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Sri Ksetra Kingdom
SRI KSETRA (Śrī Kṣetra, သရေခေတ္တရာ ပြည်, IPA: ; lit. "Field of Fortune" or "Field of Glory" ), located along the Irrawaddy River at present-day Hmawza, was once a prominent Pyu settlement. The Pyu occupied several sites across Upper Myanmar, with Sri Ksetra
Sri Ksetra
recorded as the largest, the city wall enclosing an area of 1,477 hectares. Issues surrounding the dating of this site has meant the majority of material is dated between the seventh and ninth centuries AD, however recent scholarship suggests Pyu culture at Sri Ksetra
Sri Ksetra
was active centuries before this. Sri Ksetra
Sri Ksetra
is the site for much of the Pyu artistic legacy. The arrival of Buddhism
Buddhism
into the Pyu cities saw the increased artistic production, with very little surviving from the earlier period of occupation. The vast arraying of surviving material indicates a rich visual culture that was endorsed by the Pyu at Sri Ksetra. The Pyu at Sri Ksetra
Sri Ksetra
declined in prominence around the ninth century AD. The final mention of the Pyu is found at Pagan, with a twelfth century stone featuring inscriptions in Pyu, Mon, Burmese and Pali
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Sri Ksetra
The PYU CITY STATES (Burmese : ပျူ မြို့ပြ နိုင်ငံများ) were a group of city-states that existed from c. 2nd century BCE to c. mid-11th century in present-day Upper Burma (Myanmar). The city-states were founded as part of the southward migration by the Tibeto-Burman -speaking Pyu people, the earliest inhabitants of Burma of whom records are extant. The thousand-year period, often referred to as the Pyu millennium, linked the Bronze Age to the beginning of the classical states period when the Pagan Kingdom emerged in the late 9th century. The city-states—five major walled cities and several smaller towns have been excavated—were all located in the three main irrigated regions of Upper Burma: the Mu River Valley , the Kyaukse plains and Minbu region , around the confluence of the Irrawaddy and Chindwin Rivers . Part of an overland trade route between China and India , the Pyu realm gradually expanded south. Halin , founded in the 1st century AD at the northern edge of Upper Burma, was the largest and most important city until around the 7th or 8th century when it was superseded by Sri Ksetra (near modern Pyay ) at the southern edge. Twice as large as Halin, Sri Ksetra was the largest and most influential Pyu centre
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Pyu Language (Burma)
The PYU LANGUAGE (Burmese : ပျူ ဘာသာ, IPA: ; also TIRCUL LANGUAGE) is an extinct Sino-Tibetan language that was mainly spoken in present-day central Burma (Myanmar) in the first millennium CE . It was the vernacular of the Pyu city-states , which thrived between the second century BCE and the 9th century CE. Its usage declined starting in the late 9th century when the Bamar people of the Kingdom of Nanzhao began to overtake the Pyu city-states . The language was still in use, at least in royal inscriptions of the Pagan Kingdom if not in popular vernacular, until the late 12th century. It became extinct in the 13th century, completing the rise of the Burmese language , the language of the Pagan Kingdom, in Upper Burma, the former Pyu realm. The language is principally known from inscriptions on four stone urns (7th and 8th centuries) found near the Payagyi pagoda (in the modern Bago Township ) and the multi-lingual Myazedi inscription (early 12th century). These were first deciphered by Charles Otto Blagden in the early 1910s. The Pyu script was a Brahmic script . The most recent scholarship suggests the Pyu script may have been the source of the Burmese script
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Buddhism
BUDDHISM ( /ˈbʊdɪzəm/ or /ˈbuːdɪzəm/ ) is a religion and dharma that encompasses a variety of traditions , beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on teachings attributed to the Buddha
Buddha
. Buddhism
Buddhism
originated in Ancient India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, from where it spread through much of Asia
Asia
, whereafter it declined in India
India
during the Middle Ages. Two major extant branches of Buddhism
Buddhism
are generally recognized by scholars: Theravada ( Pali
Pali
: "The School of the Elders") and Mahayana ( Sanskrit
Sanskrit
: "The Great Vehicle"). Buddhism
Buddhism
is the world\'s fourth-largest religion , with over 500 million followers or 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhist schools vary on the exact nature of the path to liberation, the importance and canonicity of various teachings and scriptures , and especially their respective practices
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Animism
ANIMISM (from Latin _anima_, "breath , spirit , life ") is the religious belief that objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence. Potentially, animism perceives all things—animals, plants, rocks, rivers, weather systems, human handiwork, and perhaps even words—as animated and alive. Animism is the oldest known type of belief system in the world that even predates paganism . It is still practiced in a variety of forms in many traditional societies. Animism is used in the anthropology of religion as a term for the belief system of many indigenous tribal peoples , especially in contrast to the relatively more recent development of organized religions . Although each culture has its own different mythologies and rituals, "animism" is said to describe the most common, foundational thread of indigenous peoples' "spiritual" or "supernatural" perspectives. The animistic perspective is so widely held and inherent to most animistic indigenous peoples that they often do not even have a word in their languages that corresponds to "animism" (or even "religion"); the term is an anthropological construct . Largely due to such ethnolinguistic and cultural discrepancies, opinion has differed on whether _animism_ refers to an ancestral mode of experience common to indigenous peoples around the world, or to a full-fledged religion in its own right
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Vaishnavism
VAISHNAVISM (_ Vaishnava dharma_) is one of the major traditions within Hinduism along with Shaivism , Shaktism , and Smartism . It is also called Vishnuism, its followers are called Vaishnavas, and it considers Vishnu as the Supreme Lord. The tradition is notable for its avatar doctrine, wherein Vishnu is revered in one of many distinct incarnations. Of these, ten avatars of Vishnu are the most studied. Krishna , Rama , Narayana , Vāsudeva , Hari , Vithoba , Kesava, Madhava, Govinda and Jagannath are among the popular names used for the same supreme. The tradition has traceable roots to the 1st millennium BCE, as _Bhagavatism_, also called _Krishnaism_. Later developments led by Ramananda created a Rama-oriented movement, now the largest monastic group in Asia. The Vaishnava tradition has many _sampradayas_ (denominations, sub-schools) ranging from the medieval era Dvaita school of Madhvacharya to Vishishtadvaita school of Ramanuja . New Vaishnavism movements have been founded in the modern era such as the ISKCON of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
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Monarchy
A MONARCHY is a form of government in which a group, generally a family representing a dynasty , embodies the country's national identity and its head, the monarch , exercises the role of sovereignty. The actual power of the monarch may vary from purely symbolic (crowned republic ), to partial and restricted (_constitutional_ monarchy ), to completely autocratic (_absolute_ monarchy ). Traditionally the monarch's post is inherited and lasts until death or abdication. In contrast, elective monarchies require the monarch to be elected. Both types have further variations as there are widely divergent structures and traditions defining monarchy. For example, in some elected monarchies only pedigrees are taken into account for eligibility of the next ruler, whereas many hereditary monarchies impose requirements regarding the religion, age, gender, mental capacity, etc. Occasionally this might create a situation of rival claimants whose legitimacy is subject to effective election. There have been cases where the term of a monarch's reign is either fixed in years or continues until certain goals are achieved: an invasion being repulsed, for instance. Richard I of England being anointed during his coronation in Westminster Abbey , from a 13th-century chronicle. Monarchic rule was the most common form of government until the 19th century
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Classical Antiquity
CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY (also the CLASSICAL ERA, CLASSICAL PERIOD or CLASSICAL AGE) is a term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea , comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome , collectively known as the Greco-Roman world . It is the period in which Greek and Roman society flourished and wielded great influence throughout Europe , North Africa and Southwestern Asia . Conventionally, it is taken to begin with the earliest-recorded Epic Greek poetry of Homer (8th–7th century BC), and continues through the emergence of Christianity and the decline of the Roman Empire (5th century AD). It ends with the dissolution of classical culture at the close of Late Antiquity (300–600), blending into the Early Middle Ages (600–1000). Such a wide sampling of history and territory covers many disparate cultures and periods. "Classical antiquity" may refer also to an idealised vision among later people of what was, in Edgar Allan Poe 's words, "the glory that was Greece, and the grandeur that was Rome." The culture of the ancient Greeks , together with some influences from the ancient Near East , was the basis of art, philosophy, society, and educational ideals, until the Roman imperial period
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Burmese Calendar
The BURMESE CALENDAR (Burmese : မြန်မာသက္ကရာဇ်, pronounced , or ကောဇာသက္ကရာဇ်, ; BURMESE ERA (BE) or MYANMAR ERA (ME)) is a lunisolar calendar in which the months are based on lunar months and years are based on sidereal years . The calendar is largely based on an older version of the Hindu calendar , though unlike the Indian systems, it employs a version of the Metonic cycle . The calendar therefore has to reconcile the sidereal years of the Hindu calendar with the Metonic cycle's near tropical years by adding intercalary months and days at _irregular_ intervals. The calendar has been used continuously in various Burmese states since its purported launch in 640 CE in the Sri Ksetra Kingdom , also called the _Pyu era_. It was also used as the official calendar in other mainland Southeast Asian kingdoms of Arakan , Lan Na , Xishuangbanna , Lan Xang , Siam , and Cambodia down to the late 19th century. Today the calendar is used only in Myanmar as the traditional civil calendar , alongside the Buddhist calendar . It is still used to mark traditional holidays such as the Burmese New Year , and other traditional festivals , many of which are Burmese Buddhist in nature
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Pagan Kingdom
The KINGDOM OF PAGAN (Burmese : ပုဂံခေတ်, pronounced , lit. "PAGAN PERIOD"; also commonly known as the PAGAN DYNASTY and the PAGAN EMPIRE) was the first kingdom to unify the regions that would later constitute modern-day Burma (Myanmar). Pagan's 250-year rule over the Irrawaddy valley and its periphery laid the foundation for the ascent of Burmese language and culture , the spread of Burman ethnicity in Upper Burma , and the growth of Theravada Buddhism in Burma and in mainland Southeast Asia . The kingdom grew out of a small 9th-century settlement at Pagan (Bagan) by the Mranma (Burmans), who had recently entered the Irrawaddy valley from the Kingdom of Nanzhao . Over the next two hundred years, the small principality gradually grew to absorb its surrounding regions until the 1050s and 1060s when King Anawrahta founded the Pagan Kingdom, for the first time unifying under one polity the Irrawaddy valley and its periphery. By the late 12th century Anawrahta's successors had extended their influence farther to the south into the upper Malay peninsula , to the east at least to the Salween river , in the farther north to below the current China border, and to the west, in northern Arakan and the Chin Hills . In the 12th and 13th centuries, Pagan, alongside the Khmer Empire , was one of two main empires in mainland Southeast Asia
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Burmese Alphabet
The BURMESE SCRIPT (Burmese : မြန်မာအက္ခရာ; pronounced ) is an abugida used for writing Burmese . It is ultimately a Brahmic script adapted from either the Kadamba or Pallava alphabet of South India
South India
, and more immediately an adaptation of Old Mon or Pyu script . The Burmese alphabet
Burmese alphabet
is also used for the liturgical languages of Pali
Pali
and Sanskrit
Sanskrit
. In recent decades, other, related alphabets, such as Shan and modern Mon, have been restructured according to the standard of the now-dominant Burmese alphabet. Burmese is written from left to right and requires no spaces between words, although modern writing usually contains spaces after each clause to enhance readability. The earliest evidence of the Burmese alphabet
Burmese alphabet
is dated to 1035, while a casting made in the 18th century of an old stone inscription points to 984. Burmese calligraphy originally followed a square format but the cursive format took hold from the 17th century when popular writing led to the wider use of palm leaves and folded paper known as parabaiks . A stylus would rip these leaves when making straight lines. The alphabet has undergone considerable modification to suit the evolving phonology of the Burmese language
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Replacement Character
SPECIALS is a short Unicode
Unicode
block allocated at the very end of the Basic Multilingual Plane
Basic Multilingual Plane
, at U+FFF0–FFFF. Of these 16 code points, five are assigned as of Unicode
Unicode
10.0: * U+FFF9 INTERLINEAR ANNOTATION ANCHOR, marks start of annotated text * U+FFFA INTERLINEAR ANNOTATION SEPARATOR, marks start of annotating character(s) * U+FFFB INTERLINEAR ANNOTATION TERMINATOR, marks end of annotation block * U+FFFC  OBJECT REPLACEMENT CHARACTER, placeholder in the text for another unspecified object, for example in a compound document . * U+FFFD � REPLACEMENT CHARACTER used to replace an unknown, unrecognized or unrepresentable character * U+FFFE not a character. * U+FFFF not a character.FFFE and FFFF are not unassigned in the usual sense, but guaranteed not to be a Unicode
Unicode
character at all . They can be used to guess a text's encoding scheme, since any text containing these is by definition not a correctly encoded Unicode
Unicode
text. Unicode's U+FEFF Byte order mark character can be inserted at the beginning of a Unicode text to signal its endianness : a program reading such a text and encountering 0xFFFE would then know that it should switch the byte order for all the following characters
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Pyu City-states
The PYU CITY STATES (Burmese : ပျူ မြို့ပြ နိုင်ငံများ) were a group of city-states that existed from c. 2nd century BCE to c. mid-11th century in present-day Upper Burma (Myanmar). The city-states were founded as part of the southward migration by the Tibeto-Burman -speaking Pyu people, the earliest inhabitants of Burma of whom records are extant. The thousand-year period, often referred to as the _Pyu millennium_, linked the Bronze Age to the beginning of the _classical states_ period when the Pagan Kingdom emerged in the late 9th century. The city-states—five major walled cities and several smaller towns have been excavated—were all located in the three main irrigated regions of Upper Burma: the Mu River Valley , the Kyaukse plains and Minbu region , around the confluence of the Irrawaddy and Chindwin Rivers . Part of an overland trade route between China
China
and India
India
, the Pyu realm gradually expanded south. Halin , founded in the 1st century AD at the northern edge of Upper Burma, was the largest and most important city until around the 7th or 8th century when it was superseded by Sri Ksetra
Sri Ksetra
(near modern Pyay
Pyay
) at the southern edge. Twice as large as Halin, Sri Ksetra
Sri Ksetra
was the largest and most influential Pyu centre
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Mandalay
MANDALAY (/ˌmændəˈleɪ/ or /ˈmændəleɪ/ ; Burmese : မန္တလေး; MLCTS : manta.le: ) is the second-largest city and the last royal capital of Myanmar
Myanmar
(Burma). Located 716 km (445 mi) north of Yangon
Yangon
on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River , the city has a population of 1,225,553 (2014 census). Mandalay
Mandalay
is the economic centre of Upper Burma and considered the centre of Burmese culture. A continuing influx of Chinese immigrants, mostly from Yunnan
Yunnan
, in the past twenty years, has reshaped the city's ethnic makeup and increased commerce with China. Despite Naypyidaw 's recent rise, Mandalay
Mandalay
remains Upper Burma's main commercial, educational and health center
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Gupta Empire
The GUPTA EMPIRE was an ancient Indian empire founded by Sri Gupta . The empire existed at its zenith from approximately 320 to 550 CE and covered much of the Indian subcontinent . The peace and prosperity created under the leadership of the Guptas enabled the pursuit of scientific and artistic endeavors. This period is called the Golden Age of India
India
and was marked by extensive inventions and discoveries in science, technology , engineering , art , dialectic , literature , logic , mathematics , astronomy , religion , and philosophy that crystallized the elements of what is generally known as Hindu
Hindu
culture . Chandragupta I
Chandragupta I
, Samudragupta
Samudragupta
, and Chandragupta II
Chandragupta II
were the most notable rulers of the Gupta
Gupta
dynasty. The 4th century CE Sanskrit
Sanskrit
poet Kalidasa credits the Guptas with having conquered about twenty-one kingdoms, both in and outside India, including the kingdoms of Parasikas , the Hunas , the Kambojas
Kambojas
, tribes located in the west and east Oxus
Oxus
valleys , the Kinnaras , Kiratas etc. The high points of this period are the great cultural developments which took place during the reign of Chandragupta II
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G.H. Luce
GORDON HANNINGTON LUCE was a colonial scholar in Burma . He was born on 20 January 1889 and died on 3 May 1979. His outstanding library containing books, manuscripts, maps and photographs - The Luce Collection - was acquired by the National Library of Australia in 1980, as part of its major research collections on Asia . Luce was the twelfth of thirteen children of the Rev. John James Luce, Vicar of St Nicholas\'s , Gloucester . He was educated at Dean Close School , Cheltenham , from where he gained a classical scholarship to Emmanuel College , Cambridge , and in 1911, obtained a first class degree in Classics . During his Cambridge years he was a member of the Cambridge Apostles and his circle of friends included Arthur Waley , giving him admission to the friendship of such contemporaries as Rupert Brooke , Aldous Huxley , and John Maynard Keynes and other members of the Bloomsbury Group . In 1912 Luce was appointed Lecturer in English Literature at Government College, Rangoon , later a constituent college of the University of Rangoon . There he developed a lasting friendship with the young Pali scholar Pe Maung Tin . In 1915, he married Pe Maung Tin's sister Ma Tee Tee . Luce's studies of Burmese culture resulted in articles contributed to the Journal of the Burma Research Society . He was a prolific author throughout his life and wrote books and articles on a wide variety of subjects relating particularly to Burma's history and languages
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