A stupa is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics, used as a place of meditation. A related architectural term is a chaitya, a prayer hall or temple containing a stupa. In Buddhism, circumambulation or pradakhshina has been an important ritual and devotional practice since the earliest times, stupas always have a pradakhshina path around them. Stupas may have originated as pre-Buddhist tumuli in which śramaṇas were buried in a seated position called chaitya; some authors have suggested that stupas were derived from a wider cultural tradition from the Mediterranean to the Indus valley, can be related to the conical mounds on circular bases from the 8th century BCE that can be found in Phrygia, Lydia, or in Phoenicia. Religious buildings in the form of the Buddhist stupa, a dome shaped monument, started to be used in India as commemorative monuments associated with storing sacred relics of the Buddha. After the parinirvana of the Buddha, his remains were cremated and the ashes divided and buried under eight mounds with two further mounds encasing the urn and the embers.
The relics of the Buddha were spread between eight stupas, in Rajagriha, Kapilavastu, Ramagrama, Pava and Vethapida. The Piprahwa stupa seems to have been one of the first to be built. Guard rails —consisting of posts, a coping— became a feature of safety surrounding a stupa; the Buddha had left instructions about how to pay homage to the stupas: "And whoever lays wreaths or puts sweet perfumes and colours there with a devout heart, will reap benefits for a long time". This practice would lead to the decoration of the stupas with stone sculptures of flower garlands in the Classical period. According to Buddhist tradition, Emperor Ashoka recovered the relics of the Buddha from the earlier stupas, erected 84.000 stupas to distribute the relics across India. In effect, many stupas are thought to date from the time of Ashoka, such as Sanchi or Kesariya, where he erected pillars with his inscriptions, Bharhut, Amaravati or Dharmarajika in Gandhara. Ashoka established the Pillars of Ashoka throughout his realm next to Buddhist stupas.
The first known appearance of the word "Stupa" is from an inscribed dedication by Ashoka on the Nigali Sagar pillar. Stupas were soon to be richly decorated with sculptural reliefs, following the first attempts at Sanchi Stupa No.2. Full-fledged sculptural decorations and scenes of the life of the Buddha would soon follow at Bharhut, Bodh Gaya, again at Sanchi for the elevation of the toranas and Amaravati; the decorative embellishment of stupas had a considerable development in the northwest in the area of Gandhara, with decorated stupas such as the Butkara Stupa or the Loriyan Tangai stupas. The stupa underwent major evolutions in the area of Gandhara. Since Buddhism spread to Central Asia and Korea and Japan through Gandhara, the stylistic evolution of the Gandharan stupa was influential in the development of the stupa in these areas; the Gandhara stupa followed several steps moving towards more and more elevation and addition of decorative element, leading to the development of the pagoda tower.
The main stupa type are, in choronological order: 1) The Dharmarajika Stupa with a near-Indian design of a semi-hemispheric stupa directly on the ground surface dated to the 3rd century BCE. Similar stupas are the Manikyala stupa or the Chakpat stupa. 2) The Saidu Sharif Stupa and quincunxial, with a flight of stairs to a dome elevated on a square platform. Many Gandhara minutiures represent this spectacular type. 3) The Loriyan Tangai Stupa, with a elongated shape and many narrative reliefs, in many way the Classical Gandharan stupa. 4) The near-pyramidal Jaulian stupa. 5) The cruciform type, as in the Bhamala Stupa, with flights of stairs in the four cardinal directions. 6) The towering design of the second Kanishka stupa. It is thought that the temple in the shape of a truncated pyramid may have derived from the design of the stepped stupas which developed in Gandhara; the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya is one such example, formed of a succession of steps with niches containing Buddha images, alternating with Greco-Roman pillars.
The structure is crowned by the shape of an hemispherical stupa topped by finials, forming a logical elongation of the stepped Gandharan stupas such as those seen in Jaulian. Although the current structure of the Mahabdhodi Temple dates to the Gupta period, the "Plaque of Mahabhodi Temple", discovered in Kumrahar and dated to 150-200 CE based on its dated Kharoshthi inscriptions and combined finds of Huvishka coins, suggests that the pyramidal structure existed in the 2nd century CE; this is confirmed by archaeological excavations in Bodh Gaya. This truncated pyramid design marked the evolution from the aniconic stupa dedicated to the cult of relics, to the iconic temple with multiple images of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas; this design was influential in the development of Hindu temples. Stupa architecture was adopted in Southeast and East Asia, where it became prominent as a Buddh
A pinnacle is an architectural ornament forming the cap or crown of a buttress or small turret, but afterwards used on parapets at the corners of towers and in many other situations. The pinnacle looks like a small spire, it was used in Gothic architecture. The pinnacle had two purposes: Ornamental -- adding to the verticity of the structure, they sometimes ended with statues, such as in Milan Cathedral. Structural – the pinnacles were heavy and rectified with lead, in order to enable the flying buttresses to contain the stress of the structure vaults and roof; this was done by adding compressive stress to the thrust vector and thus shifting it downwards rather than sideway. The accounts of Jesus' temptations in Matthew's and Luke's gospels both suggest that the Second Temple in Jerusalem had one or more pinnacles: "Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here"; some have stated that there were no pinnacles in the Romanesque style, but conical caps to circular buttresses, with finial terminations, are not uncommon in France at early periods.
Eugène Viollet-le-Duc gives examples from St Germer and St Remi, there is one of similar form at the west front of Rochester Cathedral. In the 12th-century Romanesque two examples have been cited, one from Bredon in Worcestershire, the other from Cleeve in Gloucestershire. In these the buttresses run up, forming a sort of square turret, crowned with a pyramidal cap much like those of the next period, the Early English. In this and the following styles, in Gothic architecture, the pinnacle seems to have had its appropriate uses, it was a weight to counteract the thrust of the vaults where there were flying buttresses. In the Early English period the small buttresses finished with gablets, the more important with pinnacles supported with clustered shafts. At this period the pinnacles were supported on these shafts alone, were open below. About the Transition and during the Decorated Gothic period, the different faces above the angle shafts finish with gablets; those of the last-named period are much richer, are decorated with crockets and finials, sometimes with ballflowers.
Fine groups are found at Beverley Minster and at the rise of the spire of St Marys, Oxford. Perpendicular pinnacles differ but little from Decorated, except that the crockets and finials are of character, they are often set angle-ways on parapets, the shafts are panelled. In France pinnacles, like spires, seem to have been in use earlier than in England. There are small pinnacles at the angles of the tower in the abbey of Saintes. At Roullet there are pinnacles in a similar position, each composed of four small shafts, with caps and bases surmounted with small pyramidal spires. In all these examples the towers have semicircular-headed windows. Gothic architecture Cathedral architecture Ridge turret This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Pinnacle". Encyclopædia Britannica. 21. Cambridge University Press. P. 628
Ashoka, sometimes Ashoka the Great, was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty, who ruled all of the Indian subcontinent from c. 268 to 232 BCE. The grandson of the founder of the Maurya Dynasty, Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka promoted the spread of Buddhism. Considered by many to be one of India's greatest emperors, Ashoka expanded Chandragupta's empire to reign over a realm stretching from present-day Afghanistan in the west to Bangladesh in the east, it covered the entire Indian subcontinent except for parts of present-day Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The empire's capital was Pataliputra, with provincial capitals at Ujjain. Ashoka waged a destructive war against the state of Kalinga, which he conquered in about 260 BCE. In about 263 BCE, he converted to Buddhism after witnessing the mass deaths of the Kalinga War, which he had waged out of a desire for conquest and which directly resulted in more than 100,000 deaths and 150,000 deportations, he is remembered for the Ashoka pillars and edicts, for sending Buddhist monks to Sri Lanka and Central Asia, for establishing monuments marking several significant sites in the life of Gautama Buddha.
Beyond the Edicts of Ashoka, biographical information about him relies on legends written centuries such as the 2nd-century CE Ashokavadana, in the Sri Lankan text Mahavamsa. The emblem of the modern Republic of India is an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka, his Sanskrit name "Aśoka" means "painless, without sorrow". In his edicts, he is referred to as Devānāmpriya, Priyadarśin, his fondness for his name's connection to the Saraca asoca tree, or "Ashoka tree", is referenced in the Ashokavadana. In The Outline of History, H. G. Wells wrote, "Amidst the tens of thousands of names of monarchs that crowd the columns of history, their majesties and graciousnesses and serenities and royal highnesses and the like, the name of Ashoka shines, shines alone, a star." Ashoka was born to the Mauryan emperor and Subhadrangī. He was the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, founder of the Maurya dynasty, born in a humble family, with the counsel of Chanakya built one of the largest empires in ancient India.
According to Roman historian Appian, Chandragupta had made a "marital alliance" with Seleucus. An Indian Puranic source, the Pratisarga Parva of the Bhavishya Purana described the marriage of Chandragupta with a Greek princess, daughter of Seleucus; the ancient Buddhist and Jain texts provide varying biographical accounts. The Avadana texts mention that his mother was queen Subhadrangī. According to the Ashokavadana, she was the daughter of a Brahmin from the city of Champa, she gave him the name Ashoka, meaning "one without sorrow". The Divyāvadāna tells a similar story, but gives the name of the queen as Janapadakalyānī. Ashoka had several elder siblings, all of whom were his half-brothers from the other wives of his father Bindusara. Ashoka was given royal military training; the Buddhist text Divyavadana describes Ashoka putting down a revolt due to activities of wicked ministers. This may have been an incident in Bindusara's times. Taranatha's account states that Chanakya, Bindusara's chief advisor, destroyed the nobles and kings of 16 towns and made himself the master of all territory between the eastern and the western seas.
Some historians consider this as an indication of Bindusara's conquest of the Deccan while others consider it as suppression of a revolt. Governor of UjainFollowing this, Ashoka was stationed at Ujain, the capital of Malwa, as governor. A commemorative inscription found in Saru Maru, Madhya Pradesh, mentions the visit of Piyadasi as he was still an unmarried Prince; this inscription confirms Ashoka's presence in Madhya Pradesh as a young man, his status while he was there. Bindusara's death in 272 BCE led to a war over succession. According to the Divyavadana, Bindusara wanted his elder son Susima to succeed him but Ashoka was supported by his father's ministers, who found Susima to be arrogant and disrespectful towards them. A minister named; the Ashokavadana recounts Radhagupta's offering of an old royal elephant to Ashoka for him to ride to the Garden of the Gold Pavilion where King Bindusara would determine his successor. Ashoka got rid of the legitimate heir to the throne by tricking him into entering a pit filled with live coals.
Radhagupta, according to the Ashokavadana, would be appointed prime minister by Ashoka once he had gained the throne. The Dipavansa and Mahavansa refer to Ashoka's killing 99 of his brothers, sparing only one, named Vitashoka or Tissa, although there is no clear proof about this incident; the coronation happened in four years after his succession to the throne. Buddhist legends state, he built Ashoka's Hell, an elaborate torture chamber described as a "Paradisal Hell" due to the contrast between its beautiful exterior and the acts carried out within by his appointed executioner, Girikaa. This earned him the name of Chanda Ashoka meaning "Ashoka the Fierce" in Sanskrit. Professor Charles Drekmeier cautions that the Buddhist legends tend to dramatise the change that Buddhism brought in him, theref
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was an early megacorporation founded by a government-directed amalgamation of several rival Dutch trading companies in the early 17th century. It was established on March 20, 1602 as a chartered company to trade with India and Indianised Southeast Asian countries when the Dutch government granted it a 21-year monopoly on the Dutch spice trade, it has been labelled a trading company or sometimes a shipping company. However, VOC was in fact a proto-conglomerate company, diversifying into multiple commercial and industrial activities such as international trade and both production and trade of East Indian spices, Formosan sugarcane, South African wine.. The Company was a transcontinental employer and an early pioneer of outward foreign direct investment; the Company's investment projects helped raise the commercial and industrial potential of many underdeveloped or undeveloped regions of the world in the early modern period. In the early 1600s, by issuing bonds and shares of stock to the general public, VOC became the world's first formally-listed public company.
In other words, it was the first corporation to be listed on an official stock exchange. It was influential in the rise of corporate-led globalisation in the early modern period. With its pioneering institutional innovations and powerful roles in global business history, the Company is considered by many to be the forerunner of modern corporations. In many respects, modern-day corporations are all the'direct descendants' of the VOC model, it was their 17th century institutional innovations and business practices that laid the foundations for the rise of giant global corporations in subsequent centuries — as a significant and formidable socio-politico-economic force of the modern-day world – to become the dominant factor in all economic systems today. They served as the direct model for the organisational reconstruction of the English/British East India Company in 1657; the Company, for nearly 200 years of its existence, had transformed itself from a corporate entity into a state or an empire in its own right.
One of the most influential and best expertly researched business enterprises in history, the VOC's world has been the subject of a vast amount of literature that includes both fiction and nonfiction works. The company was an exemplary company-state rather than a pure for-profit corporation. A government-backed military-commercial enterprise, the VOC was the wartime brainchild of leading Dutch republican statesman Johan van Oldenbarnevelt and the States-General. From its inception in 1602, the Company was not only a commercial enterprise but effectively an instrument of war in the young Dutch Republic's revolutionary global war against the powerful Spanish Empire and Iberian Union. In 1619, the Company forcibly established a central position in the Indonesian city of Jayakarta, changing the name to Batavia. Over the next two centuries the Company acquired additional ports as trading bases and safeguarded their interests by taking over surrounding territory. To guarantee its supply, the Company established positions in many countries and became an early pioneer of outward foreign direct investment.
In its foreign colonies, the VOC possessed quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war and execute convicts, negotiate treaties, strike its own coins, establish colonies. With increasing importance of foreign posts, the Company is considered the world's first true transnational corporation. Along with the Dutch West India Company, the VOC was seen as the international arm of the Dutch Republic and the symbolic power of the Dutch Empire. To further its trade routes, the VOC-funded exploratory voyages, such as those led by Willem Janszoon, Henry Hudson, Abel Tasman, revealed unknown landmasses to the western world. In the Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography, VOC navigators and cartographers helped shape geographical knowledge of the world as we know it today. Socio-economic changes in Europe, the shift in power balance, less successful financial management resulted in a slow decline of the VOC between 1720 and 1799. After the financially disastrous Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, the company was nationalised in 1796, dissolved in 1799.
All assets were taken over by the government with VOC territories becoming Dutch government colonies. The company has been criticised for its monopolistic policy, colonialism, uses of violence, slavery. In Dutch, the name of the company is Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie or Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, abbreviated to VOC; the company's monogram logo was the first globally recognised corporate logo. The logo of the VOC consisted of a large capital ` V' with a C on the right leg, it appeared on various corporate items, such as coins. The first letter of the hometown of the chamber conducting the operation was placed on top; the monogram, flexibility, simplicity, symmetry and symbolism are considered notable characteristics of the VOC's professionally designed logo. Those elements ensured its success at a time when the concept of the corporate identity was unknown. An Australian vintner has used the VOC logo since the late 20th century, having re-registered the company's name for the purpose.
The flag of the company was red and blue, with the company logo embroidered on it. Around the world, in Engl
Culture of Laos
Laos developed its culture and customs as the inland crossroads of trade and migration in Southeast Asia over millennia. As of 2012 Laos has a population of 6.4 million spread over 236,800 km2, yielding one of the lowest population densities in Asia. Yet the country of Laos has an official count of over forty-seven ethnicities divided into 149 sub-groups and 80 different languages; the Lao Loum have throughout the country's history comprised the linguistic majority. In Southeast Asia, traditional Lao culture is considered one of the Indic cultures. Laos is geographically isolated and mountainous, bounded by the Annamite Range in the east, forming a traditional political and cultural boundary with Vietnam. Much of the western borders of Laos are formed by the Mekong River which provided the major means of inland trade despite limited navigability along the river’s length. Prior to the 20th century Lao principalities and the Kingdom of Lan Xang extended to the Sipsong Panna, Sipsong Chau Tai, Khorat Plateau where the river was used as a transportation artery to connect Lao peoples on both the right and left banks.
However, the political history of Laos has been complicated by frequent warfare and colonial conquests by European and regional rivals. As a result, Laos today has cultural influence from France, China, Vietnam and Cambodia; the history of Laos is unique with a national character defined by its diversity in both culture and customs. Laos has an estimated population of 6.5 million. The Lao government recognizes 47 distinct ethnicities, which are further sub-divided into 149 subgroups. Lao society is traditionally categorized into three broad groups based on location. 50% of the total population is ethnic Lao. Hill tribe peoples in Laos include the Hmong, Yao and Lahu. Laos is home to sizeable communities of Vietnamese and Chinese who make up the 6% remaining. Anthropologists consider the Lao Loum as a subcategory of the wider “Tai” ethnic group who share common genetic and cultural heritage; the Tai family includes the Lao and Thai, as well as smaller groups which have been distinguished by their traditional dress and include the Tai Dam, Tai Daeng, Tai Khao.
The Laos to define both nationality. Further complication is added by the geopolitical history between Laos and Thailand, there are an estimated 19 million “Lao” speakers living in northeastern Thailand and only 3 million in Laos; as a consequence identity politics has played a major role in the defining the Lao Loum. The Lao government makes no distinction between the bordering groups and views them as sharing a common identity, but the government of Thailand has through a process known as “Thaification” assimilated the Lao living in Isan; the Lao Loum define themselves based on location, agricultural practice and religion. The Lao Loum occupy the Mekong River valleys and cultivate wet rice crops, they are predominantly Theravada Buddhist but have strong syncretism with traditional animist beliefs. Lao Theung are culturally distinct from both Lao Sung; the Lao Theung include Mon-Khmer peoples which are among the indigenous peoples from the Mekong River valleys. The largest single group is Khmu.
Included in the Lao Theung population are Katang, Kui, Mal, Katu, Ngae, Khuen, Alak, Ir, Khlor, Aheu, Bo, Doan, Xinh Mul, Arem, Chut and Mlabri. The Lao Theung peoples are distinguished by dry rice cultivation, animist beliefs; the Lao Sung are known as “hill tribe” peoples, are among the most recent mass populations to migrate into Laos having arrived in the nineteenth century from southern China and Vietnam. The Hmong are the largest group, which are subdivided by traditional dress including the White, Red and Striped Hmong; the Yao are another large group of Lao Sung, distinguish themselves through the incorporation of Taoist deities with their animist beliefs. Other groups of Lao Sung include the Akha, Lahu, Lisu, Phana, Si La, Kado; the Lao Sung were recruited by the United States and its allies during the wars against the communists in the 1960s. As much as 10% of the Lao population and 50% of the Lao Sung population fled the communist takeover of Laos in 1975, continued during the following decade.
The remaining Lao Sung population has been the target of government suspicion for a low intensity armed conflict since that time. There are sizeable communities of Hmong in the United States and France; the Lao Sung are identified by language, dry rice production, slash-and-burn agriculture, traditional opium production and animist beliefs. There are over 90 distinct native languages spoken by the different ethnic populations of Laos. Lao, the official language of Laos, is a monosyllabic tone based language from the Tai-Kadai family as spoken in Vientiane. There are 19 million Lao speakers in Thailand and 3 million in Laos, a reflection of geopolitical history. Lao can be further divided according to regional dialects including Vientiane, northeastern and southern. Northern dialects are spoken in Sainyabuli, Phongsali, Luang Nam Tha, and
Jayavarman VII, posthumous name of Mahaparamasaugata, was a king of the Khmer Empire in present-day Siem Reap, Cambodia. He was born in 1120, he was the son of Queen Sri Jayarajacudamani. He married Princess Jayarajadevi and after her death, married her sister Indradevi; the two women are thought to have been a great inspiration to him in his unusual devotion to Buddhism, as only one prior Khmer king was a Buddhist. He built the Bayon as a monument to Buddhism. Jayavarman VII is considered the most powerful of the Khmer monarchs by historians. In 1177 and again in 1178, the Cham invaded Cambodia. In 1177, Champa King Jaya Indravarman IV launched a surprise attack on the Khmer capital by sailing a fleet up the Mekong River, across Lake Tonlé Sap, up the Siem Reap River, a tributary of the Tonle Sap; the invaders pillaged the Khmer capital of Yasodharapura and put king Tribhuvanadityavarman to death. In 1178, Jayavarman came to historical prominence by leading a Khmer army that ousted the invaders, which included a naval battle depicted on the walls of the Bayon and Banteay Chmar.
At the time, he may have been in his 60s. Returning to the capital, he found it in disorder, he put an end in 1181 was crowned king himself. Early in his reign, he repelled another Cham attack and quelled a rebellion of the vassal Kingdom of Malyang, he was helped by the military skill of refugee Prince Sri Vidyanandana, who played a part in the subsequent sacking and conquest of Champa. Jayavarman expanded Khmer control of the Mekong Valley northward to Vientiane and to the south, down the Kra Isthmus. Over the 30 some years of his reign, Jayavarman embarked on a grand program of construction that included both public works and monuments; as a Mahayana Buddhist, his declared aim was to alleviate the suffering of his people. One inscription tells us, "He suffered from the illnesses of his subjects more than from his own; this declaration must be read in light of the undeniable fact that the numerous monuments erected by Jayavarman must have required the labor of thousands of workers, that Jayavarman's reign was marked by the centralization of the state and the herding of people into greater population centers.
Historians have identified many facets in Jayavarman's intensive building program. In one phase, he focused on useful constructions, such as his famous 102 hospitals, rest houses along the roads, reservoirs. Thereafter, he built a pair of temples in honor of his parents: Ta Prohm in honor of his mother and Preah Khan in honor of his father, he constructed his own "temple-mountain" at Bayon and developed the city of Angkor Thom around it. He built Neak Pean, one of the smallest but most beautiful temples in the Angkor complex, a fountain with four surrounding ponds set on an island in that artificial lake. In 1186, Jayavarman dedicated Ta Prohm to his mother. An inscription indicates that this massive temple at one time had 80,000 people assigned to its upkeep, including 18 high priests and 615 female dancers. Angkor Thom was a new city centre, called in its day Indrapattha. At the centre of the new city stands one of his most massive achievements—the temple now called the Bayon, a multi-faceted, multi-towered temple that mixes Buddhist and Hindu iconography.
Its outer walls have startling bas reliefs not only of warfare but the everyday life of the Khmer army and its followers. These reliefs show camp followers on the move with animals and oxcarts, women cooking, female traders selling to Chinese merchants, celebrations of common foot soldiers; the reliefs depict a naval battle on the great lake, the Tonle Sap. King Suryavarman II, builder of the great Angkor Wat, died in 1150, he was succeeded by Yashovarman II, himself overthrown by Tribhuvanadityavarman, assumed to be an usurper. In 1177, the Chams, led by Jaya Indravarman IV, invaded and Angkor was sacked. Nonetheless, this date, not to mention the event itself, has been questioned by Michael Vickery, who doubts the reliability of the Chinese sources for this period. In 1181 Jayavarman VII became king after leading the Khmer forces against the Chams. Jayavarman VII exacted vengeance against Champa in 1190, for the earlier raid in 1177. Jayavarman died around 1218, he was succeeded by Indravarman II, who died by 1243.
Indravarman was succeeded further by a Shivaite. He embarked on the defacement of Jayavarman VII's Buddhist works; the niches all along the top of the wall around the city contained images of the Buddha, most of these were removed. This included the great statue of Buddha at Bayon, the Buddha images in Angkor Thom, which were converted into linga; the history of the Khmer empire cannot be read in the manner of European patterns of kingship, inheritance or nationhood. The sons of a Khmer king did not inherit their father's thrones. Jayavarman VII built 121 "houses with fire" rest houses built every fifteen kilometers along raised highways for travellers, 102 hospitals, his was the "Buddhism of the Greater Vehicle". However, Brahmans continued to play a "
Vientiane is the capital and largest city of Laos, on the banks of the Mekong River near the border with Thailand. Vientiane became the capital in 1563 due to fears of a Burmese invasion but was looted razed to the ground in 1827 by the Siamese. Vientiane was the administrative capital during French rule and, due to economic growth in recent times, is now the economic center of Laos; the city had a population of 820,000 as at the 2015 Census. Vientiane is noted as the home of the most significant national monument in Laos: That Luang, a known symbol of Laos and an icon of Buddhism in Laos. Other significant Buddhist temples in Laos can be found there as well, such as Haw Phra Kaew, which housed the Emerald Buddha; the city hosted the 25th Southeast Asian Games in December 2009, celebrating 50 years of the Southeast Asian Games. The name of the city is derived from the liturgical language of Theravada Buddhism. Although the original meaning of the name of the city is "city of sandalwood", as shown by ancient Lao inscriptions, in modern Lao the meaning of the name Vientiane is ambiguous.
Many, if not most, Lao people claim that the city's name means "city of the moon", while many claim that the city's name means "city of sandalwood" because the words for "moon" and "sandalwood" are written and pronounced identically as "chan" in modern Lao. Most academic and historic Lao sources claim that the city's name does in fact mean "city of sandalwood", reinforced by the city's Thai and Khmer names both retain the etymological spelling, which indicates "city of sandalwood"; the Romanised spelling Vientiane is of French origin, reflects the difficulty the French had in pronouncing the /tɕ/ sound in the Lao language. A common English-based spelling is "Viangchan", or "Wiangchan"; the great Laotian epic, the Phra Lak Phra Lam, claims that Prince Thattaradtha founded the city when he left the legendary Lao kingdom of Muong Inthapatha Maha Nakhone because he was denied the throne in favor of his younger brother. Thattaradtha founded. One day, a seven-headed Naga told Thattaradtha to start a new city on the east bank of the river opposite Maha Thani Si Phan Phao.
The prince called this city Chanthabuly Si Sattanakhanahud. Contrary to the Phra Lak Phra Lam, most historians believe Vientiane was an early Khmer settlement centered around a Hindu temple, which the Pha That Luang would replace. In the 11th and 12th centuries, the time when the Lao and Thai people are believed to have entered Southeast Asia from Southern China, the few remaining Khmers in the area were either killed, removed, or assimilated into the Lao civilization, which would soon overtake the area. In 1354, when Fa Ngum founded the kingdom of Lan Xang. Viangchan became an important administrative city though it was not made the capital. King Setthathirath established it as the capital of Lan Xang in 1563, to avoid Burmese invasion; when Lan Xang fell apart in 1707, it became an independent Kingdom of Vientiane. In 1779, it was made a vassal of Siam; when King Anouvong raised an unsuccessful rebellion, it was obliterated by Siamese armies in 1827. The city was burned to the ground and was looted of nearly all Laotian artifacts, including Buddha statues and people.
Viangchan was in great disrepair and disappearing into the forest, when the French arrived. It passed to French rule in 1893, it became the capital of the French protectorate of Laos in 1899. The French rebuilt the city and rebuilt or repaired Buddhist temples such as Pha That Luang, Haw Phra Kaew, left many colonial buildings behind. During French rule, the Vietnamese were encouraged to migrate to Laos, which resulted in 53% of the population of Vientiane being Vietnamese in the year of 1943; as late as 1945, the French drew up an ambitious plan to move massive Vietnamese population to three key areas, i.e. the Vientiane Plain, Savannakhet region, Bolaven Plateau, only discarded by Japanese invasion of Indochina. If this plan had been implemented, according to Martin Stuart-Fox, the Lao might well have lost control over their own country. During World War II, Viangchan fell with little resistance and was occupied by Japanese forces, under the command of Sako Masanori. On 9 March 1945 French paratroopers arrived, reoccupied the city on 24 April 1945.
As the Laotian Civil War broke out between the Royal Lao Government and the Pathet Lao, Vientiane became unstable. In August 1960, Kong Le insisted that Souvanna Phouma become prime minister. In mid-December, Phoumi Nosavan seized the capital, overthrew the Phouma Government, installed Boun Oum as prime minister. In mid-1975, Pathet Lao troops moved towards the city and Americans began evacuating the capital. On 23 August 1975, a contingent of 50 Pathet Lao women symbolically liberated the city. On 2 December 1975, the communist party of the Pathet Lao took over Vientiane, defeated the Kingdom of Laos, renamed the country the Lao People's Democratic Republic, which ended the Laotian Civil War; the next day, an Insurgency in Laos began in the jungle, with the Pathet Lao fighting factions of Hmong and royalists. Vientiane was the host of the incident-free 2009 Southeast Asian Games. Eighteen competitions were dropped f