as servants and laborers to build structures to glorify himself and in which all wealth flowed upward to the top of the pyramid. The Buddhist kings saw themselves as father figures to their people, worthy of respect and having authority over them but also having responsibility to raise them up and care for their needs.'[284]

♠ Ideology reinforces prosociality ♣ present ♥ 'The brothers were grandsons of King Harshavarman I, and their meritorious deeds included care for the sick and the poor.'[285] "He also commanded that reservoirs be dug and fine offerings made to all categories of priest, as well as succour given to the poor and homeless. [286]

♠ production of public goods ♣ present ♥ Temple construction and maintenance.

Moralizing Supernatural Powers

♠ Moral concern is primary ♣present♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is certain ♣present♥
♠ Moralizing norms are broad ♣present♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is targeted ♣present♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement of rulers ♣present♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by elites ♣present♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by commoners ♣present♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in afterlife ♣present♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in this life ♣absent♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is agentic ♣absent♥

For a detailed description, refer to the Seshat History of Moralizing Religion [287]

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New References

'Snellgrove concludes the chapter with an interesting assessment on the religious beliefs of Jayavarman VII. He installed Mahayana Buddhism, rather than Hinduism, as the state religion at the beginning of his reign and expressed its ideals in his architectural sites. The court rituals, however, remained Brahmanical. Jayavarman VII is noted for building 102 hospitals throughout the kingdom and 121 rest houses along the royal roads extending from the capital of Angkor to the provincial centres. The chapels at these sites were dedicated to the Buddha Master of Medicine (Bhaisajyaguru), who is considered part of the Mahayana Buddhist pantheon, yet in this period he is depicted in the posture and hand position of a typical image of the seated Buddha, Shakyamuni, of the Theravada school. His right palm is turned outwards in the gesture of generosity, and he holds a begging bowl and a myrobalan fruit, a typical medicinal plant. Snellgrove, therefore, believes Jayavarman VII may have had the vision that Theravada, not Mahayana, Buddhism was the form that held promise for the future. And indeed it is the one practiced in Cambodia today."[1]

'This period of the 13th and 14th centuries might well be referred to as 'The Decline of Khmer Empire'. but it was primarily a decline at the centre of Khmer power which led to the conversion of Cambodia to Buddhism. There is no doubt that from the 9th to the 12th centuries the royal cult of the Devaraja gave coherence and continuity to Khmer imperial policy. Mahayana Buddhism continued to hold its own, but it could not long survive the pressure of Theradava Buddhism, once the implicit protection of Khmer rulers was lost, namely when rulers themselves from Jayavarman VI onwards seem to have lost interest in the Devaraja concept. It is significant that he and his successors, mainly of the Mahidharapura dynasty, do not seem to have appointed a special Devaraja purohita. When Jayavarman VII instituted his form of Mahayana Buddhism in Brahmanical guide, both Brahmanical religion and Mahayana Buddhism were bound to lose against the pressures of Theravada Buddhism, which seems to have already permeated his realm. Moreover, due to the intolerable exactions that he demanded of his subjects, he seems to have effectively broken their will to submit to such tyranny thereafter.'[2]

'Early Khmer leaders learned to justify their authority by placing it in a universal context of devotion that could fully absorb the religious aspirations and compel the loyalty of their followers. In a process of developing the theory and practice of an increasingly centralized political space, warfare among rival hegemons was rationalized as corresponding to deified moral conflict on a universal scale. Pre-Angkorean and post-Angkorean Khmer centres were located to the east and south, along the Mekong with direct access to the sea and the commerce-generated wealth that this access afforded; but Angkor depended upon rice.'[3]

'Once Khmer settlement had exploited the rice-growing potential of this region to a minimally- necessary level, and once Khmer leaders found ways of organizing their authority over much of this region, Angkor was the favoured site as long as agriculture remained the primary source of wealth.'[4]

'The conquests of Bhavavarman, Mahendravarman, and Jayavarman I reveal an unprecedented interest in northwestern Cambodia, the future site of Angkor, and this suggests that conquerors were beginning to understand the significance of rice, in contrast to international commerce, and to value a site that would allow them to control areas where rice could be or already was being grown. Jayavarman II began his career in the southeast of modern Cambodia, but his conquests were not completed until he had established himself near the future site of Angkor. This locality would remain the seat of Khmer kings for the next six centuries. On a nearby mountain, Sanskrit-educated priests performed a ceremony in the year 802 that nullified all prior oaths of vassalage and proclaimed Jayavarman II a universal monarch.'[5]

'Evidence permits only a few observations about the economic, social, and political organization of the Angkorean polity. It is certain that the economy was based upon wet-rice agriculture, that temples were promi- nent custodians of land and peasants, and that royal authority was expressed through a relatively well-developed hierarchy that included priests and religious sanctions.'[6]

'Angkorean history in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries reveals a pattern of strong kings followed by disorder. Suryavarman I, Suryavarman II, and Jayavarman VII all enjoyed relatively long and distinguished reigns. All three were apparently men of unusual ability. But they were unable to translate their personal achievements into any sort of long-term institutional stability, as, for example, Ly Phat Ma had been able to do at Thang-long during the 1030s and 1040s. The reasons for this are probably related to the relative lack of threat perceived by the Khmers and the accompanying lack of incentive to affirm orthodox patterns, whether in terms of religious thought or of royal succession. The Chams did not pose the same order of threat to the Khmers as Chinese dynasties did to the Vietnamese. When the formation of Thai polities in the Chao Phraya and Mekong basins posed a higher level of threat to Angkor in the thirteenth century, the Khmers adapted with fundamental economic and cultural changes; they did not respond as if they had irrevocably invested themselves in any particular political or cultural heritage.'[7]

'Following the Mahayana Buddhist fervour of Jayavarman VII, there was a brief revival of royal Saivism, but by the end of the thirteenth century Theravada Buddhism had spread widely among the Khmers, opening a new post-Angkorean age in Khmer culture. The building of monuments came to an end. Sanskrit inscriptions were replaced by Pali scriptures; the old brahmanical priestly class was replaced by peripatetic monks with begging bowls.'[8]

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