In 1833 Prince Mongkut found a remarkable inscription, reputedly written in the year 1292. When the text was finally deciphered it revealed the existence of an ideal state,
ruled from the town of Sukhothai by a wise and devout king, named Ram Khamhaeng. This inscription has long been regarded as Thailand's most important historical document.
It came therefore as a shock when in the late 1980s two renowned scholars announced that they had proof that the inscription was a recent fabrication.
From that moment on the authenticity of the inscription was fiercely debated, and up to the present there are some who consider the matter to be unresolved.
Terwiel, who has taken part in the debate from the outset, presents some novel ideas and interpretations as a contribution to the closure of the debate.
At the end of this booklet the inscription is presented line by line, transcribed and with a fresh translation.
1: The Discovery
2: The Deciphering
3: What the Inscription Tells Us
4: The Challenge
5: The First Reactions
6: The First Rebuttals
7: The Extensive Debates
8: The Stalemate
9: Re-examining the Inscription’s Purpose
10: Interpreting the Main Text Anew
11: Reading the Epilogue
12: Concluding Remarks
Appendix 1: The Ram Khamhaeng Inscription, Side by Side
Appendix 2: The Ram Khamhaeng Inscription, Line by Line
Appendix 3: The Ram Khamhaeng Inscription, Translation
Appendix 4: The Kathina Festival
Appendix 5: The Forest Monastery
Epilogue: Ram Khamhaeng in Göttingen
List of Illustrations