A History of Pahang


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Majapahit used the name Pahang to designate the Malay Peninsula -- an indication of the importance of this ancient State. In the 16th century, the southern boundaries of the country extended to Sedili Besar, and on the west it touched Rembau and Selangor...

There were many variations of the name Pahang. The Chinese chronicler Chau Ju-Kua knew it as Pong-Fong. According to the continuation of Ma Tuan Lin's Cyclopedia, Pahang was called Siem-lao thasi. By Arabs and Europeans, the country was styled Pam, Pan, Paam, Paon, Phaan, Phang, Paham, Pahan, Pahuan, Phaung or Pahangh. Camoens, the "Lusitanian Vigil", wrote in the 16th century:

"See Pam, Patane, and in length obscure,

Siam that ruleth all with royal sway."

Pahang is the Khmer word for "tin": the tin mines at Sungai Lembing were worked in prehistoric times; it is possible that the name of the country was derived therefrom. Berthelot identifies the River Pahang with Ptolemy's Attabas. The Proto-Malay Jakun of the Bebar say that their forefathers called the country Mahang. According to Malay legend, across the river at Kampong Kembahang where the present stream of the Pahang parts company with the Pahang Tua, in ancient times stretched a huge mahang tree from which the river and the country derived their name. 

The old court-name for Pahang was Inderapura. The capital of the country has always been known as "The Town", the Pre-Malaccans calling it by the Sanskrit name Pura, the Malays, Pekan, the Portugese, a Cidade. The people of Endau, Rompin, and Bebar describe the capital Pekan Pahang, "the Town of Pahang". Pura may have covered a much larger area than the town which we know as Pekan; in addition to the modern Pekan, it appears to have comprised the land on the banks of the Pahang and Pahang Tua rivers as far as Tanjong Langgar. 


Format: Medium PB
Year published: 2020
Pages: 186
Sub-genre: History
Imprint: Silverfish Books
Product weight: 305g

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