The Sri Lankan monastic tradition is outstanding in having kept good, and for the most part accurate, records of its history, particularly in regard to two types of lineage: that of its kings and that of its monastic elders, and recording their good works for posterity.
The great Bengali scholar Bimala Churn Law was renowned for his studies of ancient Indian history, and particularly for his Buddhist studies. He also made a number of very useful translations of texts, including three from the Vaṁsa literature, and so was very familiar with this area of study.
In the present work he has made a judicious appraisal of the various Chronicles that were written in Sri Lanka (or Ceylon, as it was known in his day), from different angles, assessing their chronology, literary and historical character.
The transcription is by my good helper Donny Hacker of B. C. Law’s book as it was published in 1947. The final proofing and corrections were made by myself. I have made some small changes, like breaking up some of the longer paragraphs, and making headings of the works described and appraised, which was absent in the original, but otherwise the work is basically as published.