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A Chain of Kings

The Makassarese Chronicles of Gowa and Talloq

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William P. Cummings

The chronicles of Gowa and Talloq are the most important historical sources for the study of pre-colonial Makassar. They have provided the basic framework and much of the information that we possess about the origins, growth, and expansion of Gowa during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. During this period Gowa and its close ally Talloq became the most powerful force in the eastern Indonesian archipelago, and historians have relied heavily on the chronicles to chart the developments of this period. Available for the first time in English translation, the two texts will offer historians and other scholars an invaluable foundation on which to base interpretations of this crucial place and time in Indonesian history. This volume is required reading for scholars of pre-modern Southeast Asia, including historians, linguists, anthropologists, and others.
Full text (Open Access)

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Edited by J. Noorduyn and A. Teeuw

Preserved on undated palm-leaf manuscripts, Old Sundanese texts are generally in poor condition and unavailable to a wider audience. There are limited texts in any form of Sundanese, and only limited knowledge of Old Sundanese. In presenting three long Old Sundanese poems, Noorduyn and Teeuw, in a heretofore unequalled English-language study of Old Sundanese literature, bring to the light works of importance for further linguistic, literary and historical research.
The three poems, The Sons of Rama and Rawana, The ascension of Sri Ajnyana and The story of Bujangga Manik: A pilgrim's progress were undiscovered before this book. The first two were found in a nineteenth-century manuscript collection of the former Batavian Society and are now in the National Library of Indonesia in Jakarta, while the third was donated to the Bodleian Library in Oxford as early as 1627, though it was not identified as an Old Sundanese poem until the 1950s.

Bhomantaka

The Death of Bhoma

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Edited by A. Teeuw and S.O. Robson

The Bhomantaka, or the Death of Bhoma, is a wide-ranging tale of the sweet romance of Samba and Yajñawati, of the defeat of the demon Bhoma by King Kresna and his minions in a truly monumental battle, and many more incidents and descriptions, a product of the sophisticated literary tradition of early Java. The poem is written in Old Javanese (composed by an author who does not mention his name or that of his king), in an idiom that presents many difficulties for the modern reader. This book contains an edition of the text, a translation, and an extensive explanatory introduction—enough to make the work accessible—and was produced by a team of two, both senior scholars of Old Javanese and experienced in producing readable English translations.
It will become apparent in the course of reading that there are still numerous philological problems attaching to the text and its interpretation, but on the other hand it is also a fact that it contains many a passage of delightful poetry, philosophical teaching and other cultural information. As a result we get a glimpse of what Java was like perhaps eight and a half centuries ago, and of the thought-world of the Javanese of that age – a world where legendary, mythological or divine beings do battle, and kings march out to restore the welfare of the realm.
This publication takes its place in a long line, from the author via the copyists, in Java and in Bali, who faithfully and lovingly transmitted the work, down to the first edition of the text in 1852 and then the first translation in 1946. In this way a literary tradition of great value has been preserved for the future, and the KITLV Press now offers this contribution to coming generations of students of Old Javanese and to scholars of comparative literature around the world.

Bidasari

Jewel of Malay Muslim Culture

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Julian Millie

The sly wit and silky eroticism of the verse genre known as romantic syair were staple dishes on the Southeast Asian cultural menu, especially in the Malay, Islamic regional centres. Yet very few examples are available in translation for the many readers interested in the genre, and attempts by academics to account for their powers of attraction are even rarer. This book is the author’s effort to convey the seductive qualities of the sexiest of the romantic syair, the ‘Poem of Bidasari’. Few Malay works have been loved and disseminated to the extent the Syair Bidasari has. It was translated in other languages of the region like Makassarese and Maranao and adapted for the Malay theatre and cinema.
Three tasks are attempted in the book: a transliteration into Roman characters of one of the surviving Malay manuscripts of the poem, a translation of that manuscript into English, and an inquiry into the poem’s virtues. The intertexts drawn upon in the analysis reveal the author’s conviction that understanding of traditions of kesenian rakyat (popular arts) such as pantun and the Malay theatre provides the background that allows the text to signify most powerfully.

Kuladatta's Kriyāsaṃgrahapañjikā

A Critical Edition and Annotated Translations of Selected Sections

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Ryugen Tanemura

A critical edition and annotated translations of selected sections.

A Merry Senhor in the Malay World (2 VOLS)

Four Texts of the Syair Sinyor Kosta

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Edited by R.M. Dumas

Around a century ago a Malay poem which tells of a foreigner, always indicated as Sinyor, in Southeast Asia who elopes with Lela Mayang, the wife of a wealthy Chinaman. The latter sets out in pursuit of the couple and engages in a naval battle with the Sinyor in an attempt to get his wife back. The Syair Sinyor Kosta, as the poem is known, presents us with fascinating pictures and glimpses of Malay society, in this case a nineteenth-century society in transition. It reflects changing literary tastes, a pluriform society and the beginning modernization of Malay culture. In its variegated transmission, through both manuscripts and early printings, it is an illustration of the continuous interaction between Malay authors and audiences. In particular it is a remarkable piece of early evidence of literary coexistence between Malays and Chinese, who must have enjoyed this story of the merry Sinyor each in their own way, as is apparent from the continuing process of creation, reception and recreation of the text.
This book presents editions of four versions of the Syair Sinyor Kosta, of which two are translated into English. The texts are preceded by a lengthy introduction which deals with the manuscripts, their history and provenance, and their writers. The book closes with a detailed chapter with a comparative study of the four versions, an investigation of the historical setting, and an analysis of the language used in the texts.

Abhinavagupta's Philosophy of Revelation

An Edition and Annotated Translation of Mālinīślokavārttika I, 1-399

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Jürgen Hanneder

The first part of the ‘Versified Commentary on the Mālinītantra’ (Mālinīślokvārttika) by the tenth-century theologian Abhinavagupta, which is translated here for the first time, presents a philosophy of Śaiva revelation, conceived of as a descent of the highest non-dual form of knowledge, through the different levels of speech, into the knowledge embodied in the canon of Tantras or Agamas on which the Śaiva religion is based. The aim of the text is to demonstrate the logic behind the claim of the monistic Tantric schools on which Abhinavagupta bases his philosophy.

The present volume deals in its introduction with the scriptural background of the Śaiva religion because that is a prerequisite for understanding many of the arguments in the text. The translation is accompanied by a re-edition of the Sanskrit text with the help of two manuscripts not consulted before, and a running commentary. A fragment of the Śrīkaṇṭī, which is probably the source for some of Abhinavaguptas theories of the Śaiva canon, is transcribed in an appendix.

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William Collins

This study presents the text and translation of an oral epic, or guritan, relating the exploits of Radin Suane, which was recorded during anthropological fieldwork among the Besemah, in the remote highlands of South Sumatra. Documentation of an epic in Besemah, a little known Sumatran-Malay language, will be useful for comparative purposes to specialists in Malaysian and Indonesian languages and literatures. This work is also intended to serve students of ethnography, folklore and oral poetry, as well as general readers who may not be familiar with Sumatran culture. Accordingly, an extensive commentary has been provided to give a cultural context for understanding this epic.

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Edited by Helen Creese

For more than a millennium, the poets of Java and Bali have celebrated their deities, their patrons and the cult of beauty and love through the writing of kakawin.
The Parthayana ("The Journeying of Partha") is a kakawin written in Bali in the early eighteenth century in honour of the Dewa Agung of Klungkung, Surawirya (d.1736). It relates the physical and spiritual journey of the Pandawa hero, Arjuna, as he undertakes a period of exile lasting twelve years and describes his romantic adventures.
This edition of the Parthayana, together with an English translation and commentary provides insights into the practice of kakawin composition in Bali and places it in the wider context of Balinese literature.

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Edited by T. Goudriaan and J.A. Schoterman

The two main constituents of the Hindu ritual-speculative tradition, the Vedic and the Tantric, are often considered to be more or less antagonistic. The actual situation is less simple: there are resemblances, intersections and combinations, which tend to fuse both elements into a continuous tradition. The Kubjikā Upaniṣad is a unique document which illustrates this continuity.

The text consists of twenty-five chapters, which have never before been edited or translated. It belongs to the corpus of the younger, so-called ‘sectarian’ Upaniṣads. The critical edition was prepared by Schoterman from three manuscripts. After his untimely death, Goudriaan finalized the edition and added the translation, an introduction, and an appendix in which four more (fragmentary) manuscripts are evaluated. The text is basically Tantric; it reveals mantras and mandṇḍalas of the goddess Kubjikā and other members of her pantheon, supplemented by a digression on the morning-worship of the Goddess. The Vedic element consists of more than 100 Atharvavedic stanzas, sometimes of high literary quality, integrated into the Kubjikan ritual system. In addition, there are descriptions of magical rites in a true Atharvanic vein. All this results in a not perfectly harmonized, yet undoubtedly intriguing and partly still mysterious, text, which shows the development and practice of Goddess worship in South Asia from an unexpected point of view.