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Historiography: South Asia
(5,375 words)

The first historical texts known from ancient South Asia are the Buddhist chronicles composed in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Consequently, from a very early period, the history of Buddhism on the island is known much better than in any other part of South Asia. Besides texts on the general history of Buddhism, there are specialized chronicles on relics and so on, written in both Pali and Sinhala languages or in Southeast Asian vernaculars.

The traditional historiography of Buddhism begins in all schools with the reports on the first and second councils, held at Rājagaha (Sk…

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Oskar von Hinüber, “Historiography: South Asia”, in: Encyclopedia of Buddhism Online, Editor-in-Chief: Consulting Editors: Jonathan A. Silk, Oskar von Hinüber, Vincent Eltschinger. Consulted online on 28 June 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2467-9666_enbo_COM_0069>
First published online: 2020
First print edition: 20151231

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