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0083 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 83 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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  1. In the succeeding century, however, relations must have been opened, for in A.D. 65 the Emperor Mingti, in consequence of a dream, sent ambassadors to Thianchu to obtain instruction in the doctrines of Buddha, and to bring back images of him, a step which brought upon that emperor's memory the execrations of the orthodox Confucian literati, and which led to very peculiar relations between the two countries for many centuries.

Under the Emperor Hoti (A.D. 89-105) Indian sovereigns several times sent tribute (presents) to the court of China, and again in 158-9 under Hiwanti, the same emperor that received the mission supposed to have come from Marcus Aurelius.

  1. Throughout the greater part of the third and fourth centuries political intercourse between India and China seems to have been interrupted, though it may be gathered from the history of Fahian's travels that a sea-trade between China and India existed at the end of the latter century, as it probably had done for some time previously. Its commencement, however, perhaps does not ascend beyond the early years of the Eastern Tçin (residing at Nanking, 317-420) as the first intercourse between China and Ceylon is ascribed to their time. Ceylon was famed for its figures of Buddha, and these often were sent as presents to the Chinese court. The first embassy from Ceylon arrived in 405, having come apparently overland, as it was ten years upon the road. It brought a Jade image of Buddha, exquisite in material and workmanship. In the course of the same century came four more Singhalese embassies ; one in 428, when the King Chacha Mohonan (Raja Mahanaama, reigned 410-432) sent an address to the emperor, together with a model of the shrine of the Sacred Tooth ; one in 430, one in 435, and a fourth in 456, composed of five priests, of whom one was Nanté, a famous sculptor, and who brought a threefold image of Buddha. During the sixth century the kings of Ceylon acknowledged themselves vassals of China, and in 515 Kumara Dâs, on succeeding to the throne, sent an envoy to China to announce the event, and who reported that the king had been desirous to go himself, but was afraid of the sea. Embassies are also recorded under the years 523, 527, 531.'

1 T'enncnt's Ceylon, 2nd ed., i, 590-91 ; 596. Sir Elnerson Tennent was