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Ref ID: 22532
Ref Type: Book Section
Authors: Charnvit Kasetsiri,
Title: Thai historiography: from ancient times to the modern period
Date: 1979
Source: Perceptions of the past in Southeast Asia
Place of Publication: Singapore
Publisher: Heinemann Educational Books
Notes: Introduction: The writing of history is probably among the oldest tasks of the Thai intellectual class. In the past, this was centered around the <i>sangha</i> (Buddhist Order) and the Royal Court. Monks, princes and noblemen performed this duty because they were the most learned and literate members of society. In short, ancient Thai historiography was very much confined to a small group of people. Not until the mid-nineteenth century did a great change in historical writing take effect and Thai history took on new features. This paper intends to give an over-view of the writing of Thai history from the fifteenth century to the modern period. It will discuss types of historical writings—the <i>tamnan</i>, the <i>phongsawadan</i> and the <i>prawatsat</i>—terms which have been frequently used to describe the past. <i>Tamnan</i> means story, legend, or myth. <i>Phongsawadan</i> is derived from two Pali words, <i>vamsa</i> and <i>avatara</i>, and means the history or annals of members of a line, dynasty or kingdom. The last is <i>prawatsat</i> (Pali: <i>pravati</i> and <i>sattha</i>) which is now equivalent to history. With these three historical concepts we may pursue the recording of the Thai past. By surveying Thai historical documents the writing of history could be divided into three main categories. The first, <i>tamnan</i>, is concerned with history as it relates to Buddhism
the second, <i>phongsawadan</i>, is mainly the history of dynasties
and the last, <i>prawatsat</i>, is modern history writing, emphasizing the concept of the nation-state.
Date Created: 6/24/2015
Editors: Reid, Anthony
Marr, David
Volume: 4
Page Start: 156
Page End: 170
Series Title: Asian Studies Association of Australia Southeast Asia Publications