World and Its Peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia - Vol. 5

By Paul Bernabeo | Go to book overview

Later Burmese Kingdoms

After the downfall of the Pagan kingdom at the end of the thirteenth century, central Burma was politically fragmented for more than a century. The situation endured even after the emergence of a new seat of power in Ava in central Burma in 1364.

Throughout the first half of the fourteenth century, local leaders in central Burma fought for independence and supremacy among themselves. At the same time, they fought against intervention from the Shan people in the east, from rulers in Lower (southern) Burma, and from neighboring Arakan (now Rakhine State) along the Bay of Bengal.


LOWER BURMA

In Lower Burma, the thirteenth-century King Wareru (dates unknown) was the first ruler of the independent city-state of Martaban. His grandson Razadarit (1385–1423) subdued the surrounding principalities and made his capital in the southern city of Pegu on the banks of the Pegu River. In 1453, the throne passed to Razadarit's daughter Shin Saw Bu (reigned 1453–1472),

The ruins of a monastery are among the more substantial remains
of the city of Ava, which was intermittently the seat of a Burmese
kingdom from the mid-fourteenth century
.

who became famous for her huge donation to the Shwedagon Pagoda at Rangoon (present-day Yangon), a stupa (dome) that is covered with gold and decorated with precious stones. The work done in her reign virtually gave the monument its present shape. Shin Saw Bu designated a former monk to succeed her, and he became king in 1472 under the name Dhammazedi (reigned 1472–1492). King Dhammazedi, who was a Mon (the people of the region of Pegu), initiated the reform of the sangha (monkhood) at Pegu with the help of monks from Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka). The reform was mentioned in the Kalyani inscription, an important fifteenth-century document that recorded the religious history of Lower Burma from the time of the Buddha.


ARAKAN

Protected by an almost impenetrable mountain barrier, the coastal region of Arakan was practically inaccessible from central Burma, and the region remained almost unaffected by the events there, except for an attack by the king of Ava in 1404. As a result

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World and Its Peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia - Vol. 5
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Country Locator for Volume 5 Myanmar and Thailand i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Geography and Climate 580
  • The Land of Myanmar and Thailand 582
  • Geology of Myanmar and Thailand 590
  • Climate of Myanmar and Thailand 594
  • Flora and Fauna of Thailand and Myanmar 598
  • History and Movement of Peoples 602
  • Sukhothai and Ayutthaya 604
  • Later Burmese Kingdoms 608
  • British Intervention in Burma 610
  • Peoples of Myanmar and Thailand 612
  • Myanmar (Burma) 614
  • Government 618
  • Modern History 620
  • War and Independence 623
  • Independent Burma 626
  • Modern Myanmar 628
  • Cultural Expression 630
  • Art and Architecture 632
  • Music and Performing Arts 636
  • Festivals and Ceremonies 638
  • Food and Drink 640
  • Daily Life 642
  • Family and Society 644
  • Welfare 646
  • Yangon (Rangoon) 648
  • Naypyidaw 650
  • Mandalay 651
  • Moulmein 652
  • Pegu 653
  • Economy 654
  • Thailand 662
  • Government 666
  • Modern History 668
  • Siam in Transition 670
  • The Age of Reform 672
  • War and Military Rule 674
  • Modern Thailand 676
  • Cultural Expression 678
  • Art and Architecture 680
  • Decorative Arts 683
  • Music and Performing Arts 684
  • Festivals and Ceremonies 687
  • Food and Drink 688
  • Daily Life 690
  • Family and Society 693
  • Health, Welfare, and Housing 695
  • Education 697
  • Bangkok 698
  • Chiang Mai 703
  • Nakhon Ratchasima 704
  • Udon Thani 705
  • Economy 706
  • Further Research 716
  • Index 718
  • World and Its Peoples 722
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