The Mahavamsa "The Great Chronicle" otherwise known as "The Great Dynasty"

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Sinhalese history is authenticated by the concurrence of every evidence that can contribute to verify the annals of any country - "Ceylon" Pearl of the East by Harry Williams

history of sri lanka, the mahavamsa

The Mahavamsa "The Great Chronicle" otherwise known as "The Great Dynasty" is the single most important work of Lankan origin (written in Pali language). It describes the life and times of the people who forged our nation, from the coming of Vijaya in 543 BCE to the reign of King Mahasena (334 – 361) (6th Century BC to 4th Century AD). A companion volume, the Culavamsa or Choolavansha ("lesser chronicle"), covers the period from the 4th century to the British takeover of Sri Lanka in 1815.

The Mahavamsa itself is actually comprised of three parts, all written at different times in Lankan history. The combined work, sometimes collectively referred to as the "Mahavamsa" or "Mahawansha", provides a continuous historical record of over two millennia and can be considered as the world’s longest unbroken historic record.

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Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa - A comparative study

 

 

 

     

   

Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa - A comparative study

 



The Dipavamsa, the earliest extant chronicle of Sri Lanka, of unknown authorship, deals with the history of the island from earliest times up to the reign of Mahasena (325-352). Erudite opinion holds that it is not the work of a single author but of several authors. Considering the nature of ancient chronicle of the island, we can believe that there is a certain element of truth in it, particularly calculated to be the vehicle of history in early times, when literary facilities were scanty. There is also the opinion that Dipavamsa was the work of two nuns Sivala and Maharuha from India.

Aryadasa Ratnasinghe
The island / 24May1998

 

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