Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture

By John S. Bowman | Go to book overview

Brunei

EARLY EVIDENCE: 7TH–14TH CENTURIES A.D.

As an Islamic state, Brunei traces its early history to its first Muslim ruler; earlierhistoryisentwined with myth and legend, making it difficult to reconstruct a chronology linking the present-day dynasty to an early kingdom. Although transliteration from the Chinese can pose a problem in identifying place names, the most reliable source for early dating is to be found in Chineserecords based on the reports of official court envoys as well as merchants and travelers. There is some evidence that an early mainland kingdom called Funan may be linked to the later kingdoms of Brunei. From as early as the fifth century, the north coast of Borneo has been a stopping-off point on the maritime trade route between China and Indonesia. Trading of camphor and cowries, products for which northwest Borneo is known, are useful references for placinghistoricalrecords in the area that is now Brunei. Following the emergence of the state called P'o-ni by the Chinese, which is possibly linked to earlier kingdoms, more reliable traces are made.

A.D.630: Chinese sources describe a kingdom named P'o-li, which some scholars place in northwest Borneo.

680s: There is evidence of possible settlement along the Bay of Brunei at this time; the settlement becomes known as P'o-ni or Fo-ni in Chinese.

8th century: Chinese coins dating from this time are found at Kota Batu, near Brunei's present-day capital.

835: Records of trade in camphor suggest that northwest Borneo may have connections with Srivijaya at this time.

c. 987: P'o-ni, which in the seventeenth century the Chinese call Bun-lai, and is most likely Brunei, is described as an independent state at this time in an Arabic journal.

13th century: By this time P'o-ni has a large fleet, trades in camphor, and possibly extends its influence to the Sulu archipelago and the Philippines.

1365: According to the Negarakertagama, the Javanese court poem of this time, Burungeng (Brunei) is a tributary state of the Javanese Majapahit empire.

1369: P'o-ni is sacked by Sulu raiders but remains under Majapahit control.

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Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture *
  • Contents v
  • Consultants and Contributors vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture *
  • Part One - East Asia 1
  • China - Political History 3
  • China - Arts, Culture, Thought, and Religion 79
  • China - Science-Technology, Economics, and Everyday Life 99
  • Japan - Political History 118
  • Japan - Arts, Culture, Thought, and Religion 162
  • Japan - Science-Technology, Economics, and Everyday Life 179
  • Korea 193
  • Taiwan 225
  • Hong Kong 236
  • Macau (Macao) 244
  • Part Two - South Asia 250
  • India - Political History 251
  • India - Arts, Culture, Thought, and Religion 325
  • India - Science-Technology, Economics, and Everyday Life 355
  • Pakistan 370
  • Bangladesh 379
  • Bhutan 384
  • Maldives 389
  • Nepal 393
  • Sri Lanka (Ceylon) 400
  • Part Three - Southeast Asia 408
  • Brunei 409
  • Cambodia 415
  • Indonesia 436
  • Laos 452
  • Malaysia 465
  • Myanmar (Burma) 476
  • The Philippines 488
  • Singapore 501
  • Thailand 506
  • Vietnam 521
  • Part Four - Central Asia 545
  • Mongolia 547
  • Central Asian Republics 566
  • Tibet 577
  • Appendix 1 - National/Independence Days 583
  • Appendix 2 - Scientific-Technological Achievements in Asia 590
  • Appendix 3 - Asian History: a Chronological Overview 603
  • Index 679
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