THE early history of Java appears to be wrapped in mystery. From reading most of the books written in English on the subject one would infer that the Island was entirely unknown to the rest of the world until it was visited by the Chinese pilgrim Fa Hien in the year 412 A.D. ; and even after that there are at intervals gaps of several cen- turies which it seems at present impossible to fill by any ordinary means. Ruins are plentiful, but scarcely any of them are more than 1200 years old, and very few records or inscriptions have been preserved. Certain traditions have been handed down among the princely Javanese families, but even those become distinctly apocryphal as we follow them back to the beginning of the Christian era, and beyond that, they are mere incredible legends. Perhaps that need not surprise us, for after all we can trace the history of England no further!
- CW Leadbeater