« 이전계속 »
foundation merely relates that it was then but a village, though subsequently a city, and that it was founded on the banks of the river Kadamba, the present Mulwatte Oya. The village thus early formed appears to have remained in its original obscurity for upwards of one hundred years. It was then greatly enlarged and improved by the usurper Pandukabhayo, who, in 437 B. C. made it the capital of the island. His improvements would appear to have been very extensive, inasmuch as the city was divided under him into four parts, over each of which an officer was appointed as conservator. A body of five hundred chandalas,” we are told, was appointed to be the scavengers of the city, two hundred to be nightmen; one hundred and fifty to be carriers of corpses; and the same number were engaged at the cemetery. For these chandalas a distinct village was appropriated to the north-west of the city. We have here sufficient evidence that at this early period the city was already rapidly advancing to that degree of greatness which it subsequently attained. We next hear of the advancing greatness and extent of Anuradhapura in the reign of Tisso the first (surnamed Devanampiatisso), on the occasion of the transportation of the sacred Bo-tree of Gotamo from the banks of the Ganges to Ceylon; (B. C. 307,) where it was deposited in the Maha Wiharo, and where, if tradition and the priests are to be believed, it still exists. In fourteen days, the Mahawanso informs us, the pious Tisso had the branch of the sacred tree conveyed from the port at which it landed to the capital. “At the hour when shadows are most extended,” proceeds the Singhalese historian, “the monarch entered the superbly decorated capital by the northern gate, in the act of making offerings; and passing in procession out of the southern gate, and entering the Mahameyo garden, hallowed by the presence of four Buddhas, he, with sixteen princes raised up the Bo branch upon the spot where the former Bo-trees had been planted.” From this account it would appear that the Maha Wiharo was at that time without the city, although certainly not so, afterwards. From this period till the reign of Dutuyaimono, and in fact till about the period of the Christian era, it would appear that the city gradually advanced in size and importance, till it became the extensive and remarkable place which its ruins at the present day attest it to have been.
* Low caste people.
That the three centuries preceding and the three succeeding the Christian era, were the years during which Anuradhapura flourished most, is proved by the fact that all the great buildings whose remains at the present day astonish us by their massiveness or size were erected within that period. The remains of the walls of the ancient town, which were erected about sixty years after our era, prove by their great extent the space which the city then covered. They were sixteen miles square, and were built due north and south, east and west, thus enclosing a space of two hundred and fifty-six square miles. Within this vast space, however, we must remember that there were, besides the streets and buildings, extensive gardens, and water-courses, which must have occupied a very considerable extent. It would be futile to endeavor to discover the amount of the population of Anuradhapura at its most flourishing period, no data being afforded in the native histories by which it could be judged. That it must have been very considerable is evident, as well from the accounts given us of its importance, as from the ruins which even now exist.
The first blow to its prosperity appears to have been given by a wavering monarch named Mahasen, who reigned in the third century, and who, at first becoming attached to a small and heterodox Buddhistic sect, employed his power in the destruction of the great buildings occupied by the more numerous and more orthodox community. At a later period his opinions having changed, he endeavored to restore what his fanaticism had formerly defaced. In the fifth century a still greater check to its prosperity was inflicted by a protracted struggle between several Malabar invaders and the royal race, in the course of which the capital fell, sometimes into the hand of one party, sometimes into that of the other, and as the struggle lasted for a period of twenty-four years, we will not find it difficult to picture to ourselves the injury which the city must have sustained in the contest. Towards the close of the same century it was deserted by a usurper for the rock Seegiri, mentioned in my former paper, and from this period till its final desertion by the royal line, A. D. 769, it appears to have been gradually decreasing nearly as fast as its rival Pollonaruwa was advancing in extent, in population and in wealth. In the eleventh century one more attempt was made by a Singhalese monarch to restore the former capital, but without success, and after this period, the notices of it by the native historians are few and far between, till we reach the period of the arrival of the Portuguese under Almeida in 1505. Indeed for so long a period as two hundred and fifty years previous to that event, I can find not even a passing allusion to it in the chronicles of the island, a proof, I imagine, either of its utter desertion or of its extreme insignificance about that time. Towards the latter end of the seventeenth century it would appear, from Knox's relation, that when he passed through it he found it completely deserted, and nothing left but the ruins of its once magnificent buildings to prove its former greatness. The reception of the branch of the sacred Bo-tree by Tisso, three hundred years before our era, and its plantation at Anuradhapura, has already been noticed. To attend to this, the chief object of Buddhistic worship there, a college of priests was established, for whom a suitable building, called the Maha Wiharo, was raised; of this there are now but few remains, the name having been transferred to the Bo-tree itself and to the pile of building or platform by which it is supported and encompassed. This platform is a square erection about twelve feet high, from the summit of which the various branches of the Bo-tree appear issuing, and has nothing about it worthy of particular notice save the sculptures on the steps leading to a rude and recent building, through which the visitor passes in going to the sacred tree. I know not how better to describe the platform by which the Bo-tree is surrounded than by likening it to a gigantic square flower-pot, from the earth in the centre of which the tree springs. The sculptures to which I have referred are exceedingly interesting as a monument of the state of the arts in the earliest ages of Ceylonese greatness. They were evidently a part of some other building long ago destroyed, and replaced by the rude wooden structure to which allusion has been made. On one of the stones, a large, flat step, a number of concentric semicircular arches have been deeply cut in the spaces, between which are admirably represented in deep and bold cutting, the horse, the buffalo, the elephant, the lion, together with birds and flowers. I was surprised at the excellence of these sculptures, having seen nothing before of Singhalese workmanship, at all equal to them. Their spirit, workmanship, design and execution prove incontestibly that those who executed them must have been far indeed from barbarism. They are as superior to the native sculptures which I had seen elsewhere as the massive ruins of Anuradhapura itself are superior to the paltry remains of Cotta or of Kurneyalle. The earliest building whose remains still attract the attention of the visitor, is the Thuparamo, or Thupharamaya dagobah, erected by the pious Tisso formerly mentioned, three hundred and seven years before our era. The spot on which it was erected was said to have been hallowed by the presence of Gotamo himself, and the purpose of its construction was to enshrine the right collar-bone of that prophet. Considering the great length of time during which it has stood, (upwards of two thousand years) it is in excellent preservation, and the piety of the present high-priest has lately re-erected the spire which had fallen, without taking from the appearance, or adding anything foreign to the original design of the structure. It is situated a short distance to the north of the road by which Anuradhapura is usually reached, that from Dambool to Aripo. The approach to it is along the ancient north and south street of the city, a broad and well-defined road, now cleared of jungle. On each side of this street large trees and low brushwood extend over the greater part of the adjoining lands, amidst which hundreds of square granite pillars lift their heads in lonely desolation, the silent witnesses of the present desertion, as they once were also of the busy multitudes who thronged these streets. Masses of stone cut into the forms of bullocks and lions are also seen lying numerously about, together with the fragments of sculptured columns, and the blocks of irregular and regular stone, usually seen on the site of deserted habitations. But one object cannot fail to strike the most inattentive in traversing the great and now grass-grown street by which he is led to the Thupharamaya, that is, the towering mass of the Ruanwelle dagobah, rising on his left hand like a pyramidal hill overgrown with trees and bushes. A little further on he crosses what now remains of the east and west street, running at right angles to that on which he stands, and of equal dimensions, both being quite as broad as the widest streets of London or Paris at the present day. Near a bend in the road which leads the visitor in a north-westerly direction, stands one of the most extraordinary monuments of royal Singhalese refinement. It consists of an enormous trough, composed of a single block of granite, about ten feet long at the top, five broad, and in depth four feet—the excavation measures nine feet by four, being also two and a half feet deep. The tradition is that it was ordered by Dutuyaimono to hold his elephant's food when feeding. I should imagine that six elephants could have fed from it at once without incommoding each other. The Thupharamaya is certainly the most elegant structure at Anuradhapura, and exceeds in beauty all the others. The rough sketch of it which I annex may serve to give some idea of its present appearance. A very elegant and well-executed view of its aspect before the restoration lately effected by the high-priest may be seen in Major Forbes' account of Ceylon. The dagobah itself consists of the usual semicircular mass of masonry standing on a square platform of flagged brickwork, and surmounted by a tapering spire. The entire height of the building above the plain on which it is situated, and including, of course, the platform on which it stands, I estimated at fifty feet. The columns surrounding it are exceedingly graceful—long, slender and well proportioned as they are, they may give us a very favorable idea of the taste of the artists by whom they were designed. They consist of two distinct blocks of granite, one forming a square base and octagonal shaft, both together being twenty-two feet long—the second forming the capital richly ornamented with small human figures standing round the lower part of the projecting ornament, which may be seen at the summit, and adding about two feet to the height of the pillars. Originally there were one hundred and eight of these pillars divided into four rows, standing round the dagobah and issuing from the platform on which it stands —many of them are now fallen down, some have been removed and others lie in the positions in which they fell. Six hundred years after the erection of the Thupharamaya a temple was built beside it to contain the celebrated Dalada, or tooth-relic, then first imported into Ceylon. The remains of this temple are still
visible, without having any thing about them greatly to distinguish
them. On looking at the Thupharamaya, the question is naturally suggested to us what was the object of those pillars, and for what purpose were they intended ? To this question I could never get a satisfactory answer. My own impression, however, is, that if not intended as ornaments, they were designed to support a roof which should stretch from the summit of the spire to the outer line, so as to protect the dagobah from the influence of the weather. It is, however, equally true that such a roof