Inevitably, a ruler lived spider-like at the centre of a huge web of activities, surrounded by an army of clerks, cleaners, attendants, cooks, porters, messengers, carters, valets, maintenance workers, engineers, and so forth.

(so said the historian Ian Mabbett, writing about “Kingship in Angkor” for The Journal of the Siam Society, reported to me by the great Michael Coe in his book Angkor And The Khmer Civilization.)


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