Angor: A state of mainland Southeast Asia, usually given the dates 802 to 1432. Founded in the area north of Lake Tonic Sap in Cambodia, Angkor eventually spread its rule over much of modem Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. Angkor's power was based on its ability to maintain and regulate reservoirs, which allowed it to grow three crops per year and made possible a large population. Although there is no consensus as to why Angkor fell, wars with rival states certainly exacerbated Angkor's weakness, contributing to its fall.
Annam: "Pacified south." A demeaning Chinese term for Vietnam.
Brahmin: The highest Hindu caste. Brahmins often become priests. Although a caste system was not adopted in Southeast Asia, priests in Southeast Asia were called Brahmins. Brahmin is also spelled Brahman.
Chakri Dynasty: The royal house of Thailand. The first Chakri king, Rama I, ascended the throne in 1782. Bhumibol Adulyadej, enthroned as Rama IX, is the present king of Thailand (2014).
Champa: A state which existed along the coast of Vietnam from the sixth to the fifteenth century. The people of Champa are called Chams.
Khmer: Term for the language and people of Cambodia.
Malacca: Also spelled Melaka, Mulucca. A port city and entrepot on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia, Malacca is also the name for the strait dividing Sumatra and peninsular Malaysia.
Malay: A term of ethnicity, used for one of the peoples of Southeast Asia. Malay also refers to the language of Brunei, Malaysia andIndonesia. In the Malaysian constitution, a Malay is defined as one who follows Malay customs, speaks Malay, and professes Islam.
Nanyang: A Chinese term for Southeast Asia, meaning "the southern region."
Siam: Old term for Thailand.
Southeast Asia: A term used to designate the area encompassing modern-day Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Srivijaya: (sree vee jaw yah) A maritime trading empire that existed on peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra from the seventh through fourteenth centuries. Srivijaya, a tributary state of China, acted as a conduit for trade between China on the east and India and Persia on the west. Srivijaya ruled both sides of the Malacca Strait, and was able to control traffic within the strait. In 1025, forces from India attacked Malacca, smashing its authority in the strait; Srivijaya never fully recovered from this attack.
Wat: (watt) Southeast Asian term for Buddhist temple.