The New International Encyclopædia/Dīpavansa

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DĪPAVANSA, dē'pȧ-vän'sȧ (Pāli, dipa, island + vaṁsa, lineage). The title given to the oldest chronicle history of the island of Ceylon. It is written in the Pāli language and dates from the fourth century of our era. An account is given in this old record of Buddha and the history of Buddhism in Ceylon down to the year A.D. 302. Like the other Ceylonese chronicle, the Mahāvansa (q.v.), to which it is akin, the Dīpavansa is based on an older source. A record is preserved in the scholiast on the Mahāvansa that King Dhātusena (A.D. 459-477) caused the Dīpavansa to be publicly read at an annual festival held in honor of Mahinda, the apostle who introduced Buddhism into Ceylon. The text of the Dīpavansa has been edited and translated by Oldenberg, The Dīpavaṁsa: An Ancient Buddhist Historical Record (London, 1870); Geiger, Dīpavaṁsa und Mahāvaṁsa (Erlangen, 1901).