When George Coedes writes a book on Southeast Asia, it is an event in the history of that region; for, in a lifetime spent in Indochina, he has come to be considered as one of the all-time authorities on that part of the world. His connection with l'Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient has covered more than 40 years, and in his capacity as epigraphist it has been his task to decipher and translate the inscriptions of Champa and Cambodia — Sanskrit, Cham, Khmer, and Pali — and to fix the place of each in history; which inscriptions he has published, generally in the Bulletin of that institution under the title of “Etudes Cambodgiennes,” but also in other journals and in collections. During the twelve years (1918–30) when he was loaned to Siam as Secretary of the National Institute, in charge of the National Library and Museum, he collected, translated, and published the inscriptions of Siam— in Siamese, Tai, Mon, Khmer, Sanskrit, and Pali — and translated and edited important chronicles and other historical documents. He organized and classified the National Museum and founded there the Dvāravatī and Srivijaya Schools of Art. Nor has all his attention been given to French Indochina and Siam. One of his earliest tasks was to collect and publish the references to the Far East in the texts of Greek and Latin authors. While at Bangkok, he translated the inscriptions in Old Malay found within the former kingdom of Srivijaya and wrote several articles on that kingdom.

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