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Home > Main Library > History > Historical periods > The Toungoo Dynasty [1486-1752]

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The Toungoo Dynasty [1486-1752]

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Imperial Burma: Pagan Kingdom, Toungoo Dynasty and Konbaung Dynasty
Description/subject: "Pagan gradually grew to absorb its surrounding states until the 1050s–1060s when Anawrahta founded the Pagan Empire, the first ever unification of the Irrawaddy valley and its periphery. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Pagan Empire and the Khmer Empire were two main powers in mainland Southeast Asia.[50] The Burmese language and culture gradually became dominant in the upper Irrawaddy valley, eclipsing the Pyu, Mon and Pali norms by the late 12th century. Theravada Buddhism slowly began to spread to the village level although Tantric, Mahayana, Brahmanic, and animist practices remained heavily entrenched. Pagan's rulers and wealthy built over 10,000 Buddhist temples in the Pagan capital zone alone. Repeated Mongol invasions (1277–1301) toppled the four-century-old kingdom in 1287."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Wikipedia
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 July 2014


Title: The Toungoo Dynasty [1486-1752] (Burmese)
Language: Burmese
Source/publisher: Wikipedia (Burmese)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 December 2013


Individual Documents

Title: Addendum: The Shan Realm in the Late Ava Period (1449-1503)
Date of publication: September 2005
Description/subject: Note: The following addendum to Jon Fernquest, (2005) “Min-gyi-nyo, the Shan Invasions of Ava (1524-27), and the Beginnings of Expansionary Warfare in Toungoo Burma: 1486-1539,” SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research 3.2 (Autumn 2005): 35-142, was submitted after the journal was off to press (so to speak). We have added it here at the end of the volume. It is hoped that readers of Jon’s article, earlier in this journal, will also take note of this additional and revised material. M.W.C...."Several factors conditioned the relation between the Shan Realm, China, and Burmese Ava before Min-gyi-nyo’s accession to power:...
Author/creator: John Fernquest (Fernquist)
Language: English
Source/publisher: SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research, Vol. 3, No. 2, Autumn 2005
Format/size: pdf (152K)
Alternate URLs: http://web.archive.org/web/20070930165556/web.soas.ac.uk/burma/3_2.htm
Date of entry/update: 03 October 2010


Title: Min-gyi-nyo, the Shan Invasions of Ava (1524-27), and the Beginnings of Expansionary Warfare in Toungoo Burma: 1486-1539
Date of publication: September 2005
Description/subject: Conclusion: "The main purpose of this paper has been to provide a narrative history charting the forces at work behind state expansion in the early Toungoo period. Both the reign of Min-gyi-nyo and the Shan invasions of Ava played important roles in this expansion. From the very beginning of Min-gyi-nyo’s reign, after seizing the throne of Toungoo in 1486, Min-gyi-nyo built an ever widening sphere of influence in Upper Burma. After conquering the Pyinmana area near Toungoo, during the 1490s Min-gyi-nyo attacked the rebellious vassal Yamethin on behalf of his overlord the king of Ava and made exploratory military probes along the frontier of Mon Ramanya to the south. In 1501-03, there was a succession struggle at Ava as well as an invasion and occupation of the northern part of the Mu River valley, an important part of Ava’s food supply. In the wake of these events, the new king of Ava attempted to draw Min-gyi-nyo closer to him through a marriage alliance and a gift of strategically important territory near Kyaukse, another important part of Ava’s food supply. Min-gyi-nyo entered into a state of rebellion for the first time, spurned Ava’s gift and depopulated the territory. Ava sent a military expedition against Toungoo in retaliation, but Min-gyi-nyo intercepted it ahead of time and defeated it. Shortly afterwards, in 1505, Toungoo joined with Prome and attacked towns in the Myingyan area near Pagan. Toungoo was defeated and humbled by a joint military expedition sent by Ava and Hsipaw. In 1505, three princes rebelled and seized the town of Pakan-gyi at the confluence of the Irrawaddy and Chindwin rivers. Instead of making an immediate move to help the rebels, Toungoo and Prome bided their time with expeditions against settlements like Magwe to the south. Their caution was vindicated when the princes were defeated and executed. During his trips from Toungoo to and from these campaigns, Min-gyi-nyo attacked and raided settlements along the way, in some instances establishing marriage alliances. In 1510, the king of Ava built a new capital and palace and Min-gyi-nyo followed his example. After 1510, while Ava was burdened by Shan raids of increasing intensity, Toungoo settled back to a period of peace. Only in 1523 did Min-gyi-nyo venture out of Toungoo again in a military expedition. During the Shan invasions of Ava (1524-27), he gained many loyal vassals in the area south of Ava. Min-gyi-nyo died in 1531. The new Shan state at Ava invaded Prome in 1532 and in 1535 Toungoo under a new king Tabinshweihti started a series of attacks against Pegu, the capital of Mon Ramanya, that led to Toungoo’s conquest and control over the southern Ramanya region and its lucrative maritime trade. Several demographic factors that played a role in state formation together with a model of state formation have been assessed for their relevance to early Toungoo state expansion (1486-1539). Although many might regard the lack of primary sources for the First Toungoo Dynasty as limiting research possibilities, it is hoped that shining the light of disciplines such as historical demography, political anthropology, the anthropology of war, as well as economic theory (Schmid, 2004; Van Tuyll and Brauer, 2004) on the evidence combined with a continued search for new primary sources will allow new advances to be made in this important but understudied period of Burmese history. Perhaps archaeological evidence will also one day supplement the evidence that is now almost entirely textual."
Author/creator: Jon Fernquest
Language: English
Source/publisher: SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research, Vol. 3, No. 2, Autumn 2005,
Format/size: pdf (800K)
Alternate URLs: http://web.archive.org/web/20070930165556/web.soas.ac.uk/burma/3_2.htm
Date of entry/update: 03 October 2010


Title: THE FLIGHT OF LAO WAR CAPTIVES FROM BURMA BACK TO LAOS IN 1596: A COMPARISON OF HISTORICAL SOURCES
Date of publication: 20 March 2005
Description/subject: "In 1596, one thousand Lao war captives fled from Pegu, the capital of the kingdom of Burma, back to their native kingdom of Lan Sang. This incident is insignificant when compared to more cataclysmic changes like the founding or fall of dynasties, but it has attracted the attention of Western, Thai, and Burmese historians since the 17th century. The incident is noteworthy and exceptional in several ways. First, the flight was to a remote destination: Laos. Second, the incident involved two traditional enemies: Burmese and ethnic Tai's. "Tai" will be used to emphasize that this is an autonomous history of pre-modern states ranging from Ayutthya in the South, through Lan Sang, Lan Na, Kengtung, and Sipsong Panna in the North, to the Shan states of Burma in the far north. Third, the entries covering the incident in the Ayutthya, Chiang Mai, and Lan Sang chronicles are short, ambiguous, and beg to be explained. All of this gives the incident great dramatic potential and two historians of note have made use of these exceptional characteristics to further their literary and ideological goals: de Marini, a Jesuit priest, in a book published in 1663, and Prince Damrong, a Thai historian, in a book published in 1917. Sections 2 and 5 will analyze the works of these historians..."
Author/creator: Jon Fernquest
Language: English
Source/publisher: SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research, Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring 2005
Format/size: pdf (115K)
Alternate URLs: http://web.archive.org/web/20070102014547/web.soas.ac.uk/burma/3_1.htm
Date of entry/update: 03 October 2010


Title: Ming China and Southeast Asia in the 15th Century: A Reappraisal
Date of publication: July 2004
Description/subject: Abstract / Description: "The 15th century was a period of intense interaction between Ming China and Southeast Asia. The period saw the Ming invade Ðại Việt, expand the scope of the Chinese polity by exploiting and then incorporating Tai polities of upland Southeast Asia, and launch a succession of hugely influential maritime armadas which travelled through Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. It is argued that these three aspects of Ming policy can be seen as differing types of Ming colonialism greatly affecting Southeast Asia during the 15th century and beyond. A chronological study of the policies relating to Southeast Asia of the successive Ming rulers is followed by a thematic overview of how the Ming policies actually affected Southeast Asia in the 15th century. This includes reference to effects in the political, economic and cultural topography of Southeast Asia The beginnings of a non-state-sponsored maritime trade between China and Southeast Asia is also investigated."...Keywords: Ming, Southeast Asia, 15th century, Zheng He, Dai Viet, Tai, Malacca.....20 references to Burma
Author/creator: Geoffrey Wade
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Research Institute National University of Singapore Working Paper 28
Format/size: pdf (2.42MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ari.nus.edu.sg/docs/wps/wps04_028.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 March 2010


Title: Accounts of King BayintNaung's life and Hanthawaday Hsinbyu-myashin Ayedawbon, a Record of his Campaings
Date of publication: 2000
Description/subject: About the king Bayintnaung, the king who united Myanmar and established second Myanmar kingdom, the Toungoo Dynasty and his campaigns...
Author/creator: U Thaw Khaung
Language: English
Source/publisher: Chulalongkorn University (Faculty of Arts, Department of Comparative Literature)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 December 2004


Title: Administration under King Thalun (1629-48)
Date of publication: December 1968
Description/subject: King Thalun (AD 1629-48) was a successful ruler of Toungoo Dynasty (AD 1486-1752). He was seriously concerned with the welfare of his people. Buddhism also prospered during his reign and he was noted for his peaceful governance and the improved living conditions throughout his realm.....Subject Terms: 1. Myanmar-politics and government - King Thalun, 1629-48... 2. Myanmar-history
Author/creator: Than Tun, Dr.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Journal of Burma Research Society", Vol. 51, Part 2, pp173-188, 1968 via University of Washington
Format/size: pdf (730K-reduced version; 1MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.lib.washington.edu/myanmar/pdfs/TT0003J.pdf
Date of entry/update: 28 November 2014


Title: Administration under King Thalun
Date of publication: June 1966
Description/subject: King Thalun (AD 1629 - 48) was a successful ruler of Toungoo Dynasty (AD 1486- 1752). He was seriously concerned with the welfare of his people. Buddhism also prospered during his reign and he was noted for his peaceful governance and the improved living conditions throughout his realm…..Subject Terms: 1. Myanmar- politics and government - King Thalun , 1629 – 48…2. Myanmar - history
Author/creator: Than Tun, Dr.
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ (Metadata: English and Burmese)
Source/publisher: "Journal of Burma Research Society", Vol. 49, Part 1, pp51-69, 1966 via University of Washington
Format/size: pdf (933K-reduced version; 1.4MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.lib.washington.edu/myanmar/pdfs/TT0003J.pdf
Date of entry/update: 28 November 2014


Title: Voyage to Pegu, and Observations There, Circa 1583
Date of publication: 1626
Description/subject: “Gaspero Balbi his Voyage to Pegu, and observations there, gathered out of his owne Italian Relation,” in Samuel Purchas (ed.), Hakluytus Posthumus or Purchas His Pilgrimes Contayning a History of the World in Sea Voyages and Lande Travells by Englishmen and Others", volume 10, (1626). "Gaspero Balbi, an Italian travelling to Southeast Asia in the sixteenth century, has left for us a valuable account of Burma during the reign of Bayinnaung..."
Author/creator: Gaspero Balbi
Language: English
Source/publisher: “Gaspero Balbi his Voyage to Pegu..." via SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research, Vol. 1, No. 2, Autumn 2003,
Format/size: pdf (58K)
Alternate URLs: http://web.archive.org/web/20070609092430/web.soas.ac.uk/burma/vol__i,_no__2.htm
Date of entry/update: 03 October 2010