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"Was Majapahit really an empire?" Topic


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Tango0107 Jan 2021 9:38 p.m. PST

"The Javanese state that flourished throughout the 14th and 15th centuries is often called the ‘Majapahit Empire'. But was it really an empire, and what does the word ‘empire' mean in premodern Southeast Asia? This article surveys the evidence that can help us answer these questions. This evidence includes a handful of government inscriptions from east Java, Bali and Sumatra, two Javanese chronicles called the Deśavarṇana and the Pararaton, the official records of the Ming court, and the account of a Portuguese apothecary who visited Java in the early 16th century.

Before Majapahit was established as its new capital in 1293, the kingdom of Java had already begun to exercise its authority on other islands. Majapahit's predecessor court, Singhasari, had begun to extend its influence beyond Java during the reign of Rājasa (1222–47). According to the Mūla Malurung inscription issued in 1255: ‘His Majesty [Rājasa] served as a single parasol for the world, the whole island of Java as well as the other islands', the parasol being a common symbol of sovereignty in Southeast Asia and the Indian ocean world…."
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian08 Jan 2021 4:27 a.m. PST

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