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How did the kingdom of Funan disappear?

The S-shaped strip of land of Vietnam today, in ancient times was the cradle of 3 great civilizations spread across 3 regions. The North was the Dong Son civilization, the civilization then stretched to Dong Dinh lake and Yangtze river. Central region is the Sa Huynh civilization with superior metallurgical techniques. The Southern region is the Oc Eo civilization, which created the kingdom of Funan, a powerful country in Southeast Asia.

Oc Eo civilization

According to the discoveries that archaeologists have found and historical records, the Oc Eo civilization was originally self-governing hamlets sharing the same culture, having faith in Buddhism.

In the first century AD, one of the great hamlets, Koh Thlok, became powerful when led by queen Lieu Diep.

According to ancient Chinese books such as Jin Shu, Nam Qi Shu, and Liangshu, record at that time a nobleman named Hun Dien in India was warned in a dream by the god, picked up a bow under a tree and showed the direction of the boat. big to the sea.

Chaos Dieu immediately brought 1,000 troops on a boat by sea to Oc Eo to conquer the hamlets. Lieu Diep fought back but was at a disadvantage and surrendered. Hoan Dien accepted the surrender and married Lieu Diep.

After getting married, Hoan Dien sent his army to continue conquering the remaining towns and villages, unifying Oc Eo, establishing a new kingdom called Funan and then ascending the throne to establish the Kaudinya dynasty. Named the capital as Special Muc (Vyadrapura).

Civilization developed, trade around the world

The Oc Eo people absorbed the Indian civilization, were good at managing water, the people believed in the Buddhadharma, making Funan more and more civilized and prosperous.

Due to its location in important maritime traffic, Funan has become a center of coastal waterway trade and has grown increasingly prosperous. There is a 90km long canal to Angkor Borei (a district in Takeo province in the south of Cambodia). Oc Eo has a very convenient location on the trade route between the sea, on one side is the Malay peninsula with India, on the other side is the Mekong River and China. The location makes Oc Eo a convenient transit point.

Kingdom of Funan - How did the powerful nation in Southeast Asia disappear?  - Photo 1.

Ancient stele was made in the Funan period (about 2-3 centuries), found in Dong Thap. (Photo: Bui Thuy Dao Nguyen/Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Archaeologists have also found a lot of valuable commercial items here from Rome, India, China and Southeast Asian countries such as coins, gemstone beads, glass, utensils. in metal, gold jewelry, jade, swastikas also appear a lot on gold jewelry items.

Silver coins found in Funan also found in Malaysia, Thailand, and Burma indicate the extensive commercial activity of the Funan kingdom.

Kingdom of Funan - How did the powerful nation in Southeast Asia disappear?  - Photo 2.

Roman coins of Emperor Antonius Pius (left) found in Oc Eo. (Photo: Ian Glover 1989, Public Domain).

Many Buddha statues and stupas, spiritual works were found to be evidence of the people’s religious beliefs, along with the development of sculpture and architecture.

Mighty Empire

According to ancient Chinese records, the Kaudinya dynasty lasted about 150 years. By the 2nd century, the reign of the last king of this Dynasty was Chao Pan Ban, the government was manipulated by a general, the ancient history book of China is “Luong Thu” transliterated this general as Pham. Master Man. After the death of Hoan Ban Ban, the people honored Pham Su Man as King, opening a new dynasty.

Pham Su Man built large warships to send troops to conquer neighboring countries, conquer and annex 10 neighboring countries. Funan became the most powerful empire in Southeast Asia at that time. The territory included present-day Southern Vietnam, part of Malaysia, and the entire southeastern region of Cambodia (accounting for most of Cambodia).

Thanks to trade with many countries, Funan civilization also developed. Later Funan kings had relations with both India and the Jin dynasties of China, so in addition to the influence of Indian culture, Funan also absorbed the influence of Chinese civilization. The writing of the Funan people at that time was the Indian typeface.

By the 4th century, Funan was ruled by the Thien Truc Chien Dan (Chandan) dynasty. Funan still develops stably, thanks to its strength, it has expanded its territory, taking over the land of present-day Cambodia, including the Menam River Delta in Thailand today.

At this time, the Funan Empire had a vast territory to the extreme, including the entire southern region of present-day Vietnam, all of Cambodia, the Menam River delta of Thailand, part of Malaysia, and part of Burma. .

Bridge between civilizations in the world

According to the “Luong Thu”, in the 5th century, a Thien Truc, Kieu Tran Nhu, was honored as King by the people, founded the Kaudinya II dynasty, changed the state system of Funan to the Indian style, took The two main religions are Buddhism and Brahmin as the ideological foundation for the whole country.

Funan continued to flourish and became a bridge between civilizations in the world both east and west such as China, India, Rome, Persia. Become the most powerful maritime empire in the world at that time.

In Thoai Son district, An Giang province, when people digging Ba The canal discovered ancient works, archaeologists have determined that there was a busy port of Funan in the past.

Acquired by Chenla

The territory of Funan is extremely large, including different ethnic groups, and of course will lead to inequality between ethnic groups.

By the 6th century, Funan had a power battle between the princes, causing the country to gradually weaken. The Khmer in Chan Lap (present-day Cambodia) took this opportunity to revolt to gain independence for their nation, regaining land for the Khmer, and then spread to the lands under the control of Funan.

In the year 550, the king of Chan Lap, Tri Da Tu Na (Citrasena) brought his army to attack the capital of Tac Muc of Funan. The King of Funan at that time, Rudravarman, could not stand it, had to leave the capital and run to Na Phat Na (Navanagara).

Tac Muc Citadel, which is one of the cultural centers of the world, where the quintessence of the whole Southeast Asia is gathered, was suddenly destroyed by the Khmer.

Since then, Funan has fallen into disrepair, and the colonies have also seceded from Funan. However, Funan was originally an empire with a long civilization, so it was not immediately destroyed. It was not until the 8th century (ie 2 centuries later) that Chan Lap gradually occupied Funan and merged it into Chan Lap.

Funan flourished thanks to maritime trade and was good at managing water, but the Khmer were not good at this, so they could not inherit the inherent advantages left by Funan. Although Chan Lap later developed, its influence was only in Southeast Asia, far behind the world influence of the Funan civilization.

The “Nam Qi Shu”, an ancient Chinese book, has the following records about the Funan people:

“The Funan people often trade in gold, silver, and silk. Children of noble families often wore sarongs made of silk. Women wear a cloth top that goes over their heads. The poor man wrapped a piece of coarse cloth around himself. They made rings and bracelets of gold, and dishes of jade. They cut down trees for timber to build houses and fenced gardens around the house. The king lived in a house with an attic. Along the coast, people grow palm trees with long leaves for roofing. People built boats eight or nine feet long, six or seven ten feet wide. The bow and rudder are like the head and tail of a fish. The king sits on an elephant. Women can ride elephants. They like to play cockfighting…”

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