The kingdom of Majapahit (or Mojopahit ) was located in the oriental party of the island of Java in Indonesia. Its capital was in Trowulan, not far from the current city of Mojokerto, to approximately 60 km in the south-west of Surabaya.
HistoryMajapahit is most powerful of the Javanese kingdoms of the Hindu-Buddhist period . It is not however the last kingdom hindouist of Java. The kingdom Sunda be born from Pajajaran, in the west of Java, will disappear only in 1579. With extreme-is of Java, the Principauté of Blambangan will remain hindouist until conversion with Islam into 1770 of its last princes, who will lend allegiance to the VOC ( Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie or " Dutch Company of the Eastern Indies ").
The history of the kingdom could be reconstituted grace in particular to inscriptions in old Javanese , with two poems epic, the Nagarakertagama (written in " old man-javanais" in 1365 by the Prapanca poet under the reign of Hayam Wuruk) and the Pararaton or " Deliver of Rois" (written in " means-javanais" , therefore undoubtedly in XVIe century), and of Chinese annals, of which the Yuan Shi .
The Kidung Sunda , poem written in means-Javanese, probably in XVIe century and whose copy was found with Bali, tells a history of unhappy love affair between Hayam Wuruk and the princess Dyah Pitaloka (still called Citraresmi), girl of the king of Sunda. This poem cannot be regarded as a historical source, but it shows that at the time, the name of Majapahit was still alive in the spirits.
The founder of Majapahit, Raden Wijaya, is the son-in-law of king Kertanegara of Singasari, whose capital was located close to the current city of Singosari, to approximately 40 km in the south of Surabaya. In 1292 Jayakatwang, prince of Kediri and vassal of Singasari, had revolted and assassinated Kertanegara. Wijaya is combined then with a task force sent by the emperor of China Kubilai Khan against Singasari, of which the ambitions worried it. Raden Wijaya overcomes Jayakatwang, then force its allies sino-Mongolian to be withdrawn in confusion.
The kingdom reaches its apogee under Hayam Wuruk (reign 1350-89). The name of Gajah Mada, regent of 1331 with 1364 then maha patih (Prime Minister) of Hayam Wuruk, is known to us by the Pararaton . It is under Hayam Wuruk that Majapahit attacks Palembang in the south of Sumatra (i.e. the city-State which was called before Sriwijaya) in 1377. It seems that this event is at the origin of the escape of Parameswara, prince de Palembang, on the Malayan Péninsule, where he will found Malacca. Majapahit will continue to be a commercial power in XVe century.
The Nâgarakertâgama draws up a list of almost 100 " regions tributaires" of Majapahit. In addition to Bali, Madura and Sunda, the list goes from Pahang on the Malayan Péninsule to " Gurun" in the Moluques, while passing by Malayu (Jambi) with Sumatra and " Bakulapura" in Borneo. Put on the chart, they cover about the territory of current Indonesia.
Actually, the territory directly controlled by Majapahit consisted in the fertile valley of the Brantas river. A certain number of areas of Java were given in Apanage to lords connected to the king. While moving away towards the west, the principal quoted places are, Daha (current Kediri), held by an uncle de Hayam Wuruk, Wengker (area of the current cities of Madiun and Nagawi), entrusted to another uncle, Lasem (on the northern coast), given to a girl of Hayam Wuruk, Pajang (area of current the Surakarta) and Mataram, the old ground of the dynasty of Sanjaya which built Prambanan. While going towards north then is, one finds Janggala (back-country of Surabaya) and Singasari. The areas more in the south or more in the east were regarded as marginal, such Blambangan and Lumajang. These names will continue to be mentioned in the kidung (chansons de geste) written in XVIe century.
At the end of the 15th century, wars of succession weaken Majapahit. In 1478, its territory passes under the control of princes de Kediri. When the troops of the sultanate of Demak conquer the area in 1527, Majapahit does not exist any more, but its prestige is such as Demak proclaims its heir. Blambangan remains independent but its sovereigns will put themselves under the protection of kings de Gelgel at Bali.
The success of Majapahit as economic power prolongs that of its Singasari predecessor. The factors are the same ones: a prosperous agriculture and a dynamic trade.
" regions tributaires" quoted by the Nagarakertagama were in fact of the counters forming a sales network whose Majapahit was the center. The kingdom sent to it dignitaries of its clergy shivaite, the bhujanga , of which the role was to make sure that these counters were not devoted to a private trade which would escape Majapahit. Any infringement was threatened of a punitive forwarding.
The ports of Majapahit are Surabaya to the mouth of Brantas, Gresik in the north of Surabaya, founded at the beginning of XIVe century by an Chinese and Tuban on the northern coast. The Nagarakertagama enumerates the regions of origin of the merchants who come in these ports: " Jambudwipa (India), Khamboja, Cina, Yawana (i.e. Vietnam), Cempa, Kharnnatakadi (southern of India), Goda (Gaur in Bengal) and Muang Syanka (Siam) ". This international business was probably organized by civils servant of the kingdom.
Under Majapahit, the relations between Java and China intensify. From 1370 at the end of XVe century, the Histoire of Ming mentions 43 Javanese embassies. From 1405 to 1433, the admiral Zheng He carries out seven great forwardings towards India, the Middle East and the east coast of Africa, and made stopover in Java. At the beginning of XVe century, China takes the party of Java against Malacca, which asserted suzerainty on Palembang.
Lastly, it is estimated that the Islamization of Java beginning at the time of Majapahit. One finds indeed, in Trowulan and in the surroundings, of the Moslem tombs. Oldest is gone back to 1290 of the Saka era (system of dating hindouist starting into 78 after J. - C.), that is to say 1368 after J. - C. most recent is gone back to Saka 1397 (1475 after J. - C.). Majapahit was exactly contemporary besides Sultanat of Passed in the north of Sumatra, first Moslem kingdom indonésien attested.
Kings de MajapahitOne could establish with a relative certainty the names and dates of reign of the following sovereigns:
Kertarajasa Jayawardhana (Raden Wijaya) 1294 - 1309
- Jayanegara 1309 - 1328
- the queen Tribhuwana Wijayottungadewi 1328 - 1350
- Rajasanagara (Hayam Wuruk) 1350 - 1389
- Wikramawardhana 1389 - 1427
- the queen Suhita 1427 - 1447
- Sri Kertawijaya 1447 - 1451
- Rajasawardhana 1451 - 1453.
One notes a 3 years interruption, perhaps due to a crisis of succession. The house of Majapahit is divided into two branches rival. One knows then the following dates of reign:
Girindrawardhana 1456 - 1466
- Singhawikramawardhana 1466 - 1478.
It is thought that Majapahit passes then under the control of its vassal Kediri.
The Javanese tradition gives the name of " Brawijaya" with the last sovereign of Majapahit.
EconomyThe sales network of Majapahit consisted of various " tributary regions " archipelago and Malayan peninsula. The Nagarakertagama quotes in particular:
Sumatra : Lampung, Palembang, Jambi and Malayu (another name of Jambi), Kampar and Siak (current province of Riau), Minangkabau, Barus and the countries Batak (current province of Northern Sumatra), Lamuri and Samudra (current Aceh)
- Borneo: Kutai (current province of Kalimantan Is), Kuta Waringin (current province of Southern Kalimantan), Sambas (current province of Western Kalimantan), Buruneng (Brunei)
- Malayan Péninsule: Kalanten (Kelantan), Keda (Kedah), Kelang (Klang in the State of Selangor), Lengkasuka (perhaps Kedah), Pahang, Tumasik (Temasek, old name of the island of Singapore) and Tringgano (Terengganu)
- Small islands of the Probe: Bali, Lombok, Dompo and Bhima (Sumbawa), Sumba, Timur (Timor)
- Célèbes: Butun (the island of Buton), Luwuk, Makassar
- Moluques: Ambwan (Ambon), Gurun (the Gorong islands), Maloko (Maluku), Flax comb (Seram).
One will notice the absence of the name Sriwijaya. One can deduce from it that the city-State was called already Palembang at the time of Hayam Wuruk.
On the other hand, " is noted; Maloko". One allots to this name an Arab etymology, Jazirat Al Muluk , " the island of the rois". One can deduce from it that the Arabs, large purchasing of spices, had given this name before XIVe century, and that it had been adopted by the foreign merchants who came in Majapahit.
The Nagarakertagama does not regard as " tributaires" the following countries, which traded with Majapahit:
Khamboja (the Kampuchea)
- Yawana (i.e. Vietnam, called Khmer Yuon in language )
- Cempa (the Champa)
- Muang Syanka (the Siam)
- Cina (the China)
- Jambudwipa (or Jambudvipa, name of the India in the Buddhist texts)
- Kharnnatakadi (the Karnataka in the south of India)
- Goda (Gaur with the Western Bengal in India).
If the mention of Goda corresponds to reality, and that this name indicates indeed Gaur, the fact deserves to be noted. Gaur was conquered by the Moslems in 1198. That would like to say that Moslem Indian merchants came in Majapahit in XIVe century.
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