Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of History

  title={Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of History},
  author={Zolt{\'a}n Biedermann and Alan Strathern},
The peoples of Sri Lanka have participated in far-flung trading networks, religious formations, and Asian and European empires for millennia. This interdisciplinary volume sets out to draw Sri Lanka into the field of Asian and Global History by showing how the latest wave of scholarship has explored the island as a ‘crossroads’, a place defined by its openness to movement across the Indian Ocean. Experts in the history, archaeology, literature and art of the island from c.500 BCE to c.1850 CE… Expand
17 Citations
Island journeys: fisher itineraries and national imaginaries in Colombo
ABSTRACT This paper explores questions of mobility, ethnicity and spatial imaginaries in Sri Lanka through the experiences of fishermen in Mutuwall, a neighborhood of Colombo. While scholars of SriExpand
Banishment and Belonging
Lanka, Ceylon, Sarandib: merely three disparate names for a single island? Perhaps. Yet the three diverge in the historical echoes, literary cultures, maps and memories they evoke. Names that haveExpand
The tale of the Theban Scholastikos, or journeys in a disconnected sea
This article takes the under-used anonymous Roman source, the Tale of the Theban Scholastikos, to argue for a distinct Late Antique phase in the history of the western Indian Ocean. This late third-Expand
Making Lanka the Tamil way: a temple history at the crossroads of landscapes & watersheds
ABSTRACT The oldest extant Tamil ‘place history’ (tala purāṇam) of a Sri Lankan temple is Taṭcaṇa Kayilāca Purāṇam, composed circa the sixteenth century, describing Koneswaram at Trincomalee, dubbedExpand
Classifications at Work: Social Categories and Dutch Bureaucracy in Colonial Sri Lanka
Abstract Feeding into current debates on ethnic identities in colonial South Asia, this article questions to what extent Dutch institutions articulated and impacted social categories of people livingExpand
From Deficiency to Affluence: Dynamics of Kandyan Peasantries and the Rise Of Rural Caste Elite In Sri Lanka
During the past few decades, enormous changes in Kandyan peasantries have caused its restructuration, though some significant older structures still remain intact swaying people’s behaviour. ForExpand
An Introduction to Sri Lanka and Its Cinnamon Industry
Cinnamon is synonymous with Ceylon (Sri Lanka), the island country that has been, and continues to be, the major supplier of true cinnamon to the world for over a millennium. The product known in theExpand
A Spaniard in Hertfordshire : the intellectual exile of Arturo Barea
This thesis explores the role of exile in the work of the Spanish Republican Arturo Barea (1897-1957). It suggests that, linked to the movements that exile generates (physical, social andExpand
Spice and rice: pepper, cloves and everyday cereal foods at the ancient port of Mantai, Sri Lanka
Abstract Lying on the north-west coast of Sri Lanka, the ancient port of Mantai was ideally situated as a ‘hub’ for trade between East and West from the first millennium BC onwards. Excavations atExpand
Early agriculture in Sri Lanka: New Archaeobotanical analyses and radiocarbon dates from the early historic sites of Kirinda and Kantharodai (Kandarodai)
Evidence from two Early Historic sites in Sri Lanka, Kantharodai and Kirinda, is reported, providing significant evidence for agricultural diversity beyond the cultivation of rice, and direct AMS radiocarbon dating confirms both the antiquity of crops and refines site chronologies. Expand


The Eighteenth Century in India
Modernity and Culture ,from the Mediterrutiean to the Indian Ocean, 189CL1920 is a path-breaking collection of essays examining aspects of the history of the Middle East and South Asia from aboutExpand
Theoretical Approaches to Sri Lankan History and the Early Portuguese Period
In the past twenty years or so the history of Sri Lanka has become a site of vibrant controversy, largely because the current ethnic conflict has loaded any kind of reflection on the historicalExpand
Islanded: Britain, Sri Lanka, and the Bounds of an Indian Ocean Colony
How did the British come to conquer South Asia in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries? Answers to this question usually start in northern India, neglecting the dramatic events thatExpand
Buddhist Connections in the Indian Ocean: Changes in Monastic Mobility, 1000-1500
Since the nineteenth century, Buddhists residing in the present-day nations of Myanmar, Thailand, and Sri Lanka have thought of themselves as participants in a shared southern Asian Buddhist worldExpand
The History of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka-an island nation located in the Indian Ocean- has a population of approximately 19 million. Despite its diminuative size, however, Sri Lanka has a long and complex history. The diversity ofExpand
Sri Lanka in the Long Early Modern Period: Its Place in a Comparative Theory of Second Millennium Eurasian History
Abstract This paper explores how Sri Lanka might fit into Victor Lieberman's theory of Eurasian history. Lieberman's work to date has focused on the ‘protected rimlands’ which he sees as sharing theExpand
Asian and Islamic crossings: Malay writing in nineteenth-century Sri Lanka
This essay explores how a small diasporic Muslim community in the colonial era – known today as the Sri Lankan Malays – maintained its culture through the preservation of language, the transmissionExpand
The 'Malwana convention' revisited: notes on the Lankan transition to Iberian rule
Book synopsis: This is the only volume to be published—so far at least—to mark the 500th anniversary of the advent of the Portuguese to this island and thus its first fateful contact with the WestExpand
The Winds of Change: Buddhism and the Maritime Links of Early South Asia
Two major trends have so far dominated the maritime history of ancient India: in the western Indian Ocean, the emphasis has been on the enterprise and nautical skills of the foreigners - the RomansExpand
The Vijayan colonization and the archaeology of identity in Sri Lanka
In my tours throughout the interior, I found ancient monuments, apparently defying decay, of which no one could tell the date or the founder; and temples and cities in ruins, whose destroyers wereExpand