HIS 2122

Sri Lanka in the pre modern Times I

Course Description:

This course examines the major historical processors that shaped Sri Lanka before the thirteenth century during the Rajarata civilization. It will mainly focus on the various patterns of early settlement formation, the emergence of early political institutions and the evolution of urbanised society.

Learning Objectives:

The main objective of this course is to provide students with a knowledge of the historical evolution of Sri Lankan society before the thirteenth century, informed by the contemporary scholarship on the field. It will also train students to critically analyse various aspects of pre-modern societies.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this course, students should be able to:

• Explain the major historical processes that shaped the society of the Rajarata Civilization.
• Analyse the dynamics of state formation in the early history of Sri Lanka
• Critically evaluate the role of religion, market and ideology in state formation in the early period of Sri Lanka.

Course Content:

1. Early settlement formation
2. Indian factor
3. Early forms of political institutions
4. Rise of Anuradhapura as an urban centre
5. Political developments outside Anuradhapura
6. Development of the centralised irrigation system
7. Social conflicts
8. Role of the Market
9. Major cultural trends
10. Buddhism and its role in the Anuradhapura State
11. South Indian factor in Anuradhapura politics
12. Rise of Polonnaruwa

Midterm Test 20%
Midterm Assignment 20%
Final Exam 60%

Recommended Readings:

Ray, H.C. & Paranavitana, S. (ed.) (1960) University of Ceylon History of Ceylon Vol. I Part I , Colombo: Ceylon 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.

Siriweera, W. I. (1994) A Study of Economic History of Pre-modern Sri Lanka, Delhi: Vikas.

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