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By Peter Hopkirk

THE GREATGAME: THE EPIC tale at the back of TODAY'S HEADLINES

Peter Hopkirk's spellbinding account of the nice imperial fight for supremacy in primary Asoa has been hailed as crucial studying with that era's legacy taking part in itself out at the present time.

The nice video game among Victorian Britain and Tsarist Russia used to be fought throughout desolate terrain from the Caucasus to China, over the lonely passes of the Parmirs and Karakorams, within the blazing Kerman and Helmund deserts, and during the caravan cities of the outdated Silk Road-both powers scrambling to manage entry to the riches of India and the East. whilst play first begun, the frontiers of Russia and British India lay 2000 miles aside; by way of the tip, this distance had gotten smaller to 20 miles at a few issues. Now, within the vacuum left via the disintegration of the Soviet Union, there's once more speak of Russian infantrymen "dipping their feet within the Indian Ocean."

The Washington Post has stated that "every tale Peter Hopkirk touches is completely engrossing." during this gripping narrative he recounts a wide ranging story of espionage and treachery in the course of the real stories of its colourful characters. in accordance with meticulous scholarship and on-the-spot study, this can be the background on the center of today's geopolitics.

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The ideological centrality of the ruler is present in the earliest documentation of Srivijaya, and is expressed to some extent in Old Malay as well as Sanskrit vocabulary. The question must be asked whether this type of stress on rulership may have been a local contribution to the constituting of the Srivijayan and other Indianized polities in the ‘Malay’ heritage. The local term used for ‘ruler’ in the inscriptions is datu, which is found widely in Austronesian languages. The further term kedatuan has been the subject of scholarly debate, some considering it to mean ‘palace’, others suggest ‘province’, ‘empire’, ‘kingdom’ or ‘royal centre’ (Kulke 1993, 1993a; de Casparis 1956: 18, 43).

Figure 3 The capital of Brunei in the early nineteenth century, from Frank S. Marryat, Borneo and the Indian Archipelago (London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1848). © British Library, London. 10,000 people and a navy of 100 ships. The ruler determined the prices of all imported goods and the times when they might be traded (Hirth and Rockhill 1967: 155–159; Wheatley 1966: 281, 300; Brown 1970: 132–133). Dynamics and Transformations Attempting to give some account of these people who would at least in later centuries be claimed as ‘Malays’, I have ranged across many centuries and regions, perhaps inevitably conveying the impression of a lack of transformative change.

An eighth-century description of Tan-Tan (a polity that may have been located near Trengganu on the Peninsula) gives the ruler’s family name and personal name, and notes that he “holds audience for two periods each day, in the morning and evening”. Following Indian cosmological principles he has eight high officers of state. He also “daubs his person with fragrant powder” and “wears a head turban (with exaggerated corners)” (51). Is this the type of head turban or headkerchief, one wonders, that has been worn in recent centuries?

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