Local Literary Sources are crucial when studying the history of Sri Lanka. The main local literary sources are chronicles (Dynastic Histories) written in Sinhala or Pali. The oldest chronicle written in Pali is the "Dipavamsa". It was written in fifth century A.C.
'Dipavamsa' provides historical information about the island from the pre-historic era up to the time of king Mahasen. The main local literary source available at present to study the ancient history of Sri Lanka is the "Mahavamsa". The first part of 'Mahavamsa' was written in the fifth or sixth century A.C. The writing of this historical chronicle continues. Even today it is written in Pali as the ancient writers had done. The first part of 'Mahavamsa' provides information till end of the period of king Mahasen.
"Samanthipasadika" is another historical source that provides valuable information. The other important local literary sources are Thupavamsa, Bodhivamsa, Dahatuwamsa, Dhatawamsa. All of them were written in Pali.
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In addition to these main literature sources number of other sources are also available 'Sandesha Kavya (Epistles), Kavyasekaraya, Amavatura' etc.
In order to establish the authenticity of the contents of these various literary sources, It is essential to leave out the exaggerations, false and unreliable information contain there in.
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