|Kingdom of Ava
|Capital||Sagaing, Pinya, Ava (Inwa)|
|-||Founding of Kingdom||April 1364|
|-||Forty Years' War||1385–1424|
|-||Holding on to vassals||1426–1480|
|-||Secession of vassals||1480–1527|
|-||Shan chiefs' rule||1527–1555|
|-||Fall of Kingdom||22 January 1555|
|History of Burma|
The Ava Kingdom (Burmese: အင်းဝခေတ်, pronounced: [ʔɪ́ɴwa̰ kʰɪʔ]) was the dominant kingdom that ruled upper Burma (Myanmar) from 1364 to 1555. Founded in 1364, the kingdom was the successor state to the petty kingdoms (Myinsaing– Pinya and Sagaing) that had ruled central Burma since the collapse of Pagan Empire in the late 13th century. Like the small kingdoms that preceded it, Ava was led by Burmanized Shan kings who claimed descent from Pagan kings.
The kingdom was founded by Thadominbya in 1364, following the collapse of Sagaing and Pinya kingdoms due to the Shan raids from the north. In its first years of existence, Ava, which viewed itself as the rightful successor to the Pagan Empire, tried to reassemble the former empire by waging constant wars against the Hanthawaddy Kingdom in the south, various Shan States in the north and east, and Arakan in the west. While it was able to pull Toungoo and peripheral Shan states (Kale, Mohnyin, Mogaung, Thibaw) into its fold at the peak of its power, it failed to reconquer the rest. The Forty Years' War (1385–1424) with Hanthawaddy left Ava exhausted. From the 1420s to early 1480s, Ava regularly faced rebellions in its vassal regions whenever a new Ava king came to power. In the 1480s and 1490s Prome in the south and Shan states in the north broke away, and Toungoo became as powerful as its nominal overlord Ava. In 1510, Toungoo also broke away.
Ava was under intensified Shan raids for the first quarter of 16th century. In 1527, the Confederation of Shan States led by the state of Mohnyin in alliance with Prome sacked Ava. The Confederation placed nominal kings on the Ava throne, and ruled much of Upper Burma. As Prome was in alliance with the Confederation, only the tiny Toungoo in the southeastern corner east of the Bago Yoma mountain range remained as the last Burman holdout.
The Confederation's failure to snuff out Toungoo proved costly. Surrounded by hostile kingdoms, Toungoo took the initiative to consolidate its position, and defeated a much stronger Hanthawaddy in 1534–1541. When Toungoo turned to Prome, the Shans belatedly sent in their armies. Toungoo took Prome in 1542 and Pagan, just below Ava in 1544. In January 1555, King Bayinnaung conquered Ava, ending the city's role as the capital of Upper Burma for nearly two centuries.
- Htin Aung 1967: 84–103
- Phayre 1883: 63–75
- Phayre 1883: 100–101
- Harvey, G. E. (1925). History of Burma: From the Earliest Times to 10 March 1824. London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd.
- Htin Aung, Maung (1967). A History of Burma. New York and London: Cambridge University Press.
- Phayre, Lt. Gen. Sir Arthur P. (1883). History of Burma (1967 ed.). London: Susil Gupta.