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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an Indonesian state that arose circa the mid-seventh century in the region of what is now Palembang, on the island of Sumatra.

Srivijaya developed from a principality or principalities that had existed from at least the early third century; its emergence was facilitated by its favorable location on the trade route from India to Southeast Asia and by the fall of Funan. Between the second half of the seventh century and the ninth century, Srivijaya grew into a powerful maritime empire; it conquered the neighboring Sumatran states, western Java, western Kalimantan, and the Malay Peninsula. The empire reached its height in the second half of the ninth century and in the tenth century, during which period it was ruled by the Sailendra dynasty.

Srivijaya was probably an early feudal despotism with a highly developed system of vassal relationships. The principal source of revenue for its rulers was trade, based on the export of gold, tin, and products from the tropical rain forests; in addition, the maharajas received duties from the numerous foreign trading vessels and exploited the population through the levying of taxes and the exaction of tribute payments. Circa 922 a war began with Mataram for control of the peninsula. Circa 1016 the struggle ended in victory for Srivijaya, which was invaded, however, by the Indian state of Chola in 1025. Although its power was undermined by these conflicts, Srivijaya maintained control over the western regions of the archipelago for another two centuries. In the late 13th century, the Javans and Siamese redoubled their attacks on the empire. In the mid-14th century, Srivijaya became a tributary state of Majapahit, and it is last mentioned in 1376.

Srivijaya was a leading cultural center of Southeast Asia and an international center of Buddhism. The chief language was Old Malay; the official language was Sanskrit. In Indonesian history, Srivijaya is notable for being the first state to unite politically and culturally a significant area of the archipelago; it also established extensive ties with the states of Southeast Asia, India, China, and the Middle East.


Wolters, O. W. Early Indonesian Commerce: A Study of the Origins of Srivijaya. Ithaca, N.Y., 1967.
Coedès, G. Les Etats hinduisés d’Indochine et d’Indonésie. Paris, 1964.
Sastri, K. A. N. History of Sri Vijaya. Madras, 1949.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The concluding remarks do accept that Srivijayan art was not exclusively influenced by Nalanda, but was a convergence of many other inspirations and that 'the artists of Srivijaya have assimilated these influences and created their own forms' (p.
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They have been dated between the eight and tenth centuries, back to the time of the Srivijayan empire (Braddell 1949; Harrisson 1949; McKinnon 1994; Budi Utomo 2007:10-12).
The Indian, Khmer and Srivijayan kingdoms all benefited from the trade boom generated by the rise of the prosperous Song dynasty in China, which doubled its population and promoted maritime trade in spices, rice, forest products, luxury goods and textiles.
The human history of Singapore started in the 14th century with the probable rule of the Srivijayan Prince Parameswara.
Surat Thani province, in southern Thailand, is mentioned as one site where "Srivijayan" art and architecture have been found.
Dating back to 30,000 BC, Bisaya settlements were among the Philippine groups that absorbed a mixture of Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic syncretism because of its primordial rank in Maritime East Southeast Asia during the Srivijayan and Majapahit empires from the 12th to the 14th centuries.
All these bronzes were earlier described as "Srivijayan" in style that tended to obscure the important Pala-Khmer link.
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