The History of Bali: 800 CE – 1343 CE

The History of Indonesia - The History of Bali, Indonesia
The History of Bali - Bali History 800 CE – 1343 BCE: Ancient Historiorical Period


The History of Bali: 800 CE – 1343 CE 

Ancient Historical Period


The ancient historical period

is defined by the appearance of the first written records in Bali, in the form of clay pallets with Buddhist inscriptions. These Buddhist inscriptions, found in small clay stupa figurines (called "stupikas") are the first known written inscriptions in Bali and date from around the 8th century CE. Such stupikas have been found in the regency of Gianyar, in the villages of Pejeng, Tatiapi and Blahbatuh.

This period is generally closely associated with the arrival and expansion of Buddhism and Hinduism in the island of Bali. The Belanjong pillar ("Prasasti Blanjong") in southern Sanur was inscribed in 914 with the mention of the reign of the Balinese king Sri Kesari. It is written in both the Indian Sanskrit language and Old Balinese language, using two scripts, the Nagari script and the Old Balinese script (which is used to write both Balinese and Sanskrit). The pillar testifies to the connections of Bali with the Sanjaya Dynasty in Central Java. It is dated according to the Indian Shaka calendar. According to the inscription, Sri Kesari was a Buddhist king of the Sailendra Dynasty leading a military expedition, to establish a Mahayana Buddhist government in Bali.

The stone temple of Goa Gajah was made around the same period, and shows a combination of Buddhist and Hindu (Shivaite) iconography.

Inter-marriages between Java and Bali royalty also occurred, as when king Udayana Warmadewa of the Warmadewa dynasty of Bali married a Javanese princess, sister of the Emperor of Java Dharmawangsa. Their son became the great ruler of East Java Airlangga, who ruled on both Java and Bali. In the 12th century, descendant of Airlangga are also known to have ruled over Bali, such as Jayasakti (1146–50) and Jayapangus (1178–81).

The island of Java again started to encroach significantly on Bali with the invasion of Singarasi king Kertanegara in 1284. Kertanegara was then toppled by Raden Wijaya, founder of the Majapahit Empire.

Contacts with China were also important during this period. Chinese coins, called Kepeng were in use in Bali from the 7th century. The traditional Barong is also thought to be derived from the Chinese dragon. In the 12th century, king Jayapangus of Bali is known to have married a Chinese princess.

 

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