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Deconstructing Banzu and Longyamen: The Daoyi zhilüe (1349) in the New Early History of Singapore

Johannes L. Kurz

Pages 455 - 480


At the core of the present article is a critical survey of the interpretations of
the Daoyi zhilüe 島夷誌略 (Brief account of island barbarians,
1349) that have helped establish Banzu 班卒 as a precursor of Singapore since the
1990s. Among the conclusions drawn from the original text by modern researchers
are the identifications of Danmaxi 單馬錫 as Temasik on Singapore Island; Longyamen
龍牙門 (Dragon Teeth Strait) as Keppel Harbour or Keppel Strait; and the existence
of a sojourning community of merchants from southern Fujian there. These
assumptions are scrutinized through a close reading of the original text and the
relevant secondary literature. I suggest that the new early history of Singapore
is the result of partial interpretations of the original text published

1 Classical sources

2 Mingshi 明史 1974. Comp. by Zhang Tingyu 張廷玉 et al. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju.

3 Siku quanshu zongmu 四庫全書總目 1965. Edited by Yongrong 永瑢 et al. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju.

4 Wang Dayuan 汪大淵 2000. Daoyi zhilüe jiaoshi 島夷誌略校釋. Commentary and annotations by Su Jiqing 蘇繼廎. 2nd edition. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2000.

5 Wenyuange shumu 文淵閣書目 1985. Compiled by Yang Shiqi 楊士奇 et al. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju.

6 Yuanshi 元史 2005. Compiled by Song Lian 宋濂 et al. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju.

7 Zhang Xie 張燮 2000. Dong xi yang kao 東西洋考. Revised and annotated by Xie Fang 謝方. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju.


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