By John Tully
During this concise and compelling background, Cambodia’s prior is defined in bright element, from the richness of the Angkorean empire throughout the darkish a long time of the 18th and early-19th centuries, French colonialism, independence, the Vietnamese clash, the Pol Pot regime, and its present incarnation as a troubled democracy. With lively writing and keenness for the subject, John Tully covers the whole sweep of Cambodian heritage, explaining why this land of contrasts continues to be an enticing enigma to the overseas group. Detailing the miserable list of battle, famine, and invasion that has threatened to spoil Cambodia, this dialogue exhibits its survival to be a testomony to the resilience of the human spirit.
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Additional info for A Short History of Cambodia: From Empire to Survival (A Short History of Asia series)
Traces of dissent, exiling or executing the nobles the disturbances and seizing their manors. fell into the regency's hands at an opportune moment. The government was responsible for maintaining a growing population of warriors, many with little or no title to their own lands; to keep their loyalty, the regent was now able to reward them with stewardships of the confiscated manors. Although the vassals were not given the properties outright, they enjoyed a generous portion of the profits: Of every twelve acres of land under their stewardship, they were awarded two acres they could call their own, with no need to share its income.
The aristocrats in Kyoto had no such scruples. Aesthetics obsessed them. They poured the wealth of their manors into exquisite costumes; they expressed their emotions and arranged their assignations in allusive verse inscribed in beautiful calligraphy. Expeditions to view the full moon, admire the autumn leaves, or observe the first blossoms of spring occupied their abundant leisure hours. Court life consisted largely of a round of ceremonies, religious rituals, official banquets, and poetry competitions.
In Russia, they had merged with Turks, Slavs, and Finns to create a new Turkish-speaking race loosely known as Tartars. In central Asia, they had become indistinguishable from the masses, predominantly Turkic or Persian in origin. The destructive force unleashed by Genghis Khan in 1207 had swept across Eurasia and finally worn itself out. oyaging overland through Persia and the his father, Marco Polo Gobi Desert with Khan arrived at the court of Kublai in 1 275. For the next seventeen years he acted as Kublai's envoy, traveling on peditions as far afield as Burma and fact-finding ex- south- ern China and possibly even acting as gov- ernor of the northern city of Yangzhou.