Five centuries before Christ, Sri Lanka was a land throbbing with vitality and a well-ordered civilization. Cities, palaces, reservoirs, parks, temples, monasteries, monuments and works of art bore testament to the character, imagination, culture, philosophy and faith of the people of Sri Lanka, the Resplendent Land. Vestiges of this ancient civilization are abundantly extant today.
D. J. G. Hennessy, GREEN AISLES, 1949
Above photo source-www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~827~60132
History: 2550 years of unbroken recorded history beginning from 543 BC
Ancient kingdoms: Anuradhapura (437 BC-845 AD), Polonnaruwa (846 AD-1302 AD) (entire cities are UNESCO World Heritage Sites)
Ancient citadels: The Lion Rock citadel (Sigiriya) (479-496 AD) (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Medieval Kingdoms: Kandy the Royal City (1469-1815 AD) (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Invaders: Dravidians from South India (Intermittent invasions 161 BC-1236 AD), Portuguese (1505- 1655), Dutch (1656-1795), British (1796-1814)
Colonialist ruler: the British (1815-1948)
Ancient Kings and Rulers of Sri Lanka (Ceylon-Click on the image)
List of rulers of Sri Lanka
The following is a list of rulers of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) since 505 BC. The main source for many of these monarchs are the chronicles of the island maintained by monks, known as the Dipavamsa, Mahavamsa, and the Chulavamsa. This list should be used with the following factors kept in mind. Firstly the dates provided for the earliest monarchs are difficult to objectively verify; those which are particularly difficult to know have been denoted with a (?) mark. Secondly in terms of succession it is difficult to divide the monarchs into 'houses' or 'dynasties' as often the throne was passed around amongst related individuals within a particular clan; especially in medieval times there were no articulated rules of succession and whoever was in possession of the sacred Tooth Relic had a good claim to being called king
Evolution of the Sinhala language
The foundation of the Sinhalese nation is tradition ally assigned to the 6th century B.C, when the leg endary Prince Vijaya of Singhapura (a city in the Lala Country of North-East India, present-day West Bengal) and his 700 compatriots landed upon the shores of Sri Lanka.
Although this legend, which occurs in the ancient chronicle of Sinhalese royalty known as the ÔMahawansaÕ, is obscured in much myth and fanciful tales, it nevertheless contains a germ of truth. There remains a possibility that great Aryan immigration from Bengal did take place in the 4th or 5th century B.C.
This is borne out by philological evidence which shows that Sinhala, the language of Sinhalese, is ultimately derived from old Indo-Aryan (Sanskrit) through middle Indo-Aryan or Prakrit (whose best representative is Pali, the language of the Buddhist scriptures).
The Sinhala language is therefore a member of the Aryan family of languages, which is a member of a still larger family of languages known as Indo-European