Year published :October 2016

Pages :194

Size :15 x 23 cm.

Black & White illustrations :150

Maps :43 maps

Tables :1 figure

ISBN: 9786162151248

History of Timor-Leste

by Frédéric Durand

The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, a former Portuguese colony occupied by Indonesia from 1975 to 1999, became in 2002 the first new sovereign state of the twenty-first century. Its modern nationhood belies its ancient history. Archaeological data found on the island can be traced back at least 42,000 years, beyond most ancient European artifacts. The book provides a readable overview of the history of the country from the first traces of human habitation through Timor-Leste’s hard-won independence in May 2002. 

Structured chronologically, the account begins with the earliest legends and moves quickly and concisely through the defining events that created and shaped the modern nation of Timor-Leste. The text is richly illustrated with over two hundred maps, engravings, and photographs. A detailed historical time line follows the text. 


  • Presents the political, economic, and social evolution of the island of Timor
  • Covers the important periods and events in East Timorese history from ancient times up to the independence in 2002
  • Examines one of the major human rights struggles of the twentieth century
  • Provides an excellent introduction to the next country to join ASEAN 

About the Author 

Frédéric B. Durand is a professor at the University of Toulouse II–Jean Jaurès and a member of the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Solidarities, Societies and Territories (LISST-UMR 5193). He has published more than twenty books on the region, including East Timor, a Country at the Crossroads of Asia and the Pacific: A Geo-Historical Atlas (2006), and in French, a history of Christianity in East and West Timor (2004) and a study of the economic and political perspectives of the country (2008). 

What Others Are Saying 

“This is a welcome survey of the whole course of Timorese history since the Stone Age, written in accessible and engaging language. Its value is increased by the generous inclusion of maps and illustrations, some of them rarely seen. The book is well balanced chronologically and amply demonstrates the varied and turbulent history of East Timor before 1975, giving us perspective on the current situation of the nation-state.”—Hans Hägerdal, Associate Professor in History, Linnaeus University 

“On behalf of the Timorese people, I wish to express my great appreciation and admiration to Professor Durand for this important contribution to our historical record.”—Mgr. Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, Nobel Peace Prize laureate


East Timor Portuguese colony Indonesia Asia-Pacific history genocide struggle for independence