The present translation of the kakawin Arjunawijaya appeared
earlier as the author's Pd.D. thesis for the Australian National
University in 1971. The poem under study only became better known
to Western scholars in 1849, when R. Friederich described it.
Although many scholars in the field have been familiar with the
poem ever since, no separate study has been devoted to it. It is
now published together with the translation and its explanatory
notes. The punctuation marks which the author introduces in the
body of the text are admittedly still tentative and experimental in
nature. In the introduction to the text, the author discusses its
dating and origins; and includes a comparison with the Old Javanese
Uttar*a*kanda poem. Separate chapters are devoted to a description
of contemporary life and ideas as reflected in this poem. According
to the author, Tantular's poem is partly a reflection of the real
world in which he lived, and is not to be seen merely as a tale, as
Pigeaud has suggested in his Java in the 14th Century: a study in
Cultural History (The Hague, 1960-1963).
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