I am most indebted to my colleagues Ernest Thrimbe and Arlo Griffiths for commenting on this article and offering editorial suggestions. Conferences and lectures are frequent, publications follow each other, editions of the text keep appearing. During the last twenty years six new editions have been published in Kuala Lumpur and Malacca. This exceptional academic activity second only to the debate, even more lively, around Hang Tuah, at the expense of all other texts, which tend to be neglected does not produce a better knowledge of the text, but a political reading that, beyond quarrels of interpretation, rests on a patriotic celebration. It seems that interest for ancient Malay literature has drastically diminished in Malay society during the last thirty years.
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I am most indebted to my colleagues Ernest Thrimbe and Arlo Griffiths for commenting on this article and offering editorial suggestions. Conferences and lectures are frequent, publications follow each other, editions of the text keep appearing. During the last twenty years six new editions have been published in Kuala Lumpur and Malacca. This exceptional academic activity second only to the debate, even more lively, around Hang Tuah, at the expense of all other texts, which tend to be neglected does not produce a better knowledge of the text, but a political reading that, beyond quarrels of interpretation, rests on a patriotic celebration.
It seems that interest for ancient Malay literature has drastically diminished in Malay society during the last thirty years. Today the Sulalat al-Salatin is the domain of academics—male ones exclusively—some of whom know the text by heart, so to speak, but approach it with a questioning different from that of their foreign colleagues.
However, the text is more frequently quoted with the title Sejarah Melayu , translated into English as Malay Annals. Ahmat Adam see Ahmat in the Bibliography below.
We need to consider that date for a moment. Before being appointed captain in the Russian imperial navy he served for a while on commercial vessels of the British East India Company. This is when, on a travel from India to China, while his ship was under repair in Penang, he spent a few months in Malacca, in the second half of , and took the opportunity to order a copy of the Sulalat al-Salatin A.
Valentijn, etc. Krusenstern was probably lucky enough to be advised on the spot by some connoisseur. When back in Russia he presented the manuscript to the Royal Academy of Sciences in St-Petersburg through his friend Fyodor Ivanovich Schubert, who was a member of the Academy and gave the manuscript to it in Kulikova, p.
The manuscript was copied in A. June to May It bears a watermark dated , which fits perfectly with that estimate. This makes K the oldest copy we know of the Sulalat al-Salatin , albeit by a few years only: the following oldest manuscript dates from It has been described by A.
Kulikova in and subsequently published for the first time by E. Revunenkova in That edition consists in a facsimile with no transcription and a page commentary in Russian. This work has remained unknown outside Russia because of its language. Revunenkova has published an article in English in listed in A.
I suppose nobody in the world, even in Malaysia, will choose to read the Jawi text in its original form rather than the Latin transcription any more, but the publication of a facsimile is of great benefit for philologists; it may sometimes also be a devastating element, similarly to bilingual editions, when a punctilious reader sets out to compare facsimile and transcription.
He reproduces the description of that original by A. This apparent mistake is due to the fact that Kulikova refers to the pagination, added by a librarian and which has disappeared from the facsimile, ordered from left to right, like in a European book, and not from right to left, as it is the norm for manuscripts written in Arabic characters this is explained by Revunenkova Therefore that kind of information in A.
He fortunately preserved the original presentation of the manuscript, the text starting on a verso, the layout of which, together with the following recto, makes a kind of frontispiece. Therefore, his facsimile starts with a verso called f ii, followed by a recto called f ii This is somewhat confusing but has no consequence on the reading or commenting of the text. In the following notes I convert the numbering into Arabic numerals: f lxxxviii and f lxxxviii: 2 become f.
One more page is printed twice too—an issue to which we will return below. On the last page of the first is inscribed the date and an Arabic sentence according to which, in A. Ibrahim Jamrut would be of Javanese origin too because his name is the Javanese prononciation of the Malay word jamrud p. A cursory examination of the facsimile makes me think that the handwritings of three different people say, K1, K2, K3 can indeed be distinguished: K1 is responsible for two passages: ff.
These conclusions are provisional, but they raise interesting questions. When he reaches the last two pages of his first section the beginning of the text K1 enlarges his handwriting considerably, in order not to create a break with the following section, which is being written by his colleague K2.
The latter too, at the end of his own section, enlarges his handwriting, but cannot avoid a blank page between his section and the following one f. There is one more blank page further on f. The fact that they shared the task in that way may indicate that they were in a great hurry, which might explain the mediocrity of their work.
What models did they use? Four fragments of an unbound manuscript or several manuscripts? The use of several manuscripts could explain that the final text is difficult to classify among the different versions of the Sulalat al-Salatin. But A. On the whole, K is a rather careless copy on the literal level both misreadings and miswritings ; on the other hand, one gets the feeling that the scribes followed their models faithfully in a hurry they had no leisure for improvisation.
The consequence of these remarks is that it is not possible to rest the authority of a reading on the spelling of the manuscript as A. However, since a few years back, each volume is also printed with a soft cover at a much more reasonable price, which allows this series to be the principal publisher of Malay classical texts today. The targeted audience is Malay society at large but some editions, because of their imposing critical apparatus, rather look like academic exercises.
All this gives the edition an aspect of high learning, but makes it rather indigestible and confusing. Even if there have been some debates or pronouncements since then, the sole theoretical synthesis on the subject is a page article by a German scholar published 36 years ago see Kratz, All editors have regarded these sections as chapters and have given them numbers. So does A. Editors of ancient Malay texts are rarely conscious of the way they manipulate a text even though they claim to reproduce it faithfully.
This is more important than it seems because punctuation structures the text, imposes a reading rhythm and determines an interpretation. It can even create misinterpretations. In order to spare the readers I will quote two examples only, among many others, in each category below. So, two examples of faulty punctuation: a p.
Berpuluh-puluh orang Melaka mengharu dia. Pada seorang Feringgi itu berpuluh-puluh orang Melaka mengharu dia. Two examples: a p. A reading mistake of a different kind is found on p. This means that the facsimile has been established page by page and that, starting on this point, versos have become rectos and vice versa: the whole manuscript and the pagination are from here onward disorganised. Two examples from the same page: a p. Not to correct these mistakes, either in the text or in footnotes, will inevitably confuse the reader.
It is of course necessary to signal lacunae and to summarize their content, but to integrate into a version several pages of another is to bring about voluntary contamination. His evidence is scanty but the idea is suggestive. Moreover, even if it were established that a Malay word is of Sanskrit or Old Javanese origin, it would not necessarily have a spelling identical to that of the original word not to mention the possibility of spelling variation in the source language itself.
What is more, a word of foreign origin does not always have the same meaning in the source and the target languages. Still, in blatant contradiction to all such well-known facts, A. All this is pure fancy. The first footnote to the text reveals that the Malay keras is borrowed from Old Javanese; elsewhere, we find notes on the meaning, in Sanskrit or Old Javanese, of the words adu , beta , citra , demang , duli , empu , mutia , niscaya , pandai , etc. This is not only out of place why not a commentary on words of Arabic or Chinese origin?
This does not mark any progress in philology, it is simply barbaric. Two examples: a pp. Incidentally, the lettering of the word with a shadda , i. It is a text of a few lines that a character of supernatural origin Bat precisely delivers during the consecration of a king. The ciri seems to have first been a eulogy, in Sanskrit, of the king to be enthroned, that was read by a priest. Then the text became corrupt across the ages, while its use was extended to high officers of the kingdom.
I am too incompetent myself to discuss these transcriptions and their translation, but it seems exceedingly surreal to try and read, and translate, a text in an unknown language by thumbing up a dictionary, even more so if the dictionary is one for Old Javanese, while the language is believed to be Sanskrit.
Several scholars have studied the ciri in the past among others, R. Winstedt, W. Maxwell, Ph. Numerous hypotheses, all of them quite fragile I would think, have been proposed mainly by R. Winstedt, R. Roolvink, O. Wolters, Teuku Iskandar and V.
Braginsky on the successive stages of the redaction of the Sulalat al-Salatin in the course of ages. This point of view was current in the 19th century but has long lost all reason to persist. Unfortunately, A. Still, we do have a text and it transpires that K is a very interesting version of the Sulalat al-Salatin.
Roolvink xxii and Revunenkova 63 have stated that K belongs to the short recension, but A. I intend to publish the results of that comparison in another article. Despite all its foibles, this edition is therefore extremely useful. It will require a thorough study of the text to determine the place of K in a stemma still to be built of all versions of the Sulalat al-Salatin , but that is another story. Abdullah b. Abdul Kadir ed. Ahmat Adam. It has been published by A.
Mythology In Sulalatus Salatin: A Moral Responsibility In Fulfulling The King's Vision
The Sulalatus Salatin is clearly a form of historical literature that contained a lot of stories, myth, especially during the period pre-Melaka until the existence of Melaka itself. The research will use cultural theories. Mythology has always been connected with the tales of gods which always have a kinship with the constituents of faith. In the essence, mythology is the tale of the origins which encompasses the roots of blood line, the name of a place, the arrival of Islam, etc. In the context of societal belief, mythology is not just something respectable, but the mythical event was thought to actually took place and studied as something sacred. This clearly proves that myth has already existed even before the emergence of Tun Seri Lanang as the author of Sulalatus Salatin. Abu Hassan Sham.
The original text has undergone numerous changes, with the oldest known version dated May , through the rewriting effort commissioned by the then regent of Johor , Yang di-Pertuan Di Hilir Raja Abdullah. The number of manuscripts of the Malay Annals and its related texts is fairly large. There is a possibility that Raffles MS no. This king-list subsequently enlarged by various stories and historically relevant material which was inserted into it in suitable places, but at the same time it lost its dates. However, the introduction of Raffles MS no.