Sunday, December 2, 2018

Rajavaliya

Rajavaliya (lit: the line of kings) is one of the Sinhalese chronicles in Sri Lanka. It gives a complete record about the island's history up to end of the 17th century.

As this ancient text doesn't contain evidence to find out the original date or the authorship of the writing, there are several opinions has arisen (Gunasekara, 1900). Scholars such as Upham Edward believes that it was compiled by four different authors in continuation of each others works (Edward, 1833). George Turnour states that it has been compiled by different people at various periods (Turnour, 1836) and Gunasekara thinks that it is a work of more than one hand (Gunasekara, 1900). Wilhelm Geiger and Suraweera point out that it could be a work of one author (Suraweera, 1997).

The chronicle starts with the mythical accounts on the physical conformation of the universe and ends with mentioning the surrender of Colombo by Portuguese to the Dutch [(May, 1656 A.D.) Wikramasinghe, 1900].

References
1) Edward, U., 1833. The Mahávansi, the Rájá-Ratnácari, and the Rájá-Vali, forming the Sacred and historical books of Ceylon: also, a Collection of tracts illustrative of the doctrines and literature of Buddhism; tr. from the Singhalese. London. p.xii.
2) Gunasekara, B., 1900. The Rajavaliya: or, A historical narrative of Sinhalese kings from Vijaya to Vimala Dharma Surya II. Colombo. p.iii.
3) Suraweera, A. V., 1997. Rajavaliya: A critical edition with an introduction (In Sinhala). Educational Publications Department. pp.36-38.
4) Turnour, G., 1836. An epitome of the history of Ceylon, compiled from native annals; and the first twenty chapters of the Mahawanso. Ceylon, Cotta Church Mission Press. p.iv.
5) Wikramasinghe, D. M. D. Z., 1900. Catalogue of the Sinhalese Manuscripts in the British Museum: London. pp.75-76.
This page was last updated on 6 October 2020
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