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Mon kingdom [9th - 11th, 13th - 16, 18th]

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Prehistory: Prehistory of Burma, Pyu city-states and Mon city-states
Language: English
Source/publisher: Wikipedia
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 July 2014

Individual Documents

Title: Historical Perspective on Mon Settlements in Myanmar
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: Abstract: "The Mon who belong to the Mon-­Khmer stock of Austro-­‐Asiatic sub-­family were the old inhabitants of both Myanmar and Thailand. In Myanmar, they migrated from the north along the rivers of Mekong, Thanlwin and Ayeyarwaddy. When the M on came to Myanmar, they were known as Raman which name was later simplified as Raman and shortened to Mon. The usage of ‘Ramañña’ is also found in Bago Kalyani inscription of 1476 AD. Thus the name ‘Ramaññ’ did not emerge only in 15th century AD but existed from the early centuries. It was also found that the all-­inclusive term ‘Rama ññadesa’ has its roots in the three Mon regions of Pathein, Muttama and Hanthawaddy. Since the terms Ramaññadesa and Suvaññabhumi were alternately used in the old Indian literature and oldest chronicles of Srilanka, Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa, composed in 4th and 6th century. Traditionally, Suvaññabhumi (Thaton) was the centre from which the Buddhism spread up to the whole country. Different concepts of the old city site of the Mon settlements were reviewed and the finding of the artifacts and the tradition revealed that the coastal area of Lower Myanmar happened to be of the settlements of Mon inhabitant.".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
Author/creator: Khin May Aung
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (145K)
Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
Date of entry/update: 07 September 2015

Date of publication: 2010
Description/subject: "During the last 100 years artistic relationships between the Pyu and Mon of Burma and the Dvāravatī Mon of Thailand have been frequently hinted at yet until recently these ideas had not been explored further. In light of contemporary re-search, and in particular, relatively stable access to Burma, there is renewed interest in the cultures which inhabited the region extending from Upper Burma through Lower Burma and into central and south-west Thailand during the first millennium CE. Conventionally viewed as distinct cultural groups, on reappraising archaeological and historical re-search associated with the Pyu, Mon and Dvāravatī it is now suggested that these communities were more closely linked than traditionally thought."
Author/creator: Charlotte Galloway
Language: English
Source/publisher: College of Arts and Social Sciences, The Australian National University
Format/size: pdf (535K-reduced version; 1.62MB-original)
Alternate URLs: https://www.google.com/url?q=http://journals.lib.washington.edu/index.php/BIPPA/article/download/10...
Date of entry/update: 24 October 2014

Title: The Ecology of Burman-Mon Warfare and the Premodern Agrarian State (1383-1425)1
Date of publication: December 2008
Description/subject: "...The present study is broken into five sections as follows. First, it looks at conflicts over the middle Irrawaddy (1389-1411) from various perspectives with different sets of historical data, including changes in chronicle lists of settlements; the observations of a British colonial-era gazetteer, the narrative of Kalà’s Great Chronicle and the Rajadirat epic. Previous papers (Fernquest 2006a, 2006b) have discussed in detail the larger context of these conflicts in the Ava-Pegu War (1383-1426). Second, it then describes the historical geography of Lower Burma and the middle Irrawaddy River basin and draws out the implications for military power. Historically, the north-to-south orientation of the Irrawaddy River has broken the east-to-west orientation of settlements in Lower Burma. This fragmented geography together with the limited farming potential and difficult terrain of the Irrawaddy Delta, contributed to an underlying localism in Lower Burma’s geography. Viewed in this context, the middle Irrawaddy River region is a pivotal thoroughfare providing access to the delta region, Lower Burma, and food supply located along the river. Battles over this strategically important stretch of river are a crucial turning point in the Ava- Pegu War with food supply and adjustments in military logistics playing a crucial role in the course of the conflicts. Apparently, because of the difficult nature of Lower Burma’s geography, the Burmans never established a military outpost any further south than Tharrawaddy on the Irrawaddy River, before the delta even begins. Third, ecological patterns conditioned the long-term conduct of warfare. The regular yearly cycle of changing climate and agriculture conditioned the way wars were fought if manpower was to be optimally conserved. The subsistence crisis was used as an extension or weapon of war. Long-term climate patterns may have increased the potential for these subsistence crises. Fourth, from the underlying constraints of environment and ecology in warfare the paper passes to the dynamics of warfare. A cycle of expansionary warfare explains how military success fueled further military success through the accumulation of geopolitical resources such as land, food supply, and manpower. A marchland factor also was operative in which enemies on fewer fronts aided the expansionary warfare of a state. Eventually, imperial overstretch and logistical overload resulted in a reverse process of state contraction in which the resources accumulated during expansionary warfare were quickly lost. Scorched earth tactics in which local food supplies were destroyed were part of the offensive strategy of expansionary warfare, whereas flight to the hinterland was part of the defensive response. Finally, in the conclusion the paper re-examines the agrarian nature of the Burmese state suggesting that general cross-cultural models of premodern agrarian states lead to richer explanations than the regionspecific mandala or “galactic polity” models traditionally employed in Southeast Asian history. Cross-cultural models allow for more realistic multi-causal explanations of historical events. They also allow for the posing and testing of a wide variety of different hypotheses and the possibility that disparate, geographically unrelated cultures, have shared historical experiences and processes. A Bayesian approach that brings in and VOLUME 6 (2008) 7 5 integrates knowledge of other premodern agrarian states in the form of a priori probabilities is suggested as one approach to crafting such a multi-threaded history of what-might-have-happened. Taken together, the six sections of this paper demonstrate how various seemingly fictional elements typically found in Southeast Asian historical chronicles, fictional elements often conceived of as a historical deficit, rather provide rich details that should be conceived instead as a historical surfeit worthy of study in and of itself..."
Author/creator: Jon Fernquest
Language: English
Source/publisher: SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research 6, 2008
Format/size: pdf (6.2MB, 1.4MB))
Date of entry/update: 27 January 2009

Date of publication: March 2006
Description/subject: "The reign of the Mon king Rajadhirat (r. 1383-1421) was an exceptional period in Burma’s history. Rarely has one person exerted so much influence over the events of an era. Lower and Upper Burma were locked in endemic warfare for almost forty years during his reign. Unlike his father and predecessor, Rajadhirat was forced to wage war to obtain power. Once in power, he had to continue fighting to maintain power. During the critical first seven years of his rule, Rajadhirat consolidated power in a series of conflicts with other members of the ruling elite..."
Author/creator: Jon Fernquest
Language: English
Source/publisher: SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research 4.1 (Spring 2006)
Format/size: pdf (275K - reduced; 1.97MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://web.archive.org/web/20070612023842/http://web.soas.ac.uk/burma/4.1files/4.1fernquest.pdf
Date of entry/update: 16 July 2006

Title: History of Pre-Bagan Myanmar Kingdom
Date of publication: 1998
Description/subject: The author asserts that Pyu, Mon and Bama (Myanmar) people were organized and established as Tampadipa (Thanpyatate) Naingnan in the 10th century AD. Bagan was the centre of that state. Former kings who ruled before Anuradda (Anawrahta) in Bagan were Sawyahan Min and Kyaung Phu Min. Anawrahta, who ruled Bagan from AD 1044 - 1077 was a good leader and ably organized the state. Under his administration the country developed peacefully..... Myanmar History - Early period ... Tampadipa Naingnan (Pyu Period)
Author/creator: BA SHIN, Col.
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ (Metadata: English and Burmese)
Source/publisher: "Myanmar before Anawrahta", 3rd ed., Innwa Publishing House, via University of Washington
Format/size: pdf (234K-reduced version; 1.4MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.lib.washington.edu/myanmar/pdfs/BS0012.pdf
Date of entry/update: 22 October 2014

Date of publication: December 1996
Description/subject: "In the late fifteenth century two similar and interesting events took place. Two Southeast Asian kings, both claiming to be Buddhist world rulers, built replicas of the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, India. The first king was Dhammacetti (1462-1492) of Pegu, who built the Shwegugyi Temple in Pegu in 1479. The other king was Tilokaraja (1441-1487), of Chiengmai, who began building the Wat Cet Yot in 1455 (although the building went on for over a decade). Both the Shwegugyi and the Wat Cet Yot are replicas of the Mahabodhi temple at Bodhgaya, India, in their general architectural design, their use of the seven stations in their layout, and their association with the bodhi tree. The Mahabodhi temple is important to Buddhism, because it was built next to the bodhi tree under which the Buddha sat when he was enlightened. The seven stations at that temple refer to the seven different sites where the Buddha spent each of the seven weeks after enlightenment. This means that the Mahabodhi temple, the bodhi tree, and the seven stations there are directly tied to the foundation of the sasana and to the purity of the sasana. The construction of the two Mahabodhi replicas is even more interesting because only two other replicas of the Mahabodhi were built in Southeast Asia, one in Pagan built in 1215 by Nadaunmya (Htilominlo), and a minor one at Chiengrai, which cannot be dated or attributed. It is difficult to find out, however, why two kings in neighboring areas built Mahabodhi replicas at about the same time and why such replicas were not built in Southeast Asia for the 250 years before this time or at anytime afterwards.6 The chronicles and inscriptions explain that Tiloka and Dhammacetti were performing meritorious acts by building the Mahabodhi replicas. The chronicles and inscriptions also claim that these two kings were trying to unify and purify the sangha in their lands. However, the chronicles and inscriptions do not say why Mahabodhi replicas were built by Dhammacetti and Tilokaraja around the same time and not by every king before and after who tried to gain merit or be a dhammaraja by purifying and uniting the sangha. I think it is important to find the underlying reasons for the similar event occurring in Chiengmai and Pegu in the late fifteenth century. I will try, using the information that is available, and general information regarding the social, political, commercial, religious, agricultural, and demographic trends of that period, to provide the best possible answer to the questions (1) why the Mahabodhi replicas in Chiengmai and Pegu were built, (2) why they were built in these two places and not somewhere else, and (3) why they were built at this time. My argument, which I will develop and explain more fully below, is that the most significant factor in the adoption of Mahabodhi replicas and the repurification of the sangha in late fifteenth century Chiengmai and Pegu was international trade. During the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, mainland Southeast Asia was politically (small and numerous states) and religiously (small and numerous sects) divided and not many kings had the resources or power to prove their claims of being dhammarajas by unifying or purifying the sangha or support the construction of temples on the same scale as Pagan. During the same period, however, trade grew as did agricultural cultivation and the population). By the late fifteenth century, central kings gained money for religious patronage of the sangha and for political patronage of (and more prestige in the eyes of) local rulers and probably better control of their kingdoms outside of the capital. The links that Chiengmai and Pegu had with international trade also brought ideas for rulers and monks. The religious reform and the building of Mahabodhi replicas of the late fifteenth century in Pegu and in Chiengmai came from ideas, brought along trade routes (maritime and within Southeast Asia), strengthening the prestige of Sri Lanka as a center of pure Buddhism. Also, Buddhist monks travelling along Southeast Asian trade routes seem to have spread beliefs in the royal capitals (as trade centers) that religious reform should also include a replica of the Mahabodhi temple. The monks who took advantage of these ideas won the support of the central ruler over rival sects since they had a better claim to religious purity. The central kings had more resources and control than their predecessors over their kingdoms and could make the selection of a particular sect and the religious repurification more significant throughout the kingdom. Finally, to reinforce their image as dhammarajas who unified and purified the sangha, and as cakravartins or world Buddhist rulers, Dhammacetti and Tilokaraja tried to replace Pagan with their own capitals as the chief center of Buddhism (which meant that their capitals also had to have Mahabodhi replicas)."
Author/creator: ATSUKO NAONO
Language: English
Format/size: pdf (1.2MB-low res; 2.3MB-medium res; 4.3MB - high res)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs09/Naono1996-ocr-mr.pdf
Date of entry/update: 04 October 2010

Title: The vicious cycle of the cannon
Date of publication: May 1994
Description/subject: In 1766 King Sinphyushin fought Thailand (Ayuthaya) and captured their capital. One of the cannon brought back from Thailand was recently excavated from Innwa (Ava) city and displayed in the Military Museum at 49th Myanmar Military Day Exhibition. It was an unusual display because after the Third Anglo - Burmese War, General Prendergast sent most cannon and captured guns to England, as presents to Queen Victoria and her court. For this reason many Myanmar cannon remain in the United Kingdom.....Subject Terms: 1. Myanmar Army - Cannons... 2. Myanmar - History.....Keywords: 1. Cannons, 2. Ordnances, 3. Military Weapons.
Author/creator: KYAN, Daw
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ; (Metadata English, Burmese)
Source/publisher: Kanaung Sethmu Sipwa Journal, Vol. 1, No. 5 via University of Washington
Format/size: pdf (80K-reduced version; 438K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.lib.washington.edu/myanmar/pdfs/MK0003.pdf
Date of entry/update: 22 October 2014

Title: A rare and little known work on Burma
Date of publication: 1985
Description/subject: The author read this paper at a Burma Historical Commission conference on 11 February 1978. It analyzes a rare Myanmar book on Myanmar: "A Concise Account of the Kingdom of Pegu, Its climate, produce, trade and government..." It was written by William Hunter, an army surgeon in the service of the East India Company, and published in 1785. The author evaluates Hunter's views of the Myanmar Kingdom of Pegu, its climate, trade, government, and the folklore of Myanmar..... Subject Terms: 1. Myanmar - History - Hanthawaddy period, 1287 - 1539, 2. Bago (Pegu) - History, 3. Bago (Pegu) - Description and travel, 4. Myanmar - Climate, 5. Commerce - Myanmar, 6. Myanmar - Politics and government.
Author/creator: Yi Yi, Dr.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Research in Burmese History", Vol. (5), Burma Historical Research Dept., via Washington University
Format/size: pdf (654K-reduced version; 3.62MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.lib.washington.edu/myanmar/pdfs/YI0013.pdf
Date of entry/update: 21 October 2014