By Great Britain Admiralty
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Extra info for A Handbook of Asia Minor: Volume IV.2 Cilicia, Antitaurus, and North Syria
Taken together, it is clear that there are several issues that need to be addressed. The approach adopted in the use of historical information may require a move away from Southeast Asia to one in which all sources of information are examined from the same starting point. Such an approach may enable the various pre-eminent factors that led to state formation at various junctures in time and place to emerge, as opposed to being prematurely determined by the geographical field of study. It would also allow for a more nuanced understanding of the extent and limitations of the various indigenous and exogenous contexts, and both micro and macro-level issues, as circumstances that mitigated the nature of state formation over the course of time.
While the place accorded by scholars to indigenous textual materials may have been based on the notion of maintaining a central focal point within the region (Reid 2007), these materials, all of which are oral traditions and literary traditions that have emanated from the Malay courts, are not without their limitations. First and foremost are the agenda and objectives for the textualisation of the oral traditions and courtly literature. In canonising the history of the state, of which the composers of these traditions and literary output are clients of the various royal courts, these literary sources tend to personalise the process of state formation (Wolters 1970: 5 & 6).
Scholarly attempts at coming to terms with the nature and process of state formation should therefore incorporate the larger regional and international contexts as part of the emerging historical picture. This imperative is particularly crucial, given that the length of time that almost all pre-modern Malay polities were active, with the exception of Srivijaya, typically did not exceed more than two centuries. Such an approach would put the notion of place and continuity in the nature of states in the region in a different perspective, thus aiding our understanding of the nature of the region’s pre-modern social polity both at the micro and macro levels.
A Handbook of Asia Minor: Volume IV.2 Cilicia, Antitaurus, and North Syria by Great Britain Admiralty