Arlo Griffiths arlogriffiths at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Sep 22 06:37:15 UTC 2011

Dear colleagues,

Allow me to pose a question about a phenomenon that I am probably not yet grasping in its full extent and complexity. I have the impression that several vernacular epigraphical traditions (maybe Sanskrit epigraphical traditions too) in the second millennium CE (maybe earlier too) rather frequently present persons with the title senaapati as protagonist, with no other title (in some regions not even royal titles) coming close in terms of frequency. I have thus far seen inscriptions in Old Malay, Old Cam and Tamil, of the 11th-13th centuries, where senaapatis are the main actors in the events/transactions recorded.

My question is: are we to imagine that these were all military men in a literal sense? Or may we imagine a militaristic model of the state where even those high functionaries who were not actually ever leading armies were nevertheless awarded military titles?

I would appreciate references to discussions of the status of senaapatis in individual parts of South and Southeast Asia or --- even better --- discussions transcending regional/linguistic boundaries.

Many thanks.

Arlo Griffiths


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