Theravāda is the most ancient branch of extant Buddhism today and the one that preserved their version of the teachings of Gautama Buddha in the Pāli Canon. The Pāli Canon is the only complete Buddhist canon which survives in a classical Indian language, Pāli, which serves as both sacred language and lingua franca of Theravāda Buddhism. For more than a millennium, Theravāda has focused on preserving the dhamma as preserved in its texts and it tends to be conservative with regard to matters of doctrine and monastic discipline. Since the 19th century, meditation practice has been re-introduced and has become popular with a lay audience, both in traditional Theravada countries and in the west; as a distinct school of early Buddhism, Theravāda Buddhism developed in Sri Lanka and subsequently spread to the rest of Southeast Asia. It is the dominant form of religion in Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand and is practiced by minority groups in India, China and Vietnam. In addition, the diaspora of all of these groups as well as converts around the world practice Theravāda Buddhism.
Contemporary expressions include Buddhist modernism, the Vipassana movement and the Thai Forest Tradition. The name Theravāda comes from the ancestral Sthāvirīya, one of the early Buddhist schools, from which the Theravadins claim descent; the Sthavira nikāya arose during the first schism in the Buddhist sangha, due to their desire to tighten monastic discipline by adding new Vinaya rules, against the wishes of the majority Mahāsāṃghika group who disagreed with this. According to its own accounts, the Theravāda school is fundamentally derived from the Vibhajjavāda "doctrine of analysis" grouping, a division of the Sthāvirīya. According to Damien Keown, there is no historical evidence that the Theravāda school arose until around two centuries after the Great Schism which occurred at the Third Council. Theravadin accounts of its own origins mention that it received the teachings that were agreed upon during the putative Third Buddhist council under the patronage of the Indian Emperor Ashoka around 250 BCE.
These teachings were known as the Vibhajjavāda. Emperor Ashoka is supposed to have assisted in purifying the sangha by expelling monks who failed to agree to the terms of Third Council; the elder monk Moggaliputta-Tissa was at the head of the Third council and compiled the Kathavatthu, a refutation of various opposing views, an important work in the Theravada Abhidhamma. The Vibhajjavādins in turn is said to have split into four groups: the Mahīśāsaka, Kāśyapīya, Dharmaguptaka in the north, the Tāmraparṇīya in South India; the Tambapaṇṇiya, were established in Sri Lanka but active in Andhra and other parts of South India and across South-East Asia. Inscriptional evidence of this school has been found in Nagarjunakonda. According to Buddhist scholar A. K. Warder, the Theravāda. Spread south from Avanti into Maharashtra and Andhra and down to the Chola country, as well as Sri Lanka. For some time they maintained themselves in Avanti as well as in their new territories, but they tended to regroup themselves in the south, the Great Vihara in Anuradhapura, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka, becoming the main centre of their tradition, Kanchi a secondary center and the northern regions relinquished to other schools.
The Theravāda is said to be descended from the Tāmraparṇīya sect, which means "the Sri Lankan lineage". Missionaries sent abroad from India are said to have included Ashoka's son Mahinda and his daughter Sanghamitta, they were the mythical founders of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, a story which scholars suggest helps to legitimize Theravāda's claims of being the oldest and most authentic school. According to the Mahavamsa chronicle their arrival in Sri Lanka is said to have been during the reign of Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura who converted to Buddhism and helped build the first Buddhist stupas. According to S. D. Bandaranayake: The rapid spread of Buddhism and the emergence of an extensive organization of the sangha are linked with the secular authority of the central state... There are no known artistic or architectural remains from this epoch except for the cave dwellings of the monks, reflecting the growth and spread of the new religion; the most distinctive features of this phase and the only contemporary historical material, are the numerous Brahmi inscriptions associated with these caves.
They record gifts to the sangha by householders and chiefs rather than by kings. The Buddhist religion itself does not seem to have established undisputed authority until the reigns of Dutthagamani and Vattagamani... The first records of Buddha images come from the reign of king Vasabha, after the 3rd century AD the historical record shows a growth of the worship of Buddha images as well as Bodhisattvas. In the 7th century, the Chinese pilgrim monks Xuanzang and Yijing refer to the Buddhist schools in Sri Lanka as Shàngzuòbù, corresponding to the Sanskrit Sthavira nikāya and Pali Thera Nikāya. Yijing writes, "In Sri Lanka the Sthavira school alone flourishes; the school has been using the name Theravāda for itself in a written form since at least the 4th century, about one thousand years after the Buddha's death, when the term appears in the Dīpavaṁsa. Between the reigns of Sena I and Mahinda IV, the city of Anuradhapura saw a "colossal building effort" by various kings during a long period of peace and prosperity, the great part o
Photisarath son of King Visoun of Lanxang, is considered to be the most devout of the Lao kings. He built temples upon the sites of spirit shrines, his elephant crushed him while he sought to display his prowess to the diplomatic corps. His son Setthathirath returned from Chiang Mai to succeed him to the throne of Lan Xang. Phothisarath was ruler of the Lao kingdom of Lan Xang whose territorial expansion embroiled Laos in the warfare that swept mainland Southeast Asia in the latter half of the 16th century. King Chairachathirat of the Ayutthaya Kingdom invaded Vientiane with a large army in 1540, captured Muang Khouk and crossed the Mekong, but succumbed to a rout at the battle of Sala Kham, the remnants fleeing for their lives and leaving enormous casualties behind. Phothisarath himself allied himself with Burma, sent out 3 campaigns against the Ayutthaya Kingdom: the first to Phitsanulok in 1535, the second one to Vieng Prangarm in 1539, third was sent in 1548 to Vieng Prab where he brought back 20,000 families to settle in the Lan Xang kingdom.
In 1548, following the ascension of King Maha Chakkraphat and queen Suriyothai to the Ayutthaya Kingdom throne, Burmese king Tabinshwehti planned an attack, starting the Burmese–Siamese War. Tabinshwehti asked Phothisarath to attack Ayutthaya from the North which resulted in the famous death of Suriyothai in defense of her husband. Phothisarath was a pious Buddhist who worked to undermine animism and Brahmanic religious practices and promote Buddhism. In 1527, Phothisarath issued a decree proscribing the worship of animism as groundless superstition, ordering their shrines to be destroyed and their altars thrown into the river, he resided much of the time not in the capital at Luang Prabang but in Vientiane, located farther south and maintained better communications with the major states of the region. Phothisarath married a princess from Chiang Mai, when his father-in-law Mueangketklao, the ruler of Lan Na or Chiang Mai, died in 1546 without male issue, Phothisarath's own son Setthathirath placed on the Chiang Mai throne.
When Phothisarath died the following year, after a fatal accident while hunting wild elephants, Setthathirath succeeded him and joined together the two kingdoms—which were soon embroiled in Burmese–Siamese wars that would devastate much of the region over the next half-century. Father: Visoun - King of Lan Xang Mother: unknown Consorts and their Respective Issue:Queen Yudhi Karma Devi, Nang Nhot-Kham - daughter of Brhat Muang Ket Klao Setharaja, King of Lanna Prince Jaya Setha Varman, - King of Lan Na and Lan Xang a princess of Ayutthaya - killed by Phya Sri Sadharmatilaka on ca.1550 Prince Lankarnakaya - Seized the territories south of Chiengkarn after the death of his father, 1550. Defeated and taken prisoner, together with his mother, by Phya Srisa Dharmatilaka ~1550. Pardoned by his brother and appointed as Governor of Saenmuong Prince Dharuva, Brhat Vora Varman - Seized Luang Prabang and the territories north of Chiengkarn, after the death of his father, 1547. Defeated and expelled by his eldest brother, King Setthathirath a daughter of Prince Kuvanadeva Nang Kong-Soi Nang Keng - niece of Prince Kama Setthadhananga, Prince of S’ieng Wong S’ieng Wang Nang Pak Thuoi Luong - by unknown women Prince Brhatasena - King of Lan Xang Princess Kaeva Kumari Princess Taen Kam Lao Princess Kamagayi Princess Dharmagayi - m.
Brhat Varapitra, regent for his son Voravongsa II Thammikarath Vorouvongsa II - King of Lan Xang History of Laos Photisarath at britannica.com
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "family" and "clan", among others; the longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", which may be styled as "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital" etc. depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members. Historians periodize the histories of numerous nations and civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties; as such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, to describe events and artifacts of that period. The word "dynasty" itself is dropped from such adjectival references; until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members.
Prior to the 20th century, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. In nations where it was permitted, succession through a daughter established a new dynasty in her husband's ruling house; this has changed in some places in Europe, where succession law and convention have maintained dynasties de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor will be maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant; the earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
Less a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic system – that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession. Not all feudal states or monarchies were/are ruled by dynasties. Throughout history, there were monarchs. Dynasties ruling subnational monarchies do not possess sovereign rights; the word "dynasty" is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team; the word "dynasty" derives from Latin dynastia, which comes from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to "power", "dominion", "rule" itself. It was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, "power" or "ability", from dýnamai, "to be able". A ruler from a dynasty is sometimes referred to as a "dynast", but this term is used to describe any member of a reigning family who retains a right to succeed to a throne.
For example, King Edward VIII ceased to be a dynast of the House of Windsor following his abdication. In historical and monarchist references to reigning families, a "dynast" is a family member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchy's rules still in force. For example, after the 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, their son Duke Maximilian was bypassed for the Austro-Hungarian throne because he was not a Habsburg dynast. Since the abolition of the Austrian monarchy, Duke Maximilian and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position; the term "dynast" is sometimes used only to refer to agnatic descendants of a realm's monarchs, sometimes to include those who hold succession rights through cognatic royal descent. The term can therefore describe distinct sets of people. For example, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II through her sister Princess Margaret, is in the line of succession to the British crown.
On the other hand, the German aristocrat Prince Ernst August of Hanover, a male-line descendant of King George III of the United Kingdom, possesses no legal British name, titles or styles. He was born in the line of succession to the British throne and was bound by Britain's Royal Marriages Act 1772 until it was repealed when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 took effect on 26 March 2015. Thus, he requested and obtained formal permission from Queen Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1999. Yet, a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time, stipulating that dynasts who
The Panchatantra is an ancient Indian collection of interrelated animal fables in Sanskrit verse and prose, arranged within a frame story. The surviving work is dated to 200 BCE, based on older oral tradition; the text's author is unknown, but has been attributed to Vishnu Sharma in some recensions and Vasubhaga in others, both of which may be pen names. It is classical literature in a Hindu text, based on older oral traditions with "animal parables that are as old as we are able to imagine", it is "certainly the most translated literary product of India", these stories are among the most known in the world. It goes by many names in many cultures. There is a version of Panchatantra in nearly every major language of India, in addition there are 200 versions of the text in more than 50 languages around the world. One version reached Europe in the 11th century. To quote Edgerton:...before 1600 it existed in Greek, Spanish, German, Old Slavonic and other Slavonic languages. Its range has extended from Java to Iceland... it has been worked over and over again, abstracted, turned into verse, retold in prose, translated into medieval and modern vernaculars, retranslated into Sanskrit.
And most of the stories contained in it have "gone down" into the folklore of the story-loving Hindus, whence they reappear in the collections of oral tales gathered by modern students of folk-stories. The earliest known translation into a non-Indian language is in Middle Persian by Burzoe; this became the basis for a Syriac translation as Kalilag and Damnag and a translation into Arabic in 750 CE by Persian scholar Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa as Kalīlah wa Dimnah. A New Persian version by Rudaki in the 12th century became known as Kalīleh o Demneh and this was the basis of Kashefi's 15th-century Anvār-i Suhaylī, which in turn was translated into Humayun-namah in Turkish; the book is known as The Fables of Bidpai or The Morall Philosophie of Doni. Most European versions of the text are derivative works of the 12th-century Hebrew version of Panchatantra by Rabbi Joel. In Germany, its translation in 1480 by Anton von Pforr has been read. Several versions of the text are found in Indonesia, where it is titled as Tantri Kamandaka, Tantravakya or Candapingala and consists of 360 fables.
In Laos, a version is called Nandaka-prakarana, while in Thailand it has been referred to as Nang Tantrai. The prelude section of the Panchatantra identifies an octogenarian Brahmin named Vishnu Sharma as its author, he is stated to be teaching the principles of good government to three princes of Amarasakti. It is unclear, states Patrick Olivelle, a professor of Sanskrit and Indian religions, if Vishnu Sharma was a real person or himself a literary invention; some South Indian recensions of the text, as well as Southeast Asian versions of Panchatantra attribute the text to Vasubhaga, states Olivelle. Based on the content and mention of the same name in other texts dated to ancient and medieval era centuries, most scholars agree that Vishnu Sharma is a fictitious name. Olivelle and other scholars state that regardless of who the author was, it is "the author was a Hindu, not a Buddhist, nor Jain", but it is unlikely that the author was a devotee of Hindu god Vishnu because the text neither expresses any sentiments against other Hindu deities such as Shiva and others, nor does it avoid invoking them with reverence.
Various locations where the text was composed have been proposed but this has been controversial. Some of the proposed locations include Southwestern or South India; the text's original language was Sanskrit. Though the text is now known as Panchatantra, the title found in old manuscript versions varies regionally, includes names such as Tantrakhyayika, Panchakhyanaka and Tantropakhyana; the suffix akhyayika and akhyanaka mean "little story book" in Sanskrit. The text was translated into Pahlavi in 550 CE, which forms the latest limit of the text's existence; the earliest limit is uncertain. It quotes identical verses from Arthasastra, broadly accepted to have been completed by the early centuries of the common era. According to Olivelle, "the current scholarly consensus places the Panchatantra around 300 BCE, although we should remind ourselves that this is only an educated guess"; the text quotes from older genre of Indian literature, legends with anthropomorphic animals are found in more ancient texts dated to the early centuries of the 1st millennium BCE such as the chapter 4.1 of the Chandogya Upanishad.
According to Gillian Adams, Panchatantra may be a product of the Vedic period, but its age cannot be ascertained with confidence because "the original Sanskrit version has been lost". The Panchatantra is a series of inter-woven fables, many of which deploy metaphors of anthropomorphized animals with human virtues and vices. According to its own narrative, it illustrates, for the benefit of three ignorant princes, the central Hindu principles of nīti. While nīti is hard to translate, it means prudent worldly conduct, or "the wise conduct of life". Apart from a short introduction, it consists of five parts; each part contains a main story, called the frame story, which in turn contains several stories "emboxed" in it, as one character narrates a story to another. These stories contain further emboxed stories; the stories thus operate like a succession of Russian dolls, one narrative opening within another, sometimes three or four deep. Besides the stories, the characters quote various epigrammatic verses
A coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a crown upon a monarch's head. The term also refers not only to the physical crowning but to the whole ceremony wherein the act of crowning occurs, along with the presentation of other items of regalia, marking the formal investiture of a monarch with regal power. Aside from the crowning, a coronation ceremony may comprise many other rituals such as the taking of special vows by the monarch, the investing and presentation of regalia to the monarch, acts of homage by the new ruler's subjects and the performance of other ritual deeds of special significance to the particular nation. Western-style coronations have included anointing the monarch with holy oil, or chrism as it is called; the monarch's consort may be crowned, either with the monarch or as a separate event. Once a vital ritual among the world's monarchies, coronations have changed over time for a variety of socio-political and religious factors. In the past, concepts of royalty and deity were inexorably linked.
In some ancient cultures, rulers were considered to be divine or divine: the Egyptian pharaoh was believed to be the son of Ra, the sun god, while in Japan, the emperor was believed to be a descendant of Amaterasu, the sun goddess. Rome promulgated the practice of emperor worship. Coronations were once a direct visual expression of these alleged connections, but recent centuries have seen the lessening of such beliefs. Coronations are still observed in the United Kingdom and several Asian and African countries. In Europe, most monarchs are required to take a simple oath in the presence of the country's legislature. Besides a coronation, a monarch's accession may be marked in many ways: some nations may retain a religious dimension to their accession rituals while others have adopted simpler inauguration ceremonies, or no ceremony at all; some cultures use bathing or cleansing rites, the drinking of a sacred beverage, or other religious practices to achieve a comparable effect. Such acts symbolise the granting of divine favour to the monarch within the relevant spiritual-religious paradigm of the country.
Coronation in common parlance today may in a broader sense, refer to any formal ceremony in relation to the accession of a monarch, whether or not an actual crown is bestowed, such ceremonies may otherwise be referred to as investitures, inaugurations, or enthronements. The date of the act of ascension, however precedes the date of the ceremony of coronation. For example, the Coronation of Elizabeth II took place on 2 June 1953 sixteen months after her accession to the throne on 6 February 1952 on the death of her father George VI; the coronation ceremonies in medieval Christendom, both Western and Eastern, are influenced by the practice of the Roman Emperors as it developed during Late Antiquity, indirectly influenced by Biblical accounts of kings being crowned and anointed. The European coronation ceremonies best known in the form they have taken in Great Britain, descend from rites created in Byzantium, Visigothic Spain, Carolingian France and the Holy Roman Empire and brought to their apogee during the Medieval era.
In non-Christian states, coronation rites evolved from a variety of sources related to the religious beliefs of that particular nation. Buddhism, for instance, influenced the coronation rituals of Thailand and Bhutan, while Hindu elements played a significant role in Nepalese rites; the ceremonies used in modern Egypt, Malaysia and Iran were shaped by Islam, while Tonga's ritual combines ancient Polynesian influences with more modern Anglican ones. Coronations, in one form or another, have existed since ancient times. Egyptian records show coronation scenes, such as that of Seti I in 1290 BC. Judeo-Christian scriptures testify to particular rites associated with the conferring of kingship, the most detailed accounts of which are found in II Kings 11:12 and II Chronicles 23:11; the corona radiata, the "radiant crown" known best on the Statue of Liberty, worn by the Helios, the Colossus of Rhodes, was worn by Roman emperors as part of the cult of Sol Invictus, part of the imperial cult as it developed during the 3rd century.
The origin of the crown is thus religious, comparable to the significance of a halo, marking the sacral nature of kingship, expressing that either the king is himself divine, or ruling by divine right. The precursor to the crown was the browband called the diadem, worn by the Achaemenid rulers, was adopted by Constantine I, was worn by all subsequent rulers of the Roman Empire. Following the assumption of the diadem by Constantine and Byzantine emperors continued to wear it as the supreme symbol of their authority. Although no specific coronation ceremony was observed at first, one evolved over the following century; the emperor Julian was hoisted upon a shield and crowned with a gold necklace provided by one of his standard-bearers. Emperors were crowned and acclaimed in a similar manner, until the momentous decision was taken to permit the Patriarch of Constantinople to physically place the crown on the emperor's head. Historians debate when this first took place, but the precedent was established by the reign of Leo II, crowned by the Patriarch Acacius in 473.
This ritual in
Palladium (protective image)
A palladium or palladion is an image or other object of great antiquity on which the safety of a city or nation is said to depend. The word is a generalization from the name of the original Trojan Palladium, a wooden statue of Pallas Athena that Odysseus and Diomedes stole from the citadel of Troy and, later taken to the future site of Rome by Aeneas, where it remained until transferred to Constantinople and lost sight of after the conversion of the Empire to Christianity. In English, since around 1600, the word "palladium" has been used figuratively to mean anything believed to provide protection or safety, in particular in Christian contexts a sacred relic or icon believed to have a protective role in military contexts for a whole city, people or nation; such beliefs first become prominent in the Eastern Churches in the period after the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, spread to the Western church. Palladia were sometimes carried into battle. In this more offensive role they may be referred to as "vexilla".
The original Palladion was part of the foundation myths of both Rome. It was a wooden image of Pallas said to have fallen from heaven in answer to the prayer of Ilus, the founder of Troy. In the Trojan War the besieging Greeks discovered that they would be unable to take the city while it was protected by it, so Odysseus and Diomedes stole it from the citadel of Troy before taking the city by the ruse of the Trojan Horse. According to a set of myths it was taken to Rome, where an actual image, unlikely to have been of Trojan origin, was kept in the Temple of Vesta in the Roman Forum for centuries, regarded as one of the pignora imperii, sacred tokens or pledges of Roman rule; the Roman story is related in Virgil's Aeneid and other works. The goddess Athena was worshipped on the Acropolis of Athens under many names and cults, the most illustrious of, of the Athena Poliás, " of the city"; the cult image of the Poliás was a wooden effigy referred to as the "xóanon diipetés", made of olive wood and housed in the east-facing wing of the Erechtheum temple in the classical era.
Considered not a man-made artefact but of divine provenance, it was the holiest image of the goddess and was accorded the highest respect. It was placed under a gold lamp burned in front of it; the centerpiece of the grand feast of the Panathenaea was the replacement of this statue's woolen veil with a newly woven one. It was carried to the sea by the priestesses and ceremonially washed once a year, in the feast called the Plynteria, its presence was last mentioned by the Church Father Tertullian, who, in the late 2nd century AD, described it derisively as being nothing but "a rough stake, a shapeless piece of wood". Earlier descriptions of the statue have not survived. Around the end of the 6th century the first references to Christian palladia start to appear; the Image of Edessa in Armenian Mesopotamia, or Mandylion moved to Constantinople, is one of the first and long the most famous examples. This was credited with the failure of the Persian siege of Edessa in 544, but the image is not mentioned in the account of Procopius, writing soon after the event, first appears as the agent of the failure in the history of Evagrius Scholasticus of about 593.
Specific icons those of the Virgin Mary or Virgin and Child became credited with specialist functions, with their veneration aiding against disease or other misfortunes, the military role of palladium was an example of this. Beliefs attributing particular icons as palladia were found in the Eastern Churches, have remained powerful in Russian Orthodoxy, where a number of icons protected different cities. Important public officials in Imperial Russia would have an insignia that signified their status and authority. In Celtic Christianity palladia were more relics, which in the Celtic tradition were possessions of a saint, such as books, bells and croziers, all housed in reliquaries, in Irish circumstances functioned as the battle standards of clans rather than protecting a city, they were sometimes carried into battle in their reliquaries or cumdach, hanging by a chain around the neck of a member of the clan. In the Western church such beliefs have declined in Catholic countries since the Reformation, disappeared in Protestant beliefs.
Various folk myths have instead arisen, but these are not regarded seriously by the general public. The Byzantine palladia, which first appear in the late 6th century, cannot be said to have had a successful track record, as apart from Constantinople most major cities in Egypt and Anatolia fell to Muslim attacks. Just before the start of the Byzantine Iconoclasm an incident of what might be called a "reverse-palladium" is recorded. According to Iconoclast sources an officer called Constantine, defending Nicaea against an Arab siege in 727, smashed an icon of the Virgin, this saved the city; the Iconodule sources record the incident, but say that Constantine was promptly killed, the city saved by other icons, including the famous series of 318 portraits of participants in the First Council of Nicaea which adorned the hall where the council had met in 325. The Image of Camuliana was an icon of Christ, the earliest importa
Ramayana is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Mahābhārata. Along with the Mahābhārata, it forms the Hindu Itihasa; the epic, traditionally ascribed to the Hindu Valmiki, narrates the life of Rama, the legendary prince of the Kosala Kingdom. It follows his fourteen-year exile to the forest from the kingdom, by his father King Dasharatha, on request of his second wife Kaikeyi, his travels across forests in India with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, the kidnapping of his wife by Ravana, the great king of Lanka, resulting in a war with him, Rama's eventual return to Ayodhya to be crowned king. There have been many attempts to unravel the epic's historical growth and compositional layers; the Ramayana is one of the largest ancient epics in world literature. It consists of nearly 24,000 verses, divided into about 500 sargas. In Hindu tradition, it is considered to be the adi-kavya, it depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal husband and the ideal king.
Ramayana was an important influence on Sanskrit poetry and Hindu life and culture. Like Mahabharata, Ramayana is not just a story: it presents the teachings of ancient Hindu sages in narrative allegory, interspersing philosophical and ethical elements; the characters Rama, Lakshmana, Hanuman and Ravana are all fundamental to the cultural consciousness of India, Sri Lanka, south-east Asian countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia. There are many versions of Ramayana in Indian languages, besides Buddhist and Jain adaptations. There are Cambodian, Filipino, Lao and Malaysian versions of the tale; the name Ramayana is a tatpuruṣa compound of the name Rāma. According to Hindu tradition, the Ramayana itself, the epic belongs to the genre of itihasa like Mahabharata; the definition of itihāsa is a narrative of past events which includes teachings on the goals of human life. According to Hindu tradition, Ramayana takes place during a period of time known as Treta Yuga. In its extant form, Valmiki's Ramayana is an epic poem of some 24,000 verses.
The text survives in several thousand partial and complete manuscripts, the oldest of, a palm-leaf manuscript found in Nepal and dated to the 11th century CE. A Times of India report dated 18 December 2015 informs about the discovery of a 6th-century manuscript of the Ramayana at the Asiatic Society library, Kolkata; the Ramayana text has several regional renderings and sub recensions. Textual scholar Robert P. Goldman differentiates two major regional revisions: the southern. Scholar Romesh Chunder Dutt writes that "the Ramayana, like the Mahabharata, is a growth of centuries, but the main story is more distinctly the creation of one mind." There has been discussion as to whether the first and the last volumes of Valmiki's Ramayana were composed by the original author. Most Hindus still believe they are integral parts of the book, in spite of some style differences and narrative contradictions between these two volumes and the rest of the book. Retellings include Kamban's Ramavataram in Tamil, Gona Budda Reddy's Ramayanam in Telugu, Madhava Kandali's Saptakanda Ramayana in Assamese, Krittibas Ojha's Krittivasi Ramayan in Bengali, Sarala Das' Vilanka Ramayana and Balaram Das' Dandi Ramayana both in Odia, sant Eknath's Bhavarth Ramayan in Marathi, Tulsidas' Ramcharitamanas in Awadhi and Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan's Adhyathmaramayanam in Malayalam.
Ramayana predates Mahabharata. However, the general cultural background of Ramayana is one of the post-urbanization periods of the eastern part of north India and Nepal, while Mahabharata reflects the Kuru areas west of this, from the Rigvedic to the late Vedic period. By tradition, the text belongs to second of the four eons of Hindu chronology. Rama is said to have been born in the Treta Yuga to king Dasharatha in the Ikshvaku dynasty; the names of the characters are all known in late Vedic literature. However, nowhere in the surviving Vedic poetry is there a story similar to the Ramayana of Valmiki. According to the modern academic view, who, according to Bala Kanda, was incarnated as Rama, first came into prominence with the epics themselves and further, during the puranic period of the 1st millennium CE. In the epic Mahabharata, there is a version of Ramayana known as Ramopakhyana; this version is depicted as a narration to Yudhishthira. Books two to six form the oldest portion of the epic, while the first and last books are additions, as some style differences and narrative contradictions between these two volumes and the rest of the book.
The author or authors of Bala Kanda and Ayodhya Kanda appear to be familiar with the eastern Gangetic basin region of northern India and with the Kosala and Magadha regions during the period of the sixteen Mahajanapadas, based on the fact that the geographical and geopolitical data accords with what is known about the region. Dasharatha is father of Rama, he has three queens, Kausalya, Ka