Cambodian history begins in the delta of the Mékong. It naturally divides itself into five periods of unequal length and importance: (1) the Funan period, from early in the first century A.D. to near the middle of the sixth century; (2) the Chenla period, from then to 802; (3) the Kambuja or Angkor period, from 802 to 1432; (4) the independent Cambodia period, from 1432 to 1864; and (5) the French protectorate, covering the period since 1864.
No reliable, detailed, up-to-date general works are available on the first three periods of this article. The knowledge and chronology of these periods have been greatly changed by the studies of a group of French scholars during the last forty or fifty years. Their scholarly and detailed studies, to be found in Bulletin de I'école française d'Extrême-Orient, T'oung pao, Journal asiatique, and a few other Oriental journals, are too numerous to cite in detail in this article. These first three periods are, therefore, based on the author's study of The ancient Khmer empire, now ready for publication, which uses all the available sources and lists and cites more than 200 inscriptions and about G50 titles, mostly of the scholarly studies mentioned above.
Recently, however, there have been written by distinguished scholars, small general works on Southeast Asia, which contain valuable chapters on ancient Cambodia. These works are: Nguyen-van-Que, Histoire des pays de I'union indochinoise (Viet-nam—Cambodge—Laos) (Saigon, 1932); R. C. Majumdar, Hindu colonies in the Far East (Calcutta, 1914); and
The term “Indonesians,” as used in this article, is applied to a people who occupied Indochina before the coming of the Mongoloids, and remnants of whom are still found in the mountains. It has nothing to do with the conglomeration of peoples, probably mostly Mongoloids, whom newspaper and magazine writers have recently begun to call “Indonesians,” simply because they live in Indonesia.
The French sinologist, Paul Pelliot, collected all the references to this region he could find in Chinese works and published them in ”Le Fou-nan,” Bulletin de l'école française d'Extrème-Orient, 3 (April-June 1903), 248–303 (hereafter cited as BEFEO).
For accounts of Chinese envoys and travelers as a source of Cambodian history, see Larry Briggs, A pilgrimage to Angkor (Oakland, 1943), 66–68 (hereafter cited as Pilgrimage).
Lawrence Palmer Briggs, “Dvāravatī, the most ancient kingdom of Siam,” Journal of the American Oriental society, 65 (April-June 1945), 98–107 (hereafter cited as “Dvaravati”).
Svayambhuva means self-creating.
For the three short inscriptions referred to, see George Coedès “Etudes cambodgiennes, XXV: deux inscriptions du Fou-nan,” BEFEO (1931), 1–12; Coèdes, “A new inscription from Fou-nan,” Journal of the greater India society (July 1937), 117–27. For inscriptions as a source of Cambodian history, see Pilgrimage, pp. 68–72.
“Dvaravati,” p. 102.
Ma Touan-lin, Ethnographic des peuples étrangers à la chine…méridionaux, translated by Marquis d'Hervey de Saint-Denys (Paris, 1883), 461.
For a brief account of the Malay conquest and the return of Jayavarman, see Pilgrimage, pp. 68, 70–72.
Kings are called by their posthumous names in the inscriptions.
French epigraphists and historians continue the enumeration of the kings of Chenla (but not those of Funan) in the Kambuja period.
India, possibly Java or Sumatra.
Chakravartin here apparently means simply independent or sovereign.
“Dvaravati,” pp. 103, 104.
Abel Bergaigne, “Inscriptions sanscrites de Cambodge, LV: stele inscription (digraphique) de Loley, stanza 56,” Academic des inscriptions et belles lettres. Notices et extraits des manuscrits (Paris, 1885).
Later, especially during the reign of Jayavarman VII, some of the largest Khmer monuments were funerary temples of the king's father (Prah Khan), mother (Ta Prohm), or a son (Bantay Chmar).
The enclosure of Angkor Thorn is about three kilometers square; that of Prah Khan de Kampong Svai, in the forest about 70 miles east of Angkor, is about five kilometers square.
For a brief description of the terraces and buildings surrounding the Grand Plaza, see Pilgrimage, pp. 49–51 and Plan 4.
“Dvaravati,” p. 104.
No inscription mentions a Suryesvara in either case.
Bantay Chmar, the ruins of which stand in a now arid and nearly deserted district about 100 kilometers to the northwest of Angkor Thorn, was the rival of Angkor Wat as the world's largest religious structure. It was built during the reign of Jayavarman VII.
See Pilgrimage, pp. 66–95, for the sources of ancient Khmer history.
On the Burmese invasions of Siam, see
Fray Marcelo de Ribadeneyro, Hisloria de las islas de archipelago y reynos de gran China, Tartaria, Cochinchina, Malaca, Siam, Camboxa y Jappon (Barcelona, 1601); Fray Gabriel (Quiroga) de San Antonio, Breve y Verdadera relacion de los sucesos del reyno de Camboxa (Valladolid, 1604); Pedro Sevil, Conquista de Champan, Camboja, Siam, Cochinchina y otros paises de Oriente ([Valladolid], 1603. Translate d by A. Cabaton as “Le mémorial de Pedro Sevil,” Bulletin de la commission archéologique de l'Indochine [1914–16], 1–102); Christoval de Jaque de los Rios de Mancaned, “Voyages aux Indes orientates et occidentales…” ([Valladolid], 1606), in
Lawrence Palmer Briggs, “The treaty of March 23, 1907 between France and Siam and the return of Battambang and Angkor to Cambodia,” Far Eastern quarterlyj 5 (August 1946), 441–43.
Noel Peri, “Essai sur les relations du Japon et de l'Indochine aux 16 et 17 siècles,” BEFEO (1923), 1–136.
W. J. M. Buch, “La compagnie des Indes néerlandaises et l'Indochine,” BEFEO (1936), 92–196 and (1937), 121–237.
J. Moura, Le royaume du Cambodge (Paris, 1883), vol. 2, pp. 61–62; Adhémard Léclère, Histoire du Cambodge (Paris, 1913), 351–52.
Moura, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 81–85; Léclère, op. cit., p. 384.
Briggs, “The treaty of March 23,1907,” op. cit., pp. 442–43.
Moura, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 100–04; Léclère, op. cit., pp. 407–11.
Moura, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 109–10; Léclère, op. cit., 416–19.
Briggs, op. cit., pp. 42–43.
Ang Mey was the first woma n since the legendary “Willow Leaf” to occupy th e throne of Cambodia in her own right.
Léclère, op. cit., pp. 421–24; Moura, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 111; Alfred Schreiner, Abrégè de l'histoire d'Annam (Saigon, 1906), 122;
The principal Annamite religion is a form of Mahayanist Buddhism derived from China.
Moura, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 114–15; Lédère, op. cit., p. 429.
Moura, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 120; Lélère, op. cit., pp. 434–35; Vial, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 71.
Léclère, op. cit., pp. 438–39; Briggs, “The treaty of March 23, 1907,” op. cit., pp. 444, 447; Vial, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 71, says they carried off 40,000 Cambodians in 1845.
Lélère, op. cit., pp. 434–38.
Léclère, op. cit., p. 442.
Lélère, op. cit., pp. 443–44; Moura, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 128–32.
Léclère, op. cit., p. 447.
Moura, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 135–37;
Russier, op. cit., pp. 75, 94;
Léclère, op. cit., p. 448, says the king of Siam gave him the name of Norodom when he was made Yuvaraja in 1856. Moura, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 136, says he did not receive that name until he was crowned in 1864. Both, however, call him Norodom after his election in 1859.
Moura, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 136–37.
Lélère, op. cit., p. 448.
Moura, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 141.
Léclère, op. cit., pp. 451–52; Vial, op. cit., vol. 1 pp. 171–73. Léclère calls him, wrongly, Ang.Sor.
Moura, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 145. Léclère, op. cit., p. 452.
The first French protectorate over Annam was establimam was established in 1874.
A protectorate, according to Oppenheim (International Law [London, 1912], vol. 1, p. 145), “is a sort of international guardianship.” It is the hope of tutelage and restoration to, or ultimate attainment of, a place as an independent, or at least an autonomous, nation that distinguishes it from annexation, even when its actual share in its own administration is reduced to a minimum.
Briggs, “The treaty of March 23, 1907,” op. cit., pp. 444–60; Paul Le Boulanger, Histoire du Laos français (Paris, 1931), 319–39.
The Annamites simply moved in, took possession of the land and remained there. The Siamese claimed the country from a distance and subjected it to intermittent raids, carrying off property and inhabitants. Their chronicles and those of their neighbors are full of accounts of these raids.
According to Annuaire général de l'Indochine, 1926, the population of Cochin-china was 4,111,077, constituted as follows: Annamites (and mixed), 3,499,158, Cambodians 294,680, Chinese 165,344, Mons 27,480, Malays and Chams 9,365, Europeans 12,558, others, mostly natives of India, 2,453.
According to the source cited in note 62 the population of the northwestern provinces of Cambodia — Battambang, including Sisophon, and Siemreap (Angkor) —was 321,285, constituted as follows: Cambodians 287,851, Chinese 11,337, Annamites 7,209, Laotians 6,315, Siamese 2,700, Malays 1,717, Burmese and Shans 2316, Europeans 29, others 1611. The population of the northeastern province of Stung Treng (Mlu Prey and Tonlé Repu are not given separately) was 42,856, constituted as follows: Cambodians 10,470, Laotians 12,479, Khas 16,239, Kuis 2,662, Annamites 328, Chinese 652, Europeans 14, Burmese-12.
Briggs, “The treaty of March 23, 1907,” op. cit., pp. 448–52.
Lawrence Palmer Briggs, “Aubaret and the treaty of July 15, 1867 between France and Siam,” Far Eastern quarterly, 6 (Feb. 1947), 122–138.