Mandala Champa in the “Early Age of Commerce” (900-1300CE)

Bài đã đăng trên tạp chí Nghiên cứu Đông Nam Á, số tiếng Anh, năm 2011


An “Early Age of Commerce” in Southeast Asia (900-1300 CE)

Scholars are relatively familiar with the idea of the “Age of Commerce” proposed by Prof.Anthony Reid that examines the history of Southeast Asia during the period from 1400 to 1680 CE.[2] According to A.Reid, around the year 1400 the economic growth in Southeast Asia was stimulated by the demand for spices, pepper and other products in archipelagic region. He argues that, during this period, individuals and states in Southeast Asia “could profit greatly from international trade by adapting to its changing demands”.[3] Dr.Geoff Wade has recently argued in his paper proposing the idea of an “Early Age of Commerce” that implies the history of Southeast Asia from the Tenth to the Fourteenth century. He argues that, during this period, various changes in China, South Asia and the Middle East as well as within the Southeast Asian region did offer a fertile environment to promote maritime commercial activities, and consequently induced the appearance of novel coastal ports and a number of political, social changing in Southeast Asian polities.[4] Previously, J.W.Christies also defines the period from the Tenth to Thirteenth century as the age of “Boom of Asian Maritime trade”.[5] Following G.Wade’s idea[6], I will demonstrate briefly in this paper the change in major maritime Asian states, including (1) the commercial-supported policies and its impacts in China; (2) the development of Arab trader network throughout maritime Asia; and (3) the expansion of Tamil merchants/communities in South, East and Southeast Asia.

1).The reunification of China under the Song dynasty (960CE) and its following policies profoundly impacted to Asian maritime trade network. The Song dynasty was generally considered as the most successful Chinese dynasty in promoting and controlling the maritime trade activities. Geoff Wade notes that the existence of northern and southern Song dynasties from 960 to 1279 CE “constituted a period of great commercial and industrial growth in China, so much so that the changes which occurred during this period have been referred to as the medieval economic revolution”.[7] A number of policies were issued in order to control and promote the development of southern ports, particularly the port of Quan-zhou. Song rulers also issued policies to encourage foreign merchants to arrive and do business in southern Chinese ports. In 987 AD, for instance, the Chinese Government sent four missions abroad with imperial letters to encourage “foreign traders of the Southern Ocean and those who went to foreign lands beyond the seas to trade to come and trade in southern China ports”.[8]

The Song court also promoted the southern sea kingdoms to bring tribute to China. By doing so, the Chinese courts received the fiscal revenue as well as determined its legitimate status. Simultaneously, the tributary system also provided benefits to foreign tributary missions both politically and economically. In a recent work, Mukai Masaki points out that, there was a “boom” of tributary missions from the southern sea entities to China during the Song period.[9] He argues that, this “boom” of tributary missions reflected the “reorganization of whole maritime trade network”.[10] He also shows that a number of these tributary missions were carried out by sea-traders, especially tributary envoys from Dashi (Arab and Persia countries). Foreign nations and merchants eagerly participated in Chinese tributary system because the Chinese emperor often returned them gifts of equal value. Moreover, this system also provided commercial opportunities for foreign traders to conduct inland trade and collect Chinese commodities with low price and free tax. —which period (years) for this prosperous trade (from tributary relations)?

In the early 13th century, mercantile port of Quan-zhou, the most important port in southern China came to a crisis period. This crisis was result of the tension between Southern Song and the Yuan. Consequently, almost of foreign merchants left China for other coastal ports. After taking control over Chinese territory, the Yuan dynasty began to expand its maritime power. Kublai Khan established his power over the southern coast of China, established a large number of merchant shipping offices at coast ports to control the maritime exchange. The port of Guan-zhou and other ports in southeast of coastal China were reemerged and revived under the Yuan dynasty[11] and the Yuan period was seen as the ‘turning point’ of Maritime Asian history.[12]

2). The second external factor which impacted on Southeast Asian economy was the increasingly active role of Arab traders in South, East and Southeast Asia region. From the initial base in Konkan and Gujarat, Persians and Arabs gradually expanded their territory to the east and dominated the maritime trade routes along the coast of Indian Ocean by the 9th century. Arab traders then enlarged their network to Southeast Asia and southern China by 10th century.[13] Geoff Wade, basing on historical records, demonstrates that “by the late 12th century, the southern sea trade was essentially in the hands of Muslim traders”.[14] By the 13th century, Arab merchants continue played a significant role in controlling the maritime trade route connecting China, Southeast Asia and South Asia.

3). The third factor, according to G.Wade, that affected on Southeast Asian trade from the Tenth to the Fourteenth century was the expansion of the Tamil trade networks in maritime Asia along with the prosperous of Chola kingdom in Southeast Indian sub-continent.[15] Emerging in the southeast coast of India in 985, the Chola kingdom afterward expanded both inland and maritime territory. The Chola kings encouraged overseas maritime trade, and actively engaging into the maritime trade system from the Mediterranean and Persia in the West, and Malay, Sumatra, and China in the east. Hermann Kulke considers the emergence of Chola, the active role of Tamil traders, and the tension between Chola and Srivijaya in the Eleventh century as “the rise of new powers, the shift of trade routes, and a consequence of these processes being a struggle for market share”.[16]

The re-emergence of Chinese market under the Song and Yuan dynasties, along with the expansion of Arab traders, and the rise of Chola kingdom constituted an advantage environment that encouraged maritime commercial activities in thorough Asia. Consequently, the maritime route connecting Chinese market with South and West Asian markets across Southeast Asian region became one of the most active and important commercial routes. The prosperity of this maritime trade network did offer fertile opportunities for Southeast Asian polities to get involve into the international market and get benefits from exchanging with outside world.[17] Srivijaya, Champa – those of typical maritime polities in Southeast Asia, took this advantage to actively engage in regional network by providing local commodities, offering convenient coastal ports, as well as attempting to dominate maritime routes.

Mandala Champa in the “Early Age of Commerce”.

The competition among nagaras of mandala Champa

Maspéro’s Le royaume de Champa[18] has been so far considered as a standard work and the most detailed study regarding to the history of Champa from the beginning to the Vietnamese invasion of 1471. According to Maspero, the Cham was predominant ethnic group in Champa kingdom, and others were considered as “savages of the mountainous regions”.[19] Champa from its beginning was a “Hinduized dynasty”, “strongly imprinted with Indic civilization” in the context of a “Hindu invasion” and a region colonized by Indians.[20] The history of Champa kingdom, from the formation of the first dynasty of Sri Mara in the 2nd century to the invasion of Dai Viet in 1471, was a single/unique kingdom. The year of 1471CE marked the end of a Hinduinized state in central Vietnam, and “the Cham disappear from the memory of humankind”.[21] This conventional view, however, had been revised and modified by a group of revisionist in France since 1970s. These scholars have been exploring a large numbers of Cham manuscripts in Southern Vietnam, which were rejected or unexploited by previous colonial scholars, to reconstruct a new history of Champa kingdom. Po Dharma and his colleages consider Champa as a ‘confederation’, and separates Champa into five ‘autonomous regions’.[22] The view considering Champa during its history as a single kingdom is no longer accepted largely. Scholars now see Champa as a federation of small riverine polities/mandala scattered along the present-day central Vietnam.[23]

Prior to the Tenth century, Champa had undergone periods of outstanding growth during the Seventh to the Tenth centuries, when its sea ports had been increasingly familiar for international mercantile ships with Cửa Đại Chiêm (Port of Great Champa)[24], Cù Lao Chàm[25], Kauthara and Panduranga becoming relatively prosperous entrepots.[26] Since the Tenth century, the port of Cu Lao Cham in the Amaravati region lost its primary position and Thi Nai (Sri Boney) of nagara Vijaya emerged as one of Champa’s major mercantile ports. The changing position of dominant region from the north to the south would be attributed, on the one hand, to the increasingly strong political pressure from the northern neighbor of Dai Viet, and on the other hand, this showed the changes in commercial sea routes between China market and other trade centers.

The ancient Chinese accounts on Champa during this period often refer to Champa as a unique/single kingdom in the South Sea. These documents, however, also provide us information about some other aspects related to the history of Champa. The account on Zhancheng in Song-shi, for instance, reveals that in the south of the country was Shebeizhou, in the West Shangyuanzhou, and in the north Wulizhou”.[27] Zhufanzhi, an important book written during the Song period also says that the capital of Zhancheng at that time was Xinzhou, and there were at least ten vassal states (shuguo) under Zhancheng, including Jiuzhou, Wuli, Rii, Yue Li, Weirui, Bintonglong, Wumaba (?), Longrong or Nonglong (?), Puluoganwuliang (?) and Baopiqi.[28] Song Huiyao Jigao notes that the southern region – Bin-tuo-luo (Panduranga) was a separate country, but subordinate to the country of Champa.[29]

The separation and competition among nagaras of Champa during this period could be supported by investigating remained Champa inscriptions.[30] As seen from ancient inscriptions, nagara Vijaya, from the Tenth century on, always mentioned as a strong, prosperous and victorious polity where the king and the royal court of Champa located. Kon River is the longest river of the Vijaya region, and almost of economic, political and religious centers distributed along this river. Kon River could be seen as the main axis of a “riverine exchange network” in the Vijaya mandala. Thi Nai commercial port located in the downstream coastal region, is seen as a major economic center of the Vijaya region.[31] Thi Nai Port was the gateway to the sea of the vast plateau. In this sense, Thi Nai port trade can be seen as the connection point between the sea to the continent, a major entrepôt on the coast of Champa.

For Thi Nai to survive as the “primary mercantile port”, the royal court of Vijaya mandala would made great efforts to establish a system of secondary or affiliate ports which served to collect goods from different regions and then transported it to Thi Nai, where the goods would be sold to, or exchanged with overseas merchants. Vijayan kings were well aware of occupying other mercantile ports in the north and the south alike, at least undermining their status so as to prevent their threats to the growth of Thi Nai ports. In 1050, for example, Jaya Paramesvaravarman sent out his nephew on a conquest trip in the region of Panduranga to the south of Champa.[32] That could be interpreted as an act aimed at occupying a mercantile port in Panduranga (Phan Rang), a major rival to the prosperity of nagara Vijaya.[33]

The land and people of Panran (or Panduranga) in the south of Vijaya are referred regularly in the inscriptions as “wicked, vicious and stupid” one, and “always revolt against all the sovereigns who reigned in the kingdom of Champa [in Vijaya]”, these people used to take advantage to proclaim “a native of the city as their king”.[34] The Batau Tablah inscription of Jaya Harivarman I, dated 1082 S provides information about an attacking of Vijayan troops at Chaklyan [Chakleng village in Panran] in the year of Saka 1069; other attacks were occurred in S.1070 and 1071 in the plain of Virapura at the field of Kayev and the plain of Mahi.[35] The My Son Pillar Inscription, dated 1125 S (A.D.1203), is very important to understand the competition among nagaras during the early of 12th century. According to this inscription, there was a war between nagara Vijaya with the Cambodian troops; the war between people in Panran region with “the kingdom of Vijaya” and, interestingly, an alliance between “people in Panran” and Khmer against “the kingdom of Vijaya” was also noted.[36]

Nagara Kauthara (present-day Khanh Hoa province, where Po Nagar Temple is located) once considered as a major polity against Vijaya in the north and Panduranga in the south. The Po Nagar Temple inscription of Jaya Harivarman I, dated 1082 S (1160) notes that the king of Kauthara have triumphed over all his enemies, including the Cambodians, the Annamites, the people of Vijaya, Amaravati in the north and Panduranga in the south, as well as the barbarous tribes in the west.[37] This information suggests a fact that, each nagara of mandala Champa used to take advantage to build its own network and fight for the independence politically and economically.

Mandala Champa and the competition on the east coast of mainland Southeast Asia.

During the period of “Early Age of Commerce” (900-1300CE) there was a competition in the east coast of mainland Southeast Asia between the three powerful mandalas, namely Champa, Dai Viet and Angkor.[38] Champa is frequently recognized as one of the first Indianized state in Southeast Asia, and some scholars consider the Tenth century as the heyday time of Champa kingdom.[39] The Tenth century in the history of Vietnam and Angkor also marked a new era in the history of these countries. From the Tenth century on, both Daiviet and Angkor became powerful polities in the region and seeking chances for expanding their original territories, as well as looking for new sources of revenue by engaging into the regional maritime trade network.

If Champa was largely considered as one of the typical maritime polity in Southeast Asia along with Srivijaya kingdom, Dai Viet, Angkor and Java, in contrast, could represent as agriculture-based polities. The formation and development of these countries lying along the vast river deltas and fertile plains provided a stable source of revenue for these agriculture-based polities. The development of agricultural economy along the river deltas has led to the formation of large farming communities, the increasing of population, and consequently led to the demand for territorial expansion and the search for new cultivatable areas. Since the Tenth century, on the basis of a steady agricultural economy, both Vietnam and Angkor seemed to realize the importance of expanding the international relations and integration into regional trade networks. The expansion of international and commercial ties which on the one hand, emphasized the position of these countries, and on the other hand, brought significant revenues to the royal courts.

Dai Viet officially opened in 1149 the Don Van commercial port.[40] This event is noted as the evidence of Dai Viet’s desire to integrate into regional maritime network.[41] Dai Viet Su Ky Toan Thu (DVSKTT) from this time on, notes regularly about the presence of foreign envoys in Thang Long court as well as Van Don sea port, including Java, Siam, Angkor and Champa… Along with the Northeast mercantile port system, which is considered as the gateway connecting Dai Viet with China and and Northeast Asia.[42] Dai Viet also paid its attention to enlarge and strengthen the southern seaports of Nghe Tinh region.[43] This region gradually became a wealthy trading area where the Viet, Cham, Khmer and Chinese merchants would inevitably assemble. Hội Thống port during this period was considered as the gateway of Dai Viet to connect with countries in the South, as well as mainland Southeast Asian kingdoms (the lower Mekong Delta, Laos, Angkor).[44] The sea port of Nghe Tinh also regarded as the outpost in Dai Viet’s south-march strategy, a rival of Champa coastal ports in the south.

At the same time, in the south of Champa, mandala Angkor has also shown efforts to enter the regional trade networks. This ambition is expressed most clearly under reign of King Suryavarman II. Under the reign of this king, the Khmer have extended international diplomatic relations, especially with Chola[45] and China. Particularly, the Khmer epressed its ambition through the competition with Dai Viet and Champa in the east coast, aiming to reach the major maritime trade routes of the region. In 1128, Khmer twice attacked Nghe Tinh region – southern Dai Viet. In 1131, Khmer even induced Champa to send forces to fight Nghe Tinh. After its plots to invade mercantile ports in Nghe – Tinh in the south of Dai Viet were defeated, Khmer directed its attacks to Champa in 1145. The cause was nothing other than Khmer’s ambitions to occupy Champa’s mercantile ports and seek entrances to the South China Sea so that it could participate in the region’s sea trade as well as explore direct trade links with Chinese markets in the north.

From 1190 to 1290, it witnessed the conflicts that increased among mandala Angkor and mandala Champa. Moreover, Khmer kingdom under the reign of Suryavarman also attacked Vietnam in the north coast for several times. M.Vickery explains these tensions as an attempt of Khmer to dominate the northeast coastal access, and “credibly in the interest of participating in the growing maritime economy”.[46] Geoff Wade also links these events to the engagement of Khmer rulers into regional maritime trade network. He explains the end of these conflicts in the end of the Thirteenth century coincidence with “a period when maritime trade saw a downturn is such that we cannot ignore this as a possible factor”.[47]

It should be noted that, along with the constant tension relations, there were apparently commercial relations between Champa, Dai Viet and Angkor during the “Early Age of Commerce”. In the relationship with its northern neighbor of Dai Viet, Champa regularly sent off its official tributes to the Dai Viet dynasties. According to Dai Viet su ky Toan thu and Dai Viet su luoc, during the Earlier Le (980-1009) and the Ly dynasties (1009-1225), of all the nations with their tribute missions to the Dai Viet dynasties, Champa sent the highest number 55, Chenla 19. The missions to Dai Viet, first of all, aimed to establish diplomatic relationships. Besides, like those to China, these missions must have played an important role in maintaining regional trade networks. In this bilateral relationship, Champa and Dai Viet could have exchanged valuable produce. For example, Dai Viet merchants could have imported Champa’s aloe wood and brought it to Chinese markets. They could have also imported horses from Yunnan and Guangxi provinces in China and brought them back to Champa.[48] The Phum Mien inscription of Khmer (dated 987) notes about the presence of Vap Champa (Cham merchant), an Yvan of Kamvan Tadin (Vietnamese merchant) in Angkor. K.Hall suggests that these merchant came from Nghe An – north of Vietnam and entered Cambodia via the the Mekong River.[49] Vap China (Chinese trader) appeared in Tuol Pei inscription (dated 992), and they were said to exchange slaves, gold, silver and other goods in Cambodia.[50]

Champa in the relationship with regional maritime polities

During the period of “Early Age of Commerce” (900-1300CE), Champa particularly maintained close and friendly relationships to the Southern Ocean kingdoms, such as Java and the Srivijaya, based on similarities in terms of ethnicity, language and culture. Activities of Champa merchants in Java Island were recorded in Java inscriptions.[51] A Cham stele called Nhan Bieu dating back to between 908-911 CE tells us about the two official diplomatic missions sent off to Java (Yavadvipa) by a famous Champa king, Jaya Simhavarman. Chinese material also noted the close relationship between Champa and Sanfoqi in the southern sea. In these relationships, commercial factors seemed to be the deciding factor and the most important to Champa kingdom. Unlike the stressed relations between Champa and Vietnam and Angkor as well, Champa aimed at keeping a hospitality relation and stable commercial tie rather than a hostile and rivalry relation. These maritime polities were in fact major markets providing with essential commodities to mandala Champa which absence in Champa territory, such as horse, pepper, or even gold.

Question would be raised about the close relation between Champa and regional maritime polities, which is different from unstable relationship with its adjacent overland neighbors. It could be said that, facing the pressure and competition from Dai Viet in the north and Angkor from the southwest, Cham people had to look forwards to other regional kingdoms, seeking for political alliance against Dai Viet and Khmer. Historical sources record the close and friendly relationship between Champa and these polities. It should also be noted that, in later centuries, Champa was seen as a hub to spread Islam to Java and Southern Ocean region. Also, after the event of 1471, Java and the Malayan world became the stopping point for Cham migrants.

Along with extending the relationship to the southern islands, Champa also had an intimate relationship with maritime polities in the Philippine archipelago. The relationship between Champa and Butuan in the Eleventh century was really a special relationship that was recorded in Songshi[52]. Butuan is considered as the gold market providing for Champa, and also under the control of Champa in relation to the Chinese market. There is assumption that nagara Vijaya held and dominated this relationship. The evidence of the emergence of the Go Sanh Ceramics in Philippine in the next centuries could be a strong evidence to this special relationship.[53] Liguistically, Geoff Wade also noted about the possibility of Cham origin of Philippines language.[54]

Hainan Island is also the maritime region that Champa had an intimate relationship during a long period of time. In the battle between Champa and Khmer, Hainan became an ally and providing a great help for Champa. Historical records providing information about several Cham refugees fled to and settled in Hainan in late of Tenth century.[55] As seen from historical and linguistic evidences, Paul Benedict noted the presence of a Cham colony in Hainan.[56]

Thus, with its strategic position, mandala Champa looked forward to maritime polities in adjacent seas to establish special relationships, at first to engage deeply into the regional maritime network, and second to search for allies against the pressure from Dai Viet and Angkor.

Concluding Remarks

The “Early Age of Commerce” in Southeast Asia with external factors supporting for development, offered the growth engines for the whole region. Champa, a typical maritime kingdom in Southeast Asia, located along the major maritime trade routes connecting China with South and West Asia had taken advantage of the opportunities for development, develop foreign trade in particular. Like almost of regional coastal polities, the prosperity of mandala Champa had a close connection with those events taking place in their major markets, including China, South and West Asia. As these markets enjoyed peace and economic growth, the economies of the Southeast Asian coastal polities became strong, thereby consolidating their political position; yet, when international trade slowed down or the trade routes changed unexpectedly, many of the maritime kingdoms declined because their economy had been extremely reliant on foreign trade. This shows that mandala Champa, like most “maritime-oriented” Southeast Asian kingdoms, would normally act as intermediaries in the international maritime trade system, which was one of the major limits of these kingdoms.

Nagaras of mandala Champa had been very active in taking advantages of regional environment for development by integrating and engaging in the Asian commercial networks. The competition for the dominant position took place between those nagaras, particularly the rivalry among nagara Vijaya and Panduranga. The prosperity of Thi Nai mercantile port and Vijaya region for a long period was attributed to the supply of produces from a rich plateau in the west, as well as a stable agricultural economy in the Basin of Kon River. Furthermore, Thi Nai mercantile port was also known as a major entrepot on the regional maritime trade route, as a consequence, nagara Vijaya easily integrated in this system. The prosperity of Vijaya as a dominant entity was noted until the expedition of King Le Thanh Tong in 1471. Besides the leading role of Vijaya, other small entities within Champa territory also built their own networks, both politically and economically. These entities will emerge to compete with other nagaras when they found a chance and especially with outside supports.

The development of regional maritime trade not only affected the maritime kingdoms, but also impacted to other agriculture-based polities in the region. Those of typical agriculture-based kingdoms in the region, including Dai Viet, Angkor and Java were also well aware of the importance of integrating into the regional commercial networks.[57] A competition did occur on the east coast of mainland Southeast Asia between three major representatives: Champa, Dai Viet and Angkor. The pressures of the expansion of cultivated areas and population boom, as well as the ambition to enter the regional trade routes had spurred both Dai Viet and Angkor eye and invade the territory and coastal ports of Champa. K.Hall provides an interesting observation “The construction of Angkor’s baray and the resulting extension of agriculture, as well as the ability of the Angkor state to make even the most remote areas of its domain subject to Khmer administration, reflects significant capabilities. Champa’s 10th and 11th century history, on the other hand, is marked by critical fluctuation. Its geographic position on the coast…seems to have contributed to Champa’s vulnerability”.[58] He also suggests that the hostile relation between Champa and Dai Viet in the Tenth and Eleventh centuries should be understood as “not only attempts at political expansion but also having commercial implications as well”.[59]

In respond to the pressure from Dai Viet and Angkor, nagaras of Champa built their own networks, as well as extended their political and economical allies. Those kingdoms in the adjacent maritime regions became potential commercial markets, as well as significant allies of Champa to resist pressure from neighbors in the mainland. The close relation with these maritime polities also offered effective way so that Champa could integrate deeply into the international trade network, where the Arab traders holding the dominant position.

[1] Do Truong Giang, Ph.D Student, National University of Singapore (NUS) and Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS – Vietnam). This paper was firstly presented at The Twentieth Annual World History Association Conference – Global History Center, Capital Normal University, Beijing, China, 7-10 July 2011. The author would be grateful to the encouragements and suggestions by Prof. Bruce Lokhart and Ms Morragotwong Phumplab (National University of Singapore), Prof. Momoki Shiro and Dr. Mukai Masaki (Osaka University), Dr.Geoff Wade (ISEAS) and Mr. Effendy (University of Hawaii at Manoa).

[2] Anthony Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, 1450-1680: The Lands Below the Winds. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993; and Southeast Asia in the age of commerce: 1450-1680: Expansion and crisis. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993.

[3] Anthony Reid, “An ‘age of commerce’ in Southeast Asian History”, in Modern Asian Studies 24, 1. Great Britain: 1990, p.30.

[4] Geoff Wade, “An early age of commerce in Southeast Asia, 900-1300 CE”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 40 (2). National University of Singapore, 2009.

[5] Jan Wisseman Christie, “Javanese markets and the Asian sea trade boom of the Tenth to Thirteenth centuries A.D.”, Journal of the Social and Economic History of the Orient, 41, 3, 1998.

[6] Geoff Wade, “An early age of commerce in Southeast Asia, 900-1300 CE”.

[7] Geoff Wade, “An early age of commerce”, p.222.

[8] Paul Wheatley, “Geographical notes on some commodities involved in Sung maritime trade”, Journal of the Malayan, Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 32, 2. Kuala Lumpur, 1959, p. 393.

[9] Mukai Masaki, “Contacts between empires and entrepots and the role of supra-regional network: Song-Yuan-Ming transition of the Maritime Asia, 960-1405. Paper presented at The First Congress of the Asian Association of World Historians. Osaka, 2009,p.2.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid., pp.11-12.

[12] Ibid., p.12.

[13] Andre Wick, Al-Hind: The making of the Indo-Islamic world. Vol.2: The slave kings and the Islamic conquest, 11th-13th centuries. New York: Brill, 1997, p.1.

[14] Geoff Wade, “An early age of Commerce”, p.234.

[15] Geoff Wade, “An early age of Commerce”

[16] Hermann Kulke, “The naval expeditions of the Cholas in the context of Asian history”, in Nagapattinam to Suvarnadwipa: Reflections on the Chola Naval expeditions to Southeast Asia, Editors: Hermann Kulke, K.Kesavapany, Vijay Sakhuaja. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2009, p.3.

[17] Geoff Wade, “An early age of Commerce”.

[18] Maspero, Georges. Le royaume de Champa, rev.ed. Paris and Brussels: Van Oest, 1928. In this article, I use the  English version of this book: The Champa kingdom – The history of an extinct Vietnamese culture, translated by Walter E.J. Tips. Bangkok: White Lotus Press, 2002

[19] Maspero, The Champa kingdom, p.2.

[20] Ibid., p.3.

[21] Ibid., p.118. Supporting this argument, Majumdar considers Champa as a single monarchical state, and the King ‘administrated the whole state with almost absolute authority’, see: Majumdar, Champa – History and culture of an Indian colonial kingdom in the Far East, pp.148-149.

[22] Po Dharma, Le Panduranga 1822-1835. Ses rapports avec le Vietnam, Public. École FranÇais d’Extrême-Orient CXLIX, Paris, 1987. See also: Tâm Quách-Langlet, “The Geographical setting of Ancient Champa”, in Lafont P.B. (ed.), Proceedings of the seminar on Champa. University of Copenhagen, 1987, p.21-42.

[23] Tran Quoc Vuong, ‘Miền trung Việt Nam và văn hóa Champa’  [Central Vietnam and Champa Culture], Tap chi Nghiên Cứu Đông Nam Á [Journal of Southeast Asian Studies], No. 4 (21). Hanoi : 1995. Keith Taylor suggests that the concept of Champa should be redefined and ‘rather than signifying a ‘kingdom’ in the conventional sense of the word, Champa should more properly be understood as an archipelagically-defined cultural-political space’ and five regions along the coast of Champa may be seen as ‘island-clusters’, see: Keith W.Taylor,“The early kingdoms”, in: Nicholas Tarling, The Cambridge history of Southeast Asia, Vol.1, From early times to c.1800, Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp.153-154. This assumption is advocated by Kenneth Hall, who applies B.Bronson’s model of ‘riverine exchange network’ to explain the history of Champa kingdom, and he considers Champa as a ‘weakly institutionalized state system that depended upon personal alliance networks to integrate a fragmented population”. In his view, like the Malay riverine states, “the movement of the Cham royal centre (‘capital’) corresponded to transfer of hegemony from the elite of one Cham river valley system to that of another, as one river system’s elite became dominant over the other river-mouth urban centres of the Cham coast”, see: Kenneth Hall, “Economic history of early Southeast Asia”, in: Nicholas Tarling, The Cambridge history, pp.252-253. A number of new researchs on Champa has been recently merged in: Tran Ky Phuong and Bruce Lockhart (Editors), The Cham of Vietnam – History, Society and Art. NUS Press, Singapore, 2001.

[24] Tran Ky Phuong, Vu Huu Minh, “Port of Great Champa in the 4th–15th Centuries”, in Ancient Town of Hoi An. Hanoi: The Gioi Publishers, 1991.

[25] Hoang Anh Tuan, Cù Lao Chàm and Champa Trade activities in 7th – 10th centuries, Master Thesis of History submitted to Vietnam National University, Hanoi: 2001

[26]William Southworth, “River settlement and coastal trade: Towards a specific model of Early State development in Champa”, in The Cham of Vietnam, pp.102-119. In his work, Dr. Southworth uses archaeological and fieldwork evidences to show the applicability of Bronson’s model to study the history of Thubon river system of Champa. Besides, Tran Ky Phuong also uses Bronson’s model, combines with other archaeological and ethnographical sources to explore the riverine exchange system along the Thu Bon river (the Amaravati region of Champa), see: Tran Ky Phuong, “Interactions between uplands and lowlands through the “Riverine Exchange network”: An exploration of the Historical cultural landscape of central Vietnam”, in: Biblioasia, Singapore National Library, Vol 4, issue 3, 2008, pp.4-9.

[27] Momoki Shiro, “Mandala Champa” Seen from Chinese Sources”, in The Cham of Vietnam, p.128.

[28] Momoki Shiro, “Mandala Champa” p.128.  Basing on this information, Momoki Shiro suggests that the conventional image that Champa was composed of four or five large regions – Indrapura, Amaravati, Vijaya, Kauthara and Panduranga – “must be abandoned”, see: Momoki, Ibid., p.131.

[29] Geoff Wade. “The “Account of Champa” in the Song Huiyao Jigao”, in The Cham of Vietnam, p.141.

[30] All of Champa inscriptions used in this paper are cited from R.C.Majumdar. Champa – History and culture of an Indian colonial kingdom in the Far East, 2nd-16th century A.D. Book III. The Inscriptions of Champa.P. Gyan Publishing House, New Delhi, 1927.

[31] Do Truong Giang, “Port of Thi Nai (Champa) in East Asian Maritime Trade network (10th – 15th centuries”. Paper presented at The First Congress of the Asian Association of World Historians. Osaka, 2009

[32] Po Klaun Garay Rock inscription of Jaya Paramesvaravarman I, dated 972 Saka (1050 CE), see: R.C. Majumdar, The Inscriptions of Champa, pp.150-151.

[33] Do Truong Giang, “Biển với lục địa – Thương cảng Thị Nại (Champa) trong hệ thống thương mại Đông Á thế kỷ X-XV” [Connecting the Sea and the Land – Thi Nai trading port (Champa) in East Asian commercial network from the Tenth to the Fifteenth century], in: Nguyễn Văn Kim (ed.), Người Việt với Biển [Vietnamese and the Sea], The gioi Publishing House, Hanoi, 2011, pp.285-314; and “Kỷ nguyên thương mại sớm” ở Đông Nam Á (900-1300): Nghiên cứu trường hợp Champa” [“Early Age of Commerce” in Southeast Asia (900-1300 CE): Case study of Champa], in: Nguyễn Văn Kim (ed.), Người Việt với Biển [Vietnamese and the Sea], The gioi Publishing House, Hanoi, 2011.

[34] Po Klaun Garai rock inscription of Paramesvaravarman I, dated 972 S. In R.C. Majumdar. Champa – History and culture of an Indian colonial kingdom in the Far East, 2nd-16th century A.D. Book III. The Inscriptions of Champa.P. Gyan Publishing House, New Delhi, 1927, p.149. In another inscription, the people of Panduranga, again, noted as “always stupid, of mischievous spirit, and evel-doers”. These people always “revolted against different kings of Champa” and “set up different individuals one after another and proclaimed them kings of the country”. See: R.C. Majumdar, pp.150-151.

[35] R.C.Majumdar, The Inscriptions of Champa p.193.

[36] R.C.Majumdar, The Inscriptions of Champa, pp.202-205.

[37] R.C.Majumdar, The Inscriptions of Champa, p.194.

[38] Kenneth R.Hall. “Competition on the East Coast of the Mainland: Early Champa and Vietnam Political Economies”, in A history of Early Southeast Asia – Maritime Trade and Societal Development, 100-1500. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, INC. United States of America, 2011, pp.67-102. In this work, K.Hall doesn’t pay attention to the active role of Angkor in the competition with both Dai Viet and Angkor in the east coast.

[39] Luong Ninh, Lich su vuong quoc Champa [History of Champa Kingdom]. Hanoi: Dai hoc Quoc Gia, 2004.

[40] According to DVSKTT, on the occasion of junks from Trao Oa (Java), Lo Lac and Xiem La (from Thailand) asking for commercial activities in Hai Dong (Northeast Coast) in 1149, King Ly Anh Tong then found the Van Don port to exchange commodities with foreign merchants. Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư, Vol.1, Khoa  học xã hội Publisher, Hà Nội, 1993, p.317

[41] Nguyễn Văn Kim, « Hệ thống thương cảng Vân Đồn qua tư liệu lịch sử, điền dã và khảo cổ học » [The Vandon commercial port system through historical, fieldwork and archaeological records], in Khảo cổ học [Journal of Archaelogy], No.4, 2006, pp.46-65; see also : Đỗ Văn Ninh, Thương cảng Vân Đồn [Vandon commercial sea port], Thanh Niên Publisher, Hanoi, 2004.

[42] Regarding to commercial routes between Dai Viet and south China in this period, see: Dương Văn Huy, “Quan hệ giao thương giữa vùng Đông Bắc Việt Nam với các cảng miền nam Trung Hoa thế kỉ X-XIV” [Commercial relation between the northeast region of Vietnam and south China sea ports from the Tenth to the Fourteenth centuries], paper presents at Conference on Vandon international sea port, Quang Ninh, 2008.

[43] DVSKTT notes that, in the years of 1161, 1171, 1172, under the reign of King Ly Anh Tong, Dai Viet’s vessels patrolled along the southern coast and islands. Dai Viet Su Ky Toan Thu, pp.323-325.

[44] Nguyễn Thị Phương Chi, Nguyễn Tiến Dũng, “Về các mối giao thương của quốc gia Đại Việt thời Lí, Trần (thế kỉ XI-XIV)” [The commercial relations of Daiviet during Ly and Tran Dynasties, 11th-14th centuries], Nghiên cứu Lịch sử [Journal of Historical Studies], No. 7/2007, pp. 23-37; Hồ Trung Dũng, Vị trí của Nghệ – Tĩnh trong hệ thống thương mại khu vực thời Lí – Trần [Position of Nghe-Tinh region in regional commercial network during Ly and Tran Dynasties], Bachelor Thesis, Department of History, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, 2008.

[45] During the early 11th century, King Suryavarman I sent periodic gifts to Chola king in the southeast of India. Hermann Kulke argues that, by doing so, Angkor king aimed at engaging in “ritual diplomacy” with the Cholas. Hermann Kulke, “The naval expeditions of the Cholas”, p.7

[46] Michael Vickery, “Cambodia and Its Neighbors in the 15th Century”, Working Paper Series, No. 27. Singapore: Asia Research Institute, 2004, p.5. (Link:

[47] Geoff Wade, “An early age of commerce”, p.245.

[48] Li Tana, “A View from the Sea: Perspectives on the Northern and Central Vietnam Coast”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 37/1 (2006), pp. 83-102

[49] Kenneth Hall, “Khmer commercial development and foreign contacts under Suryavarman I”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol.18, No.3, 1975, p.325.

[50] Ibid., p.321.

[51] The Kaladi inscription of 909 CE mentions the existence of foreign communities including merchants from Kalingga (Kalinga), the Singhalese, Dravidians, the Campa (Chams), the Kmir (Khmer) and the Rman (Mons), see: M. Barrett Jones, Early tenth century Java from the inscriptions. Dordrecht: Foris Publications, 1984, p. 25; The Cane inscription (dated 1021 CE), also notes about merchants from Kling, Aryya, Singhala, Pandikira, Drawida, Campa, Remen and Kmir, cited from: Geoff Wade, “An early age of commerce”, p.251

[52] Peter Burns, Roxanna M.Brown: Quan hệ ngoại giao Chàm-Philippinese thế kỷ XI [Diplomatic relation between Cham and Philippinese in the Eleventh century], in Đô thị cổ Hội An [Hoi An ancient port city], Khoa học Xã hội Publisher, Hà Nội, 1991, pp.101-106.

[53] Allison I. Diem, “The significance of ceramic evidence for assessing contacts between Vijaya and other Southeast Asian Polities in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth centuries CE”, In The Cham of Vietnam, pp.204-237.

[54] Geoff Wade, “On the Possible Cham Origin of Philippin Scripts”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol.24, 1993, p.44-87.

[55] Geoff Wade, “The “account of Champa” in the Song Huiyao Jigao”, in The Cham of Vietnam, pp.143-144. See also: Li Tana, “A View from the Sea: Perspectives on the Northern and Central Vietnam Coast”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 37/1 (2006), pp. 83-102

[56] Paul K.Benedict, “A Cham colony on the Island of Hainan”. Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Vol.6, No.2. (Jun., 1941), pp.129-134.

[57] Do Truong Giang, “Java and Angkor in “early age of commerce” (10th to 14th century), Journal of Southeast Asian Studies – Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences.

[58] Kenneth R.Hall. “Eleventh-Century Commercial developments in Angkor and Champa”. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, p.433.

[59] Kenneth R.Hall. “Eleventh-Century Commercial, p.429.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s