Seven Hundred Years: A History of Singapore, co-written by four of Singapore’s foremost historians, Kwa Chong Guan, Derek Heng, Peter Borschberg and Tan Tai Yong, widens the Singapore history by some five centuries — pre-dating the arrival of Stamford Raffles — and offers a vital new perspective on the story of Singapore. It presents a possible approach to rethinking the significance of Raffles’ establishment of a British station in Singapore.
This bi-centennial commemoration title is written in a compelling and accessible manner, and richly illustrated with more than 200 artefacts, photographs, maps, art works and ephemera. It builds upon the foundations of an earlier book, Singapore: A 700-Year History written by the same authors sans Peter Borschberg in 2009. There is even a colour fold-out showing a reconstruction of 14th-century Singapore.
This volume narrates Singapore history in seven chapters, covering the period between the late 13th century to the 21st century, situating developments within the context of local, regional and global events. The history began with Sriwijaya in Palembang, Southeast Sumatra, followed by Temasek (14th century), Melaka (15th century), Johor (16th to 18th century), and finally Singapore (since the 19th century). It ends with Singapore redefining itself as a nation state and a centre of commerce anchored in the region and connected to the maritime Asian and international economy.
Drawing from the latest archaeological discoveries and an extensive range of archival, textual and cartographical records, the authors reconstructed the story of Singapore, one that that dispels the long-held belief that Singapore was historically unsubstantial prior to 1819.