chap, iv A CHRISTIAN KING OF CEYLON 147
Concerning the idolatrous Kings and Princes of Asia.
necessary to place in the front rank of the idolatrous Kings of Asia,
the King of Arakan, the King of Pegu, the King of Siam, the King of
Cochinchina, the King of Tonquin, and, as for the King of China, we
know that he was an idolater before the irruption of the Tartars into
his territories ; but since that time oiie can say nothing certain
about him, because these Tartars, who are now the masters of the
country, are neither idolaters nor Musalmans, being, rather, both
combined.1 In the principal islands, firstly, the King of
Japan, next the King of Ceylon, and some small Kings of the* islands of
the Moluccas, and, finally, the Rajas, both of the Empire of the Great
Mogul and of the neighbourhoods of the Kingdoms of Bljapur and
Golkonda, are all idolaters. In general, all the common people, whether
in the territories subject to the Great Mogul, or the Kings of Golkonda
and Bljapur, and the islands of Achin, Java, and Macassar, the Kings of
which, as I have elsewhere said, are Musalmans,—all the common people,
I say, of these countries are idolaters.
I have stated that the King of Ceylon2
is an idolater, and it is true. But it is true also that about fifty
years ago a King of Ceylon became a Christian, and received at his
baptism the name of Jean, having been previously called the Emperor
Priapender.3 As soon as he embraced Christianity, the
1 Tavernier knew little about the Chinese.
The ruler of Ceylon at this period was the merciless tyrant,
Raja-singha H, who being unable to resist the Dutch in the low country,
practised ruthless cruelty against his subjects in the hills (Tennent, Ceylon, ii. 49).
Although the period of his reign was somewhat more remote than
Tavernier states, it seems probable that this Emperor Priapender was
Don Juan Dharmapala, who was raised to the throne in 1642 by the
Portuguese, and reigned thirty-nine years. He was baptized by Wilponte
Alphonso Perera, who went to Ceylon from Goa for the purpose. A number
of his chiefs and people also became Christians at the same time. He
was opposed throughout his reign by Raja Singha, who ultimately
superseded him (Forbes. Eleven Years in Ceylon, ii. 315). Ribeiro calls him Paris Pandar, which is like Tavernier's form of the name (Dames'