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[HISTORY
ASIA

others were first protected and then absorbed by the Turks. The Arab rule in Spain, which once threatened to overwhelm Europe and was turned back near Tours by Charles Martel, was distinguished by its tolerance and civilization, and lingered on till the 15th century.

The collapse of the political power of the Arabs was singularly complete. The Caliphate, though Arabian, was always geographically outside Arabia, and on its fall Arabia remained as it was before Islam, isolated and inaccessible. It is still one of the least known parts of the globe, and has hardly any political link with the outside, for the Arabs of northern Africa form separate states. But in spite of this total political collapse, Arabic religion and literature are still one of the greatest forces working in the western half of Asia, in northern Africa and to some extent in eastern Europe.

13. Ceylon, though geographically an annex of India, has not followed its fortunes historically. According to tradition it was invaded by an Aryan-speaking colony from the valley of the Ganges in the 6th century B.C. It received Buddhism from north India in the time of Asoka, and has had considerable importance as a centre of religious culture which has influenced Burma and Siam. Its medieval history consists of struggles between the native sovereigns and Tamil invaders. A powerful native dynasty reigned in the 12th century, but in 1408 the island was attacked by Chinese, and from 1505 onwards it was distracted by the attacks and squabbles of Europeans. It was partially subjugated, first by the Portuguese and then by the Dutch. In 1796 the Dutch were expelled by the English.

14. Indo-China.—This is an appropriate name for Burma, Siam, Cambodia, Annam, &c., for both in position and in civilization they lie between India and China. Indian influence is predominant as far as Cambodia (though with a Chinese tinge), Indian alphabets being employed and the Buddhism being of the Sinhalese type, but in Annam and Tongking the Chinese script and many Chinese institutions are in use. The population belongs to various races, and also comprises little-known wild tribes, (i.) Languages of the group known as Mōn-Annam are spoken in Annam and in Pegu, an ancient kingdom originally distinct from Burma though now confounded with it. This distribution seems to indicate that they once spread over the whole region, and were divided by the later advance of the Siamese and others. Until Annam was taken by the French, its history consisted of a struggle with the Chinese, who alternately asserted and lost their sovereignty. The Annamese are, however, a distinct race. Cochin China was once the seat of a kingdom called Champa, which appears to have had a hinduized Malay civilization and to have been subsequently absorbed by Annam. (ii.) The Burmese are linguistically allied to the Tibetans, and probably entered Burma from the north-west. The early history consists largely of conflicts between the Burmese and Talaings. The kingdom which was annexed by Britain in 1885 was founded about 1750 by Alompra, who united his countrymen and broke the power of the Talaings. He also invaded Siam. (iii.) The Khmers or Cambodians, whose languages appear to belong to the Mōn-Annam group, form a relatively ancient kingdom, much reduced in the last few centuries by the advance of the Siamese and new a French protectorate. Remarkable ruins dating from perhaps A.D. 800 to 1000 attest the former prevalence of strong Hindu influenc., (iv.) The Siamese or Thai, who speak a monosyllabic language of the Chinese type, but written in an Indian alphabet, represent a late invasion from southern China, whence they descended about the 13th century.

15. Malays.—This widely-scattered race has no political union and its distribution is a puzzle for ethnography. At present it occupies the extremity of the Malay Peninsula, Java, Sumatra, Borneo, the Philippines and other islands of the Malay Archipelago as well as Madagascar, while the inhabitants of most islands in the South Seas, including New Zealand and Hawaii, speak languages which if not Malay have at least undergone a strong Malay influence. It would seem from this distribution that the Malays are not continental, but a seafaring race with exceptional powers of dispersal, who have spread over the ocean from some island centre—perhaps Java. The latest theory, however, is that there is a great linguistic group (which may or may not prove to correspond to an ethnic unity) comprising the Mundā, Mōnkhmer, Malay, Polynesian and Micronesian languages, and that the stream of immigration which distributed them started from the extreme west. Three periods can be traced in the history of the Asiatic Malays. In the first (in which such tribes as the Dyaks have remained) they were semi-barbarous. In the second, Hindu civilization reached the Malay Peninsula, Java, Sumatra and other islands. The presence of Hindu ruins, as well as of numerous Indian words and customs, testifies to the strength of this influence. It was, however, superseded by Islam, which spread to the Malay Archipelago and Peninsula before the 16th century. At the present time the Arabic alphabet is used on the mainland, but Indian alphabets in Java, Sumatra, &c.

16. Tibet.—This remote and mountainous country has a peculiar civilization. It has entirely escaped Islam, and though it is a nominal vassal of China, direct Chinese influence has not been strong. The most striking feature is the religion, a corrupt form of late Indian Buddhism, known as Lamaism, which, largely in consequence of the favour shown by Jenghiz Khan and his successors, has attained temporal power and developed into an ecclesiastical state curiously like the papacy.

17. Mongols.—Such civilization as the Mongols possess is a mixture of Chinese and Indian, the latter derived chiefly through Tibet, but their alphabet is a curious instance of transplantation. It is an adaptation of the Syriac writing introduced by the early Nestorian missionaries.

18. Almost all Asiatic countries have a literature, but it is often not indigenous and consists of foreign works, chiefly religious, read either in translations or the original. Thus with the exception of a little folklore the literature Literature, art, science. of Indo-China, Tibet, Mongolia, Korea and Manchuria is mainly Indian or Chinese. The chief original literatures are Chinese, Sanskrit, Pali, Arabic and Persian. The Japanese have produced few books of importance, and their compositions are chiefly remarkable as being lighter and more secular than is usual in Asia, but the older Chinese works take high rank both for their merits and the effect they have had. The extensive Sanskrit literature, which has reached in translations China, Japan and Java, is chiefly theological and poetical, history being conspicuously absent. India has also a considerable medieval and modern literature in various languages. Pali, though only a form of Hindu literature, has a separate history, for it died in India and was preserved in Ceylon, whence it was imported to Burma and Siam as the language of religion. The Pali versions of Buddha’s discourses are among the most remarkable products of Asia. The literatures of all Moslem peoples are largely inspired by Arabic, which has produced a voluminous collection of works in prose and poetry. Persian, after being itself transformed by Arabic, has in its turn largely influenced all west Asiatic Moslem literature from Hindustani to Turkish.

If one excepts the Old Testament, which is a product of the extreme west of Asia, it is remarkable how small has been the influence of Asiatic literature on Europe. Though Greek and Slavonic almost ceased to be written languages under Turkish rule, Europeans showed no disposition to replace them by Ottoman or Arabic literature.

Without counting subdivisions there would seem to be three main schools of art in Asia at present—Chinese, Indian and Moslem. The first contains many original elements. It is feeblest in architecture and strongest in the branches demanding skill and care in a limited compass, such as painting, porcelain and enamel. It is the main inspiration of Japanese art, which, however, shows great originality in its treatment of borrowed themes. Both China and Japan have felt through Buddhism the influence of Indian art, which contains at least two elements—one indigenous and the other Greco-Persian. Unlike Chinese art it has a genius for architecture and sculpture rather than painting. Mahommedan art is also largely architectural and has affected