This course will discuss various historical processes of Sri Lanka from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century. It will focus on demographic, political and cultural developments after the collapse of Rajarata society, the evolution of major post Rajarata polities, and in particular, the rise of Jaffna and Kotte and Kanda Udarata. It will also expose students to the limitations of the existing paradigms of the historiography of this period.
The main objective of this course is to give students a broader understanding of historical processes, following the collapse of the Rajarata society. It also intends to enable students to critically evaluate existing explanations about post-Rajarata historical developments, the nature of external and internal trade, division of labour, the social hierarchies and identities which existed at the time and changes that occurred in society due to encounters with the external world.
At the end of this course, students should be able to:
• Identify the economic practices of the pre-modern Sri Lankan community
• Analyse how trade and agriculture impacted societal differences
• Trace the hierarchical orders of society and their relevance in understanding pre-colonial society
1. Mapping post-Rajarata Sri Lanka: some conceptual and historiographical issues
2. Main demographic concentrations in the 14th and 15th centuries
a. Western Coastal region
c. Kanda Udarata
3. Main demographic movements: drift to the Southwest, South Indian migrations and other migratory patterns
4. Economic trends: new form of peasant agriculture, role of the market
5. Dynamics of the caste formation
6. Political developments: Centrifugal and Centripetal forces in political life
Midterm Test or Assignment 30%
Final Exam 60%
De Silva, K. M. (1981) A History of Sri Lanka, Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Indrapala, K. (2007) The Evolution of an Ethnic Identity, the Tamils in Sri Lanka C. 300 BCE to C. 1200 CE, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications.
Ray, H.C. & Paranavitana, S. (eds.) (1960) University of Ceylon History of Ceylon Vol. I Part II, Colombo: Ceylon University Press.
Siriweera, W. I. (1994) A Study of Economic History of Pre-modern Sri Lanka, Delhi: Vikas.
රණවීර, ගුණවර්ධන . (1993) සිවුර සහ නගුල, කොළඹ : සමාජ විද්යාඥන්ගේ සංගමය
කොඩ්රිංටන්, එච් . ඩබ් . (1998) සංක්ෂිප්ත ලංකා ඉතිහාසය, රාජගිරිය: කුරුලුපොත්
සිරිවීර, ඩබ්. අයි. (2002) රජරට ශිෂ්ටාචාරය සහ නිරිතදිග රාජධානි, කොළඹ: දයාවංශ ජයකොඩි සහ සමාගම