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Jayavarman VII ou le renouveau d'Angkor, entre tradition et modernité

Abstract : Jayavarman VII, or the renewal of Angkor : between tradition and modernity This article deals with the iconographical, architectural and religious dispositions taken by Jayavarman VII, towards the end of the 12th century A.D., for the construction of various temples throughout the Khmer kingdom, and specifically in Angkor. We have tried to put forth the detailed divine population of these temples, some of these being quite important in both stature and complexity. In certain temples, as in Prah Khan of Angkor, approximately six hundred deities were found to have been stored by the royal foundation in a cellar, thus necessitating discreet inscriptions establishing the deity's name upon the , entrance of many of these temples. This period is also characterized by an important development: Buddhism was adopted for the first time as the only religion practiced by both king and state. This can be seen on the temple's exterior iconography where pure Buddhist representations are used, as opposed to earlier Buddhist temples which had Brahmanic iconography. With one particularity residing inside Jayavarman VII temples such as was found in Prah Khan and В ay on at Angkor: both Brahmanism and Buddhism were jointly depicted. The Buddhist deities were found to occupy the center, eastern and southern parts of the temples, vaisnava deities were placed towards the west while Shivaism occupies the northern area of the same temple. This disposition of different religious deities has lead us to believe that the deity's disposition is part of a Buddhist tantric disposition, in which all temples represent in fact a Buddhist mandala. Finally we can conclude for this specific period that Jayavarman VII aimed at maintaining his rule with the edification of these temples to ensure the kingdom's unity through the temple's symbolism and bring the Khmer kingdom into Jambudvipa, the land of the gods.
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Christine Hawixbrock. Jayavarman VII ou le renouveau d'Angkor, entre tradition et modernité. Bulletin de l'Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient, EFEO, 1998, 85 (1), pp.63 - 85. ⟨10.3406/befeo.1998.2544⟩. ⟨halshs-02549107⟩

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