Kings of Burma

Many Thanks to: www.friesian.com

The Burmese speak a Sino-Tibean language, more closely related to Tibetan and Karen than to Chinese itself. But, despite frequent political and military involvement with China, Burma has always been a sub-Indian culture, with Theravadin Buddhist religion and a Sanskrit based alphabet. The interesting circular form of Burmese letters is a consequence of the original writing materials. These were strips of leaves that would splitburmaeasily if straight lines were made along the grain. Circular forms avoid or minimize this danger.

The earliest civilization in Burma was on the coast of Arakan. This was occasionally subject to the strong Burmese states in the Irrawaddy valley and eventually was aborbed.

burma-1The first great central Burmese state was that of Pagan. This eventually came to an end with invasion by the Mongols and the influx of the Shan people.

 

 

 

burma-2After the fall of Pagan and a transitional kingdom, the next great Burmese state was Ava. Ava, however, would never dominate Burma. It was precariously surrounded by the Shan states in the north, Arakan in the west, and Pegu in the south, sometimes advancing, as against Arakan in 1379-1430, sometimes retreating, and sometimes dominated by China.

These lists were largely derived from Bruce R. Gordon’s Regnal Chronologies, with some details added from An Encyclopedia of World History (William L. Langer, Houghton Mifflin, 1952). The Maps are based on the Oxford Atlas of World History (Patrick K. O’Brien, General Editor, 1999, pp.64-65). Good lingustic information is in The Atlas of Languages (Facts On File, 1996, pp.62-64); and a descripiton of the Burmese language and its alphabet is in The World’s Major Languages, edited by Bernard Comrie [Oxford University Press, 1987, pp.834-854].

The Shan were among the Thai-Lao people who streamed into Southeast Asia in the 13th century, perhaps driven out of Yunnan by the Mongols. Shan states destablize Burma, and their aggressiveness may be responsible for the newly aggressive state of Taungu that creates a bit of a Burmese Empire in the 16th century.

burma-3The conquest by Taungu of the Thai Kingdoms, Chiang Mai and Ayuthya, is one of the high points of Burmese history. The triumph, especially over Siam, however, is brief.

The revival of a unified Burmese state under Konbaung led to some triumphs, as for a while over Siam again, and then to a series of setbacks. Defeated in Siam, the Burmese then had to face an enemy even more formidable than China — the British in India.

All the British ever wanted to do was trade and make money, but ideas of private property and free trade were more than a little foreign to Burmese sovereigns. Hassling British subjects in the 19th century, however, brings down the wrath of Britain, with all its modern military superiority.

Three wars with Britain led to the dismemberment and then annexation of Burma. And as the century progressed, the British became increasingly more interested in conquest than just in trade. The First Burmese War meant in 1826 the loss of Assam, still today part of India, Arakan, only recently secured, and Tenasserim, only more recently secured. These territories were not exactly integral to the Burmese state; but the Second Burmese War led to the annexation of Lower Burma, with Rangoon and Pengu, in 1853. burma-5The British general Sir Harry Prendergast finally entered Mandalay in 1885, and the whole country was annexed the following year.

In World War II, Burma ended up conquered and occupied by a power that previously had had nothing to do with Burmese history — Japan. The Japanese may have done this to cut off supplies to China over the famous “Burma Road.” It also put them on the border of India, where enemies of Britain, from Napoleon to Hitler, had always dreamed of being. To supply their position in Burma, the Japanese employed prisoners-of-war to built a railroad from Thailand. Many, many died in this project, immortalized in the movie, Bridge on the River Kwai[1957]. But by the time the Japanese got around to invading India in 1944, they were well past their prime; and the army that was sent, and defeated, didn’t even have enough supplies to make a regular retreat. The British reconquest of Burma was then set in motion. Directing that operation was Louis Mountbatten, who was subsequently made Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Mountbatten then served as the last Viceroy of India. Only a “life peerage,” there are no subsequent Earls of Burma running around.

It was no trouble for the Japanese to find anti-British Burmese to set up a puppet government, which dutifully declared war on the Allies in 1943. After the War, the bitter feelings were reflected in the fact that independent Burma did not choose to join the British Commonwealth. Since then, Burma has suffered from its isolationist tendencies, especially after a military coup in 1962 and one-party socialist state was decreed in 1974. The present military government, with General Shaw Maung as President since 1988, has gained the reputation of one of the worst human rights abusers in the world, setting aside democratic election results in 1990. In an attempt to stir up fascist-style nationalism, the government changed the name of the country in 1991 to something more “authentic,” Myanmar, but this has done little, of course, to ease the sting of dictatorship.

The living symbol of Burmese resistance to their government is Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. A remarkable political lighning rod for so small a woman, Aung San has been arrested and kept under house arrest by the Burmese government more than once. Since she had a British husband (who died in 1999), the government rather wished she would just leave the country and stay away, but for some reason it has not simply expelled her. After her Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, Aung San has become such an interational figure that the government has apparently become shy of going too far with her. She is currently free to move around the country and speak to crowds, though the government usually harrasses and threatens these gatherings. This is progress. Aung San would get no such tolerance in Cuba, North Korea, Iraq, or Iran.

 

ARAKAN
WETHALI
Mahataingsandra788-810
Thuriyataingsandra.810-830
Maulataingsandra830-849
Paulataingsandra849-875
Kalataingsandra875-884
Dulataingsandra884-903
Thiritaingsandra903-935
Thingghathataingsandra935-951
Tsulataingsandra951-957
Amyathu957-964
Paiphyu964-994
Ngamengngatum994-1018
First PINGTSA
Khettarheng1018-1028
Tsandatheng1028-1039
Mengrengphyu1039-1049
Nagathuriya1049-1052
Thuriyaradza1052-1054
Punnaka1054-1058
Mengphyugyi1058-1060
Tsithabeng1060-1061
Mengnanthu1061-1066
Menglade1066-1072
Mengkula1072-1075
Mengbhilu1075-1078
Thengkhaya1078-1092
Mengthan1092-1100
Mengpadi1100-1103
PARIN
Letyamengnan1103-1109
Thihaba1109-1110
Radzagyi1110-1112
Thakiwenggyi1112-1115
Thakiwengngay1115-1133
Gauliya1133-1153
Datharadza1153-1165
Ananthiri1165-1167
KHYIT
Mengphuntsa1167-1174
Pintsakawa1174-1176
Gannayubaw1176-1179
Tsalengkabo1179-1180
Second PINGTSA
Midzutheng1180-1191
Ngaranman1191-1193
Ngapuggan1193-1195
Ngarakhoing1195-1198
Ngakyun1198-1201
Ngatshu1201-1205
Ngatswaitheng1205-1206
Mengkounggyi1206-1207
Mengkhoungngay1207-1208
Kambhalounggyi1208-1209
Kambhaloungngay1209-1210
Letyagyi1210-1218
Letyangay1218-1229
Thanabeng1229-1232
Nganathin1232-1234
Nganalum1234-1237
LOUNG-KYET
Hlanmaphyu1237-1243
Radzathugyi1243-1246
Tsaulu1246-1251
Utstsanagyi1251-1260
Tsaumwungyi1260-1268
Nankyagyi1268-1272
Mengbhilu1272-1276
Tsithabeng1276-1279
Meng Di1279-1385
vassal of Ava, 1379-1430
Utstsanangay1385-1387
Thiwarit1387-1390
Thintse1390-1394
Radzathu1394-1395,
1397-1401
Tsithabeng1395-1397
Myintsoingkyi1397
Thinggathu1401-1403
MYOUK-U
Mengtsaumwun1404-1406,
1430-1434
Vacant, 1406-1430
Menkhari1434-1459
Batsauphyu1459-1482
Daulya1482-1492
Batsonygo1492-1494
Ranoung1494
Tsalenggathu1494-1501
Menradza1501-1523
Gadzabadi1523-1525
Mengtsau-o1525
Thatsata1525-1531
Mengbeng1531-1553
Dik-Kha1553-1555
Tsau-Lha1555-1564
Mengtsekya1564-1571
Mengphaloung1571-1593
Mengradzagyi1593-1612
Mengkhamoung1612-1622
Thirithudhamma1622-1638
Mengtsani1638
Thado1638-1645
Narabadigyi1645-1652
Tsandathudhamma1652-1684
Thirithuriya1684-1685
Wara Dhammaradza1684-1692
Munithu Dhammaradza1692-1694
Tsandathuriya Dhammaradza1694-1696
Naukahtadzau1696
Mayuppiya1696-1697
Kalamandat1697-1698
Naradhibadi1698-1700
Tsandawimala I1700-1706
Tsandathuriya1706-1710,
1731-1734
Tsandawidzaya1710-1731
Naradhibadi1734-1735
Narapawararadza1735-1737
Tsandawidzala1737
Katya1737
Madarit1737-1742
Nara-Apaya1742-1761
Thirithu1761
Paramaradza1761-1764
Maharadza1764-1773
Thumana1773-1777
Tsandawimala II1777
Thamitha-Dhammayit1777-1782
Thamada1782-1784
to Burma, 1784
KINGDOM of PAGAN
Pyinbyac.900-c.925
Tannetc.925-c.950
Nga Khwec.950-c.955
Theinkhoc.955-c.970
Ngyaungusaw Rahanc.970-c.995
Kwonsaw Kyung Phyuc.995-c.1014
Kyitsoc.1014-c.1020
Tsukkatac.1020-1044
Anawrahta1044-1077
Sawlu1077-1084
Kyanzittha1084-1113
embassy to China, 1106
Alaungsithu1113-1167
Mengshengtsau1167
Narathu I1167-1170
Narathenkha1170-1173
Narapatisithu1173-1210
Nantonmya1210-1234
Kyaswa1234-1250
Uzana I1250-1254
Narathihapate,
“He who ran
from the Chinese”
1254-1287
Mongols loot Pagan, 1287
KyawswaMongol Vassal,
1287-1298
Sawahnit1298-1325
Combined with Pinya
KINGDOM of PINYA
Athinhkaya1298-c.1312
Yazathinkyan1298-c.1312
Thihathu1298-1324
Uzana II1324-1343
Ngashishin1343-1350
Kyanswange1350-1359
Narathu II1359-1364
Uzana Pyaung1364
KINGDOM of AVA
Thadominbya1364-1368
Nga Nu the Usurper1368
MinkyiswasawkeChinese Vassal,
1368-1401
Tarabya1401
Nga Nauk Hanusurper,
1401
Minhkaung I1401-1422
Thihathu1422-1426
Minhlange1426
Kalekyetaungnvo1426-1427
Mohnyinthado1427-1440
Minrekyansa1440-1443
NarapatiChinese Vassal,
1443-1469
Thihathura1469-1481
Minhkaung II1481-1502
Shwenankyawshin1502-1527
Thohanbwa the Usurper1527-1543
Hkonmaing the Shan1543-1546
Mobye NarapatiShan Vassal,
1546-1552
SithkyawhtinShan Vassal,
1552-1555
to Taungu, 1555
SHAN
Wareru1287-1306
Khunlau1306-1310
Dzau-au1310-1323
Dzaudzip1323-1330
Binya-e Lau1330-1348
Binya-u1348-1385
Binya-Nwe1385-1423
Binya Dhamma Radza1423-1426
Binya Rankit1426-1446
Binya Waru1446-1450
Binya Keng1450-1453
Mhaudau1453
Shengtsaubu (f)1453-1460
Dhamma Dzedi1460-1491
Binya Ran1491-1526
Takarwutbi1526-1540
TAUNGU/TOUNGOO
Tabin Shwehti1531-1550
captures Pengu, 1539; King of Lower Burma, 1542; captures Pagan, 1546; King of all Burma
Thamindwut1550
Thaminhtau1550-1551
Bayin Naung1551-1581
captures Ava, 1555; capturesChiang Mai, 1557; attacksAyuthya, 1563; captures Ayuthya, 1569
Nandabayin1581-1599
driven from Siam, 1593; disintegration, 140 years
TAUNGU
Ngyaung Ram Meng1599-1605
Mahadhammaraja1605-1628
Mengre Dippa1628-1629
Thalwun Mengtara1629-1648
Bengtale1648-1661
Pyi Meng1661-1672
Narawara1672
Thiri Pawara
Mahadhammaraja
1672-1698
Thiri Maha
Thihathura Thudhamma
1698-1714
Thiri Pawara
Mahadhammaraja
Dibati Hsengphyusheng
1714-1733
Mahadhammaraja Dibati1733-1751
to Konbaung, 1751
SHAN
Buddha Thi Gwe Meng1740-1746
Binya Dala1746-1757
KONBAUNG
Alaungpaya1753-1760
Naundawgyi1760-1763
Hsinbyushin1763-1776
Chinese invasion, 1765-1769;Ayuthya destroyed, 1767
Singu Min1776-1781
Maung Maung1781
Bodawdaya1781-1819
captures Arakan, 1784; invasion of Siam defeated, 1785; Peace with Siam, acquisition of Tenasserim coast, 1793
Bagyidaw1819-1837
First Burmese War, 1824-1826, loss of Assam, Arakan, & Tenasserim to Britain, 1826
Tharrawaddy1837-1846
Pagin Min1846-1852
Mindon Min1853-1878
Second Burmese War, 1852-1853, Lower Burma to Britain, 1853; Manalay becomes capital, 1857
Thibaw1878-1885,
d.1916
Third Burmese War, 1885, Burma annexed by Britain,
1886-1942, 1945-1948; Japanese occupation, 1942-1945; Republic, 1948-present

 

Copyright (c) 2000, 2003 Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved

Many Thanks to: www.friesian.com

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