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Title: Kingship in Ceylon from the fourth to the tenth century A.D.
Author: Gunasena, Sujantha
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1974
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The present study is an attempt to examine the institution of kingship in Ceylon from the fourth to the tenth century A.D. A brief survey of the political background of the period is included in the first chapter as a prerequisite to the understanding of the various stages of the evolution of the concept of kingship in Ceylon; the rest of this chapter is devoted to a brief discussion of the sources utilized in this study. The second chapter deals with the various titles, throne names and personal names used by the kings of this period, in the discussion of which we have analysed the various factors that led to their selection, particularly the underlying religious and political significance of the titles and their importance with respect to the growth of kingly power. The royal family and the part played by its members in the administration of the country are taken into consideration in chapter III. An attempt has been made in this chapter to analyse the correlation of the three titles, upara.ja. yuvara.ja and mahadipada. Chapter IV is devoted to a discussion of the royal consecration. It discusses the new elements and rites associated with the abhiseka ceremony of the period under review, its political and religious significance and the disparity between the theoretical and the actual ceremony. This also attempts to clarify certain points of special significance, which in some instances have been repeatedly misunderstood, This is followed by a chapter on the nature of kingship. The concepts relating to rulership, their significance and how far these concepts actually affected practice are taken into consideration in this chapter. The next chapter deals with the relationship between the king and the Sangha, particular attention being paid to the causes that led to the development of a close connexion between them and the impact of that connexion on the evolution of kingship in Ceylon. Three appendices are included in this work to elucidate some of the points discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral