Tuesday, August 31, 2010

About Cambodia

Not much is known about Cambodia (Khmer) prior to the first century A.D. From the first century, Cambodia is known mostly through the Chinese imperial records and a few inscriptions. According to the Chinese records, the Kingdom of Funan, considered the first Indianized state in the region, founded around the first century A.D. Funan is a Chinese word which mean Phnom (mountain) in Cambodian. The exact location of the Kingdom and its size is unclear, but it presumably occupied a broad area of mainland Southeast Asia, stretching across what is today southern Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and southern Vietnam. The Funanese were prosperous traders. Situated at the crossroads of all the great sea trading routes, Funan unquestionably traded with Rome, India, and China. The kingdom was visited by Kang Tai and Zhu Ying, envoys of the Wu emperor (222-252) of Liang Dynasty. During it existence, Funan had sent numerous embassies to Chinese Imperial court, and conducted numerous trade missions between the two countries. The last trade missions were reported during the Tang dynasty.

By the end of the sixth century, however, Funan disappeared and Chenla emerged into history, according to the Chinese historical record, the Kingdom of Chenla sent an embassy to the Chinese Imperial court in 616 or 617. The record mentioned “Chenla was originally a vassal of Funan…..Sitrasena attacked Funan and subdued it.”

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