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Chapter Summary

In the Mahavamsa, the Great Chronicle, the time before the arrival of the first Aryan settlers is not described in detail. From Dutthagamani's conquest to the invasion of the Cholas in the tenth century, the kings of Anuradhapura ruled Ceylon for a thousand years. Wet rice cultivation in the Dry Zone could only provide good harvests with a steady water supply. As the control of the southern regions of Ceylon became more difficult, the Cholas moved their capital from Anuradhapura to Pollonaruwa, which promised to be strategically better situated in order to crush the resistance movement of the Rohana region. Due to the resistance to the reign of Magha, the Sinhalese kingdom had disintegrated more and more and had lost much of its strength. The landing of a Portuguese fleet at Colombo in 1505 was not a deliberate attempt to establish Portuguese influence in Ceylon.

Keywords:Anuradhapura; Aryan; Ceylon; Cholas; Dry Zone; Portuguese; Rohana region; Sinhalese kingdom

10.1163/ej.9789004163614.i-338.17
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