"The Birth of the Buddha" at Angkor

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Nicolas Revire

Abstract

A rare stele depicting the birth of the Buddha, taken
from Angkor Wat in 1899 and now housed in the Bangkok National Museum, raises issues central to the Buddhist art and civilization of Angkor. Stemming from the late 13th or the early 14th century, it draws its inspiration primarily from North Indian Sanskrit textual sources, thereby providing further evidence of the continuing dominance of that tradition in Cambodia and mainland Southeast Asia, prior to the more recent and final onset of Pali-based Buddhism (i.e. Theravāda or Theravaṁsa).

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