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Ellawala, Hemarama (1962) Social institutions in Ceylon from the 5th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis attempts to analyse the Social Institutions of Early Ceylon from the 5th century B.C. to the 4th century A. D. In the first chapter, new light is thrown on the dating of the Sihalavatthuppakarapa, not attempted by earlier scholars (pp. 10-16). The theory of the existence of the Brahmapa caste (pp. 33-38), the interpretation of the word Pa take (pp.38-42) occurring in the inscriptions, the theory that prior to Devanampiya Tissa there was in Ceylon a Ksatriya caste and an Abhiseka ceremony, the existence of which was doubted by the earlier scholars in this field (pp. 47-68), are the most original features of the 2nd chapter. Chapter III contains a discussion on the Vaisya caste (pp.73-75). In this, will be found evidence of an embryonic form of the later division of the Sangha into caste groups (pp. 75-78), new interpretations of the words Devakula (pp. 78-83), and Bata (pp. 101-106), new light on- the origin of the Lambakagaa dynasty (pp. 83-93) and a study of the use of the honorific title Devansmpiya by ordinary people (pp. 119-121) This also attempts to answer the question why Asoka had two of his children by his Vaisya queen ordained into the Sangha (pp. 80-82). Chapter IV deals with the sudra caste and the despised classes (pp. 141-186), in the discussion of which I have given a new interpretation (pp. 181-182) to the words Pukkusa and Pupphachaddaka, the meanings of which have been disputed often. Chapter V contains a discussion on family organisation. It shows that there was the joint family system in Ceylon (pp. 200-202) and that succession from brother to brother was preferred to that from father to son (pp. 232-249). Chapter VI attempts to analyse how far early settlements of Ceylon came into existence on a communal basis (pp. 257-314). It also attempts to throw new light on the interpretation of the word Nagaraguttika (pp.305-307). Chapter VII deals with various occupations and the development of new castes on an occupational basis, (pp.315-371). In the last chapter, the effect of Buddhism on society is discussed. I have argued here the possibilities of the existence of the worship of Ganapati in Ceylon even before it was known in India (pp. 380-382), and in conclusion it considers how far the Ceylon caste system differed from that of India towards the end of the period under review.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:11

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