Literary, Religious and Cultural Legacies
The early Islamised states of Indonesia produced not only new dynasties and empires, but also a rich cultural heritage. Some of this heritage was truly new, insofar as it was inspired by Islam, but much of it had roots in pre-Islamic culture as well. It is appropriate to regard this heritage as classical, in the sense that it provided authoritative cultural standards and frames of reference for the pre-twentieth-century civilisations of Indonesia. Because much of the documentary evidence for these classical cultures derives from the eighteenth century or later, one cannot always be certain that one’s picture of pre-eighteenth-century cultural activities is either complete or precisely accurate. Nonetheless, a general description of these classical cultures is possible.
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