Sriwijaya (still written Shrîvijaya , Srivijaya or Sri Vijaya , to pronounce Srividjaya ), “bright victory” or “brilliant success”, is the name of a City-State of the southern of Sumatra in Indonesia, which was on the site of current the Palembang. One knows it by three sources: inscriptions as old men Malayan found in Indonesia in the south of the island of Sumatra and the island close to Bangka (in the current province of Bangka-Belitung), of Chinese annals and the Arab writings of travellers.
The inscription known as of Kedukan Bukit, gone back to 683 after J.C. and found on the island of Bangka beside Sumatra, proclaims that the Dapunta Hyang (sovereign), with the head of 20.000 soldiers, embarked has edge of 1.300 vessels with Minanga Tamwab (Minangkabau according to some, more probably Muara Kampar, i.e. the estuary of the Kampar river in the province of Riau). Two inscriptions were found in Palembang, the current capital of the province of Southern Sumatra. That known as of Talang Tuo, gone back to 684, mentions the name of Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa. That known as of Kota Kapur, gone back to 686, is a imprecation in the name of the kadatuan (" principauté" , of the Malayan datu , " chef") of Sriwijaya against those which violate its law. Arab and Chinese texts confirm that Sriwijaya is a powerful State which controls the strait of Malacca, at the time already an important international sea route.
An inscription found in the town of Chaiya in the south of the Thailand, gone back to 697 of the era Saka (775 after J. - C.), proclaims that king de Sriwijaya set up a Stupa at this place. The sovereigns of Sriwijaya made donations at religious communities, in particular while melting of the monasteries and the temples.
Inscriptions into old man-Malayan were also found in the center of the island of Java, whose dates go from 792 in IXe century, whereas the Javanese inscriptions of this time are normally written as old man Javanese. Bonds thus existed between Sriwijaya and Java, in particular the dynasty of Sailendra which built Borobudur.
Archaeological excavations undertaken in the middle of years 1980 showed that the site of Sriwijaya was with Palembang, which at the time was much less far away from the sea. Of this strategic position, the fleets of Sriwijaya could control the sea traffic in the Détroit of Malacca.
It is thought that the rise and the power of Sriwijaya rested on an alliance with populations which one calls the current descendants Orang Laut , i.e. " people of the mer". These nomads, which still live on boats, were formerly Pirate S.
Contrary to Java, one did not find yet a important monuments built by Sriwijaya. It is known nevertheless that its sovereigns observed the worship of the Bouddhisme mahâyâna (Large Vehicle).
Sriwijaya was a great center of Buddhist studies. There stopping in Sriwijaya into 673, whereas it went to the Buddhist university Nâlandâ to India of North, the traveller and buddhist monk Chinese Yi Jing notes there the presence of thousands of co-religionists come to study the Sanscrit and the crowned texts of Buddhism. The Buddhist Master of religion Atisha (982-1054 after J. - C.) comes in Sriwijaya in 1011, accompanied of more than 100 disciples. He becomes there the disciple of the Master Dharmarakshita, also known under his name Tibetan of Serlingpa (Gser-gling-Pa), near which he will remain 12 years.
In Sriwijaya came from the merchants of southernmost China, of the India of the south and perhaps of Arabia. Sriwijaya controlled the maritime trade between India and China. The kingdom benefitted from the influence of the Mongols on the terrestrial Silk route, to which the merchants preferred the sea route, which passed by the Détroit of Malacca. Writing with the Song emperor of China in 1017, the sovereign describes himself like " the king of the grounds océanes".
In 1025, Sriwijaya is attacked and plundered by a fleet sent by king Rajendra Choladeva of the dynasty Chola of Tanjavûr in the south of India. This attack will weaken Sriwijaya. The center of the capacity passes then to Jambi. It seems that in 1275 the king Kertanegara of Singasari in the is of Java attacks the kingdom hindouist of Malayu, i.e. Jambi.
To XIVe century, Sriwijaya passed under the influence of the Javanese kingdom of Majapahit, successor of Singasari. The Nagarakertagama , poem epic writes in 1365 under the reign of the king Hayam Wuruk, mentions, in the list of the " regions tributaires" kingdom, the name of Palembang, which lets think that the name of Sriwijaya is not used any more at the time. Majapahit sends a punitive forwarding against Palembang in 1377. At the time where the Chinese Lord High Admiral Zheng He carries out the first of its forwardings towards India, the Middle East and the East Africa between 1405 and 1433, a Chinese pirate of the name of Chen Zuyi took control of Palembang. Zheng He demolishes the fleet of Chen and captures the survivors.
The strait is become again a sure sea route. According to the tradition, prince de Sriwijaya, Parameswara, refusing the suzerainty of Majapahit, takes refuge on the island of Temasek (current the Singapore), but is finally established on the west coast of the Malayan Péninsule about 1400 and founds Malacca , which will become the largest wearing of Southeast Asia, at the same time successor of Sriwijaya and precursor of Singapore.
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