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Extra info for Bodeckers Chronik Livlandischer und Rigascher Ereignisse 1593-1638

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Javanese can be found written in the Nagari and Pallava writing systems of India, in an Arabic writing system modified to incorporate Javanese sounds called pegon, and in the Roman alphabet. Indonesia’s languages have never been expressed in Chinese characters, although Indonesian place-names, personal names, and names of trade goods appear in reports and histories written for China’s imperial courts. Three thousand inscriptions from ancient Indonesian communities have been found dating from the fifth through the ninth centuries of the Common Era.

Buddhism had its own literature in its own sacred language, Pali, that recorded the life and teachings of the Buddha, recounted his previous lives, stories of spiritually charged individuals and gods, and detailed rules for monastic living. The concept of one god in many manifestations was structured by literary and artistic conventions. Each god had specific characteristics; there were rules for portraying them in statues and paintings, and distinct rituals for their worship. The Hindu gods lived on Mount Meru, a cosmic, holy hill surrounded by oceans.

Royal men, or men who are incarnations of gods, undertake quests for objects, for missing relatives, or for special knowledge. In their wanderings they have erotic adventures, fight in great battles, and receive instruction from gods on the meaning of human existence, which they later pass on to wives and followers. The authors of kakawins compare their royal patrons to the gods, apologize for their weaknesses in composition, and describe the act of writing as a spiritual journey they hope will lead them to ultimate knowledge.

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Bodeckers Chronik Livlandischer und Rigascher Ereignisse 1593-1638 by Napiersky J.G.L.

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