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Haendel, Alexandra (2004) The Temples of King Rajendravarman: Tenth Century Architecture at Angkor. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The thesis is a detailed analysis of the two main temples of King Rajendravarman, consecrated in the mid-tenth century, focusing on their architecture and epigraphy. The background to this study is Philippe Stern's classification of Angkorean temples into ancestor and state temples, which is examined critically. Chapter 2 provides the general background, introducing the Indian religions, both theoretically and as practised in Cambodia. Brahmanical Temple Architecture is briefly presented, followed by a detailed description of the East Mebon and Pre Rup. The methodological background is given in chapter 3. The development of Cambodian studies is examined, most importantly the theories of Ph. Stern. Subsequently, the methodologies utilised for this study are introduced. Chapter 4 analyses in depth the architectural features of the individual buildings within the temple complexes, which has not been done up to now, and formulates an internal building sequence. This is completed in chapter 7 by the application of general architectural theory and the regulations given in the Indian sastras to suggest the function of the individual buildings. In chapter 5 the foundation inscriptions of the two temples are analysed. First a general introduction to the Sanskrit epigraphy of Kambujadesa is given, presenting the most important religious concepts expressed in the inscriptions. The main part of the chapter deals with the three main inscriptions of King Rajendravarman. The analysis of the texts comprises the study of the religious ideas expressed, and of the information regarding the temples themselves contained in the texts. This analysis is refined in chapter 6 to examine whether the images mentioned in the inscriptions were founded, and where they were placed. Overall it is argued that the East Mebon and Pre Rup are part of one building programme, to legitimise King Rajedravarman and secure his spiritual and political position. Due to their fundamental similarities it is not warranted to classify them in two separate categories of temples. The necessity for detailed studies is stressed, instead of attempting to impose preconceived categories on them.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:28

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