Jayavarman II, a man who Built "Khmer Empire"


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 ...According to the dates given by George Coedès in many of his publications, it seemed clear that the kingdom of Cambodia was ruled in the 9th century AD by a succession of kings in the following order: Jayvarman II (802-850), Jayavarman III (850-877), Indravarman I (877-889) and Yasovarman I (889-900 or later).

Some of these dates were questioned later by Claude Jacques according to whom the accession of Jayavarman III took place in 834 AD for reasons which will be discussed below, and ended also earlier than 877. It is of some importance that Yasovarman I was mentioned as ruler for the Saka year 829 (907/08 AD) in the inscription of Phnom Bakhen of King Jayavarman V (K. 558), dated Saka 890 (968/69 AD).


 Moreover, for Coedès Jayavarman II was one of the most important kings who, coming from a country called Javâ, overthrew its suzerainty and changed his capital very often in a series of battles. After his death he was endowed with the posthumous name Paramesvara, which seems to be a kind of consecration. Until today this chronology and history is the base of nearly all modern historiographies of Cambodia.


First of all, as we know, the elaborate history of Jayavarman II, including the date of his accession, was not derived from contemporary sources, but from inscriptions of the 11th century AD. The story which connects him with «Javâ» can be found only in inscriptions of Suryavarman’s successor Udayadityavarman II: the story of the «adventures» of Jayavarman II and the recurring change of his capital is known only from one source, the Sdok Kak Thom inscription (K. 235) dated 8th February 1053 AD.


However, Jayavarman II was mentioned in earlier inscriptions, albeit only as the one who settled at mount Mahendra identified with the Phnom Kulen. In earlier inscriptions Jayavarman II is no extraordinary king who as a hero liberated his country from foreign sovereignty. He is
only one king in a line of other kings, even in the Prè Rup inscription of king Rajendravarman II dated 961/62 AD in which Jayavarman II is named casually in connection with the king Puskaraksa, who was the maternal uncle of the mother of Jayavarman’s mother (stanza IX), which is in accordance with the Lolei inscription (K. 323). However, the moving of capitals, is also of some importance as it was Jayavarman II who founded the nucleus of the later capital Angkor. ...


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