BURMA BRITISH EMPIRE HISTORY BY D
G. E. HALL CONTENTS Note on Pronunciation I The PrePagan Period II The Pagan Period 1044-1287 in The Shan Penetration iv The Mon Hegemony v The Rise of the Toungoo Dynasty vi The Coming of the European vn Arakan, the Feringhi and the Dutch vin The later Toungoo Dynasty 1600-1752 ix The Mon Revolt x Alaungpaya xi Burma under the Early Konbaungset Kings 1760-1795 xii Britain and Burma 1795-1826 xni The First Residency and the Annexation of Pegu 1826-1855 xiv The Second Residency and the Annexation of Upper Burma xv Burmese Organization under the Bangs xvi The Planting of British Administration xvn Bureaucracy, Dyarchy and Separation from India xvin Economic and Social Evolution xix The Japanese Conquest and its Aftermath xx The Union of Burma Select Bibliography Index CHAPTER I THE PREPAGAN PERIOD THE early history of Burma is obscure. The Burmese chronicles begin with the supposed foundation of Tagaung in 850 B.C., but the stories they tell are copies of Indian legends taken from Sanskrit or Pali originals. The earlest extant description of Further India is in the Geography of the Alexandrian scholar, Ptolemy, who flourished in the middle of the second century A.D. He refers to the inhabitants of the Irrawaddy Delta as cannibals. These were not, however, the Burmese, for their migrations into the country had not started. In Ptolemys time the dominant race in IndoChina was Indonesian. It must have been strongly represented in Burma, since her modern in habitants show clear traces of the mixture. Buddhist legends point to Indian influence coming by sea. There is the story of the two brothers, Tapusa and Palikat, who visited Gautama and received from him eight hairs of his head, which they are said to have brought to Burma and enshrined beneath the Shwe Dagon Pagoda. The Mon chronicles contain the story of Sona and Uttara, said to have been deputed to the golden land, Suvarna Bhumi, by the Third Buddhist Council at Pataliputra c. 241 B.C. Was Burma the golden land of thejatakas, or birth stories of the Buddha? Actually, the fragments of the Pali scriptures found on the site of the Pyu capital of Sri Ksetra constitute the earliest evidence of Indian culture in Burma. And they do not date earlier than 500 A.D. Chinese writers of the third century A.D., however, refer to a Buddhist kingdom of Linyang, which Gordon Luce, the authority for this period, places in central Burma. Later Chinese writings, from the fourth century onwards, mention a people in central Burma, the Piao, among whom prince and minister, father and son, elder and younger each have their order of precedence. By Chinese standards a civilized people, it would seem. These were the Pyu, the ruins of whose capital at Old Prome, Sri Ksetra or Field of Glory, with its massive circular city walls and traces of broad moats, can still be seen. The Pyu were the earliest inhabitants of Burma of whom records are extant.