Kingdom of Ava

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Kingdom of Ava
အင်းဝခေတ်
1364–1555
Ava c. 1450
Ava c. 1450
Status Kingdom
Vassal of the Shan States (1527–1555)
Capital Sagaing, Pinya, Ava (Inwa)
Common languages Burmese, Shan
Religion Theravada Buddhism
Government Monarchy
• 1364–1367
Thado Minbya
• 1367–1400
Swa Saw Ke
• 1400–1422
Minkhaung I
• 1426–1439
Mohnyin Thado
• 1527–1542
Thohanbwa
Legislature Hluttaw
History  
• Founding of kingdom
April 1364
1385–1424
• Mohnyin Dynasty
1426
• Secession of vassals
1480–1527
1527–1555
• Fall of kingdom
22 January 1555
Currency kyat
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Pinya Kingdom
Sagaing Kingdom
First Toungoo Empire
Prome Kingdom

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 of Myinsaing, Pinya and Sagaing that had ruled central Burma since the collapse of the Pagan Kingdom in the late 13th century.

Like the small kingdoms that preceded it, Ava was led by Bamarised Shan kings who claimed descent from the kings of Pagan.[1][2]

History[edit]

The kingdom was founded by Thado Minbya in 1364[3]:227 following the collapse of the Sagaing and Pinya Kingdoms due to raids by the Shan States to the north. In its first years of existence, Ava, which viewed itself as the rightful successor to the Pagan Kingdom, tried to reassemble the former empire by waging constant wars against the Mon Hanthawaddy Kingdom in the south, the Shan States in the north and east, and Rakhine State in the west.[1]

While it was able to hold Taungoo and some peripheral Shan States (Kalaymyo, Mohnyin, Mogaung and Hsipaw) within its fold at the peak of its power, Ava 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 king came to power. In the 1480s and 1490s, the Prome Kingdom in the south and the Shan states under Ava sway in the north broke away, and Taungoo became as powerful as its nominal overlord Ava. In 1510, Taungoo also broke away.[1]

Ava was under intensified Shan raids for the first quarter of the 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 Taungoo in the southeastern corner, east of the Bago Yoma mountain range remained as the last holdout of independent Bamar people.

The Confederation's failure to snuff out Taungoo proved costly. Surrounded by hostile kingdoms, Taungoo took the initiative to consolidate its position, and defeated a much stronger Hanthawaddy in 1534–1541. When Taungoo turned against Prome, the Shans belatedly sent in their armies. Taungoo took Prome in 1542 and Bagan, just below Ava, in 1544.[4] In January 1555, King Bayinnaung of Taungoo conquered Ava, ending the city's role as the capital of Upper Burma for nearly two centuries.

See also[edit]

Kingdom of Ava in 1368.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Htin Aung 1967: 84–103
  2. ^ Phayre 1883: 63–75
  3. ^ Coedès, George (1968). Walter F. Vella, ed. The Indianized States of Southeast Asia. trans.Susan Brown Cowing. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-0368-1.
  4. ^ Phayre 1883: 100–101

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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.