Indian Ocean Primary Documents: Statements from Travelers and Traders

Indian Ocean Primary Documents: Statements from Travelers and Traders

1. A Chinese document written about Funan [mainland Southeast Asia] during the third century CE noted:

"Merchants come there is great numbers to transact business ... The market is the meeting ground of the East and the West. ... More than a thousand Brahmins from India reside there The people follow their doctrines and give them their daughters in marriage." (Panikkar. 1963. P80-81)

2. In 484 CE, Jayavarman, the ruler of Funan, sent an embassy to China to ask for aid against the growing power of Champa. The imperial edict issued by the Son of Heaven [the Chinese Emperor] stated:

"The king of Funan, Kaundinya ...

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On his return trip in 415 CE he sailed from Orissa [in India] to Ceylon a trip that took him 14 days. From Ceylon he set out for Sumatra, but the ship encountering a terrible storm on the way. Speaking of himself in the third person, he recorded:

"Having obtained Sanskrit books [in Ceylon], Fa-Hsien set sail on a large merchant ship which carried about two hundred passengers. A small boat trailed behind in case the large vessel should be wrecked, as sailing on the sea was most hazardous. [When the boat got caught in a typhoon and sprang a leak, the terrified merchants threw their goods overboard.] Fa-hsien also cast overboard his pitcher, wash basin and some other possessions. Dreading lest the merchants should throw his sacred books and drawings of images into the sea, he invoked Avalokitesvara [the bodhisattva of compassion] in all sincerity, as well as the monks in China who had embraced the faith. `I have come so far to search for the Law,' he prayed. `Carry me back with your ...

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and read [texts], he had better stay here one or two years and practice the proper rules and then proceed to ... India." (Quoted in Shaffer. 1996. p. 37)

6. In 762, the newly established Islamic Abbasid caliphate built a new capital at Baghdad on the Tigris River which flows into the Persian Gulf. Al-Mansur, the caliph who founded Baghdad, stated:

"This is the Tigris; there is no obstacle between us and China; everything on the sea can come to us." (Shaffer. 1996.40)

7. Writing in 985/986, soon after the Fatimid conquest of Egypt (969), al-Maqdisi declares:

"Know further that Baghdad was once a magnificent city, but is now fast falling to ruin and decay and has lost all its ...

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Indian Ocean Primary Documents: Statements from Travelers and Traders. (2019, November 12). Retrieved December 13, 2019, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Indian-Ocean-Primary-Documents-Statements-Travelers/107101
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"Indian Ocean Primary Documents: Statements from Travelers and Traders." Essayworld.com. November 12, 2019. Accessed December 13, 2019. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Indian-Ocean-Primary-Documents-Statements-Travelers/107101.
"Indian Ocean Primary Documents: Statements from Travelers and Traders." Essayworld.com. November 12, 2019. Accessed December 13, 2019. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Indian-Ocean-Primary-Documents-Statements-Travelers/107101.
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Added: 11/12/2019 04:32:19 PM
Submitted By: Sleeperessay
Category: Miscellaneous
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Words: 1522
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