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Reading Guide: Conceptions of State and Kingship in Southeast Asia Robert Heine-Geldern 1) What are the two main religions discussed in the readings, and why are they important to understanding states and kingships in SE Asia? 2) What is the macrocosmos and microcosmos? How were they connected in Southeast Asian religious tradition? 3) Explain the significance of Mt Meru, and why was this important? 4) Why did the rulers try to build their capital cities as a representation of Mt. Meru? 5) What was the architectural design (layout) of the Khmer capital known as Angkor Thom and why? Why did the Burmese kings have four principal and four secondary queens? 6) Why were their twelve gates in the old Burmese capital? 7) Why were the total number of things (provinces, ministers, queens, gates, etc.)
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Unformatted text preview: important to Southeast Asian rulers? What were these numbers supposed to represent? 8) Describe what plural symbolism is, and give an example. 9) Explain how the king was connected to the gods in Southeast Asia. 10) How was religion used to legitimize or justify a king’s authority? 11) Why did rulers often become fearful of leaving their palaces? 12) In Hinayana (Theravada) Buddhism, the king could not be considered a god, so how was his position justified through religion? How was karma related to this? 13) Who was the Cambodian king supposed to sleep with each night? 14) How was the downfall of a king explained in the Buddhist tradition? 15) Why did some Burmese leaders, who led rebellions against the British, try to take hold of or even build their own palace?...
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