Author: Lem Chuck Moth
Started date: June/01/2003
Last updated: May/31/2015
All right reserved.
Since this paper is still drafted, the readers would be advised to ignore any context errors. The content is not final and subjected to be reviewed.
Scholars postulate that Ayudhya was the precursor of the Medieval Siam country that later changed its identity to Thailand. Its past history however was left obscure in the dark. As many other Indochinese states that were established after the disintegration of Angkor, Ayudhya's past was connected to the Angkorean Empire. We shall argued that Ayudhya was reconstructed by a foreign dynasty on the ground of the Angkorean cardinal state of Sri Dharmaraja. From 1350 to its fall, the new Ayudhyan court owed its existence mostly due to the warlike policy of its rulers of invading neighboring states. The policy stayed until the inclusion of Sokhodaya that changed the course of the new country. Through the interference of Burma, Ayudhya throne was delegated to King Sri Dharmaraja II. As a member of the Sokhodaya scion of leadership, the new king would recover back the northern legacy of Sokhodaya on the new country. His son Ramasuan however, disrupted his father 's attempt to get in line with the Khmer-mon tradition. In close connection with the northern Siam and Tai legacies, Narasuan politically isolated Ayudhya from its traditional southern neighbors. In the move, Ayudhya set itself as common ennemy of both Cambodia and Burma. Through repetitive attack by the Mon country, Ayudhya ceased to exist. Still the Tai legacy stayed in the next court of Siam. Established by king Tak-sin, the Siam country was much more expansive when proclaiming itself as a nation. The dilemma was when the colonial World brought along the notion of race and nationality, the Siamese leadership and aristocrats found themselves at odd with theirs own identities. Misconceptions about identity, culture and other issues arose as Tai historians tried to build the Tai Identity of Ayudhya based on the Tai legacy of the Yunnan country. During the writing of the modern history of Ayudhya, the real Ayudhyan past had been altered to fit western concept of a nation. Past Angkorean legacies were mostly ignored or suppressed in favor for the legitimacy of the new identity.
The historical Records of Ayudhya
Unlike the chronicles of northern Siam in which historical records provide continuos information from the formation of Xiang-Saen by King Sihanati until the advent of King Lawasangharatha, the records of pre-Ayudhya's period era in southern Siamese sources were virtually non existent. Like Sokhodaya, Ayudhya had no comprehensive chronicle written on its own account. Blamed on the invasion of Pagan in 1767, all Ayudhya's past records were assumed perished during its fall to the Burmese attack. As Ayudhya was sacked, destroyed and never been recovered again, the lost of its records was used to explain the discontinuance of the new Ayudhya court with the regional tradition. After the next establishment at Bangkok, efforts to retrieve back the past history had been handed on to members of a committee under the tutelage of the royal court (Notes: A court's member of the historical committee). It is said that many chronicles were then collected from many parts of the country and made available to the research groups (Notes: Ayudhya's record). Most of the records started the history from the King U-Tong's ascension to the Siam throne in 1350. Others contain some prior historical records connecting to Angkorean events of the pre-Ayudhya period. However the few historical facts that could be drawn from are of little historical value (Notes: Histoires des Thai, Ancienement appele Sajam). Their presentation about past connection with either the Northern Thai or Angkor's legacy is flurry and hardly proved. The story of Prah Ruang along with the formation of Sokhodaya is by far the most popular since it was interpreted as the formation of the first Tai State to be free from Angkor. The legend of Khun Borom became since a popular theme of modern Siamese scholars to connect the northern Siam people and culture to the Tai race of Central Asia.
The decline of the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368) came as a blessing for the southern countries. Even though still collecting tribute, the next successors of the Great Khan gave-up more and more controls over their vassals and allowed them to roam free. Taking the opportunities, the southern provinces freed themselves and started their own ventures. Being long under the Yuans, legacies from the Mongols were retained as part of the new development. The new Tai nations of Buddhist background benefited the most from the change of event, as they became the favorite of the Yuan court. After the death of the great Khan, the Buddhist Yuan rulers found in the Buddhist Tais compatibility that they could not find in theirs Cinicized subjects. In any circumstances, the Tais of Yunnan would not have any reason to leave the country. As we shall see, it was the Kaeo court of Nan that made its move to form Ayudhya.
A displaced Court from Xiang-rai
During the Mongol incursion, we saw the settlement of the Kaeo court at Nan under the discretion of Mangrai. We had argued that it was the refugee court of Kaeo-pangsa of Yunnan chased out by the Great Khan in retaliation of their scheme against the Mongol's early delegation to Burma. The support of the Mongols moreover provided opportunity for the lineage of king Mang-rai to consolidate the northern Siam countries (The Lanna State: The reestablishment of Lanna: The conflict with the Kaeo King of Nan). The next advent of the Kaeo court being chased out from Nan by a member of the Lanna's court, agrees with the new Pongsavadan of Ayudhya that the founders of the medieval Ayudhya were not the Tai people from Yunnan, but a displaced court from Xiang-rai. The Pongsavadan started with the sketchy account of the migration of the court of Xieng-rai down to Kampheng Phet.
Chased out by the invasion of Talaings, came to establish themselves at Muang Pep, in front of Kampheng Phet and founded a new capital with the name of Tri-trung. (Le Cambodge III: Le Siam, E. Aymonier)
The passage mentions that it was the invasion of Talaings, referred in general to the Mon people (more precisely the Mon kings), that drove the Tai court of Xiang-rai down south. As the Xiang-Mai chronicle was quiet about any external squeamish of the Kaeo court with Ramandesa at the time, it is implying that the Talaings in the account were not from Tathon and were actually local to northern Siam countries. We shall furthermore identify them as members of the court of Pyao, which after the join attack of king Kham-fun of Xiang-Mai and the Kaeo King of Nan appeared to regroup themselves at Muang Pua. In a dispute of the trophy king Kam-fu then attacked the Kaeo king for punishment. Nevertheless, the attack was definitely not the same attack of the Talaings as mentioned in the Ayudhyan tradition that drove the Kaeo court out of Nan for good. Even though it drove the Kaeo-pangsa court from Nan, the attack was unsettled as we saw later that the Kaeo court was able to return back home. Furthermore, we know that king Kam-fu as well as the rest of Xiang-Mai court was not of Talaing origin, but was instead of Sri Vijayan background. At the same time, the Nan chronicle confirms that a new court originated from Muong Pua was establishing itself at Nan in 1366 (NC: The founding of Muong Nan). At the same time, the chronicle hints about local developments that would change the whole dynamic of both Nan and Rajapati. With no Mongols to interfere, local royal houses rose up to claim back their suzerainty of the northern Siam country. In earlier argument, we had identified King Ngam Muang as no other than king Kiozwa II of Pagan who came to establish his Pyao's court in southern Rajapati under the Mongols' discretion (The Lanna State: The Nan's Connection: Muang Pyao and King Ngam Muang). Being the survivor of the fallen court of Pagan, he was actually a descendant of the Kyanzitha line of kings of the Talaing ancestry. After the attack, indication shows that a member of his court reconciled with the rest of Rajapati 's scattered royal houses and with their support, finally moved into the Angkorean court (The Break down of the Cakravatin Empire: The Fall of Angkor: The Fall of Rajapati). It was during this development that they attacked the Kaeo court and drove it out of Nan for good. It might have been at first just an act of retaliation against the aggressive neighbor who have been joining king Kam-fu to plunder Pyao just for the sake of collecting booty. Nevertheless, the reorganization of the Angkorean court under the initiative of the surviving Talaing kings of King Ngam Muang's descendant, left no option for the Kaeo court to stay at Nan. The Khmer tradition also has an account that, by recreating the formation of Ayudhya by a Lao King from Xiang-rai, mimics the Siam tradition of Xiang-rai 's court.
There was a Lao king of Xiang-rai, from a Yunak Country; defeated in a battle, he moved his people down south into Siam. After subduing the Ruang Dynasty into submission, he built his military stronghold at Kampeang Pet of which he made a great city. He then changed his migrant status and adopted the Siam culture. (CKHI: The reign of Prah Lampang Raja)
Without specifying who the attackers were, the passage indicates that the Lao King who was defeated in a battle was making his settlement at Kampeang Pet. It also specifies the origin of the Lao King to be from the Yunak Country (Yunnan), which confirms our assumption that it was actually the Kaeovamsa court from Yunnan. The Khmer account comments further that the displaced king started building his own army and went on ravaging the south in the process of setting up his own kingdom. Far from fighting for the independence of the Tai nations, as postulated in modern history, evidences show that the Siam King Kaeo-vamsa was fighting for his own account and among his southern exploit was the conquest of Sokhodaya to include as part of his country.
The Reign of King U-Tong (1351-1369)
At the end of the reign of Rama-Kamheang, Sokhodaya was in decline. The defeated Kaeo court, after establishing themselves at Kampeang Pet, took the opportunity to subdue the Ruang family and expanded theirs control down south. According the southern Siam tradition, they then encountered theirs own dynastic crisis. According to the Royal chronicles of Ayudhya, the next line of kings was not of Kaeo Pongsa's direct descendants.
The king passed away and no member of the royal family could be found to succeed him. So all the people raised prince U-Tong, who was the son of Choduksethi, the leader of the Chinese merchant community, to be anointed as king and govern the kingdom. (Thai: Ayudhya and its Neighbors, 1351-1569: The rise of Ayudhya)
The passage indicated that there were Chinese communities already formed under their own leader. It is important to note that, at this moment in time, Mien migration down south had been well documented in the Yunnan chronicle. Under the Yuan Dynasty, they were assimilated as Shan Chinese to take part in the overall economic development of China. Under the Tai pact, the Chinese took advantage of the Mongols incursion to infiltrate themselves into the south through Yunnan. They obviously found in the court of Kaeovamsa the accommodation of Tai custom that they could relied on. They soon became insiders of the court and after the king died with no heir apparent to succeed him, they elected one of their own to take on the throne. In this Ayudhyan version, King U-Tong himself was quoted to be from a Chinese wealthy family and was elected as the next King (Notes: King U-Tong of Ayudhya). The southern Siam Tradition, on the other hand, gives a slightly different version. A member of the U-Tong' s family, more likely his father, usurped the Kaeo court and declared himself king of Siam.
After four generations, the Lao King had one of his daughters married to a Lao native named Sen Tom. The so named was of high merit, after usurping the throne from the Xiang-rai rulers, he made himself king of Siam. He then renovated the city and named it Krong Tepburi. He was crowned under the name of Sri Jaya Chieng Saen. (CNSDB)
The account agrees with the Khmer chronicle that it was the father of dav U Dong (U-Tong) named dav Pijayyadaba Jianbhava (Sri Jaya Chieng Saen) who was of Chinese background. He was making himself king of Siam by marrying one of the last Kaeo King's daughters. After the death of his father, U-Tong then took the throne as the next king of Tri-trung.
After the reign of Sri Jaya Chieng Saen, his eldest son named U-Tong ascended the throne. He (U-Tong) moved his palace and built his kingdom on the site of Norng Snau at the south of the city Tepburi (Krong Thep). He renamed the kingdom as Krong Thep Mahanokor Bavarrajavati Sri Ayudhya. (CNSDB)
Despite slight differences in the background of king U-Tong, all sources agree that it was him who brought the Siam court down south and founded the Siam country of Ayudhya. The history of Siam started with the King U-Tong ascending the throne of Ayudhya under the name of Ramathibdi in 1350.
In 1892 of the Buddha era, the yea of Tiger (1350), ruling over the beautiful city of Ayudhya like a city of Gods, a king named Ramadhipati Suvannadola. At the age of 37 years old, possessing of high merit, a grand prestige, a big court and a great power. Enjoying of the fruit of his good deeds accumulated in his anterior existence, he was the standard (hero?) of Siam. (RPAA: P. 18)
The same source also mentions that U-Tong found a small island of the Menam River perfectly suitable for the establishment of his southern city.
It was him who founded the city, the palace, the monasteries, Sanctuaries, halls of upositha, and the Cetiya, and decorated them with diverse ornaments.
(RPAA: P. 18)
From other Siam sources, the move was in haste to escape the outbreak of a severe epidemic and that Ayudhya was formed from the wilderness to become the new capital. This claim contradicts head-on with its own northern tradition of Khun Borom's son named Inh settling at Ayudhya after the fall of Nan-chao during the Tang Dynasty (Xiang-Mai: The Nan-tchao connection: The legend of Khun Borom). Evidences show that Ayudhya was already a well-established city of Sri Dharmaraja since the antiquity time. A Khmer inscription found at the place witnesses the settlement of ancient Khmer courts many time in the past.
The Emarald Buddha
During the last of the Mongol incursion, the chronicle of Sri Dhamasokaraja indicates that a court from Indrapath (Angkor) had escaped to the Menam Valley and settled down at Ayudhya (Sri Dharmaraja: The reestablishment of Sri Dharmaraja). while preparing for the inauguration of the reliquary on the crystalline beach, king Dharmasokaraja Left the southern Menam Valley with little defense. King U-Tong saw it as a rare opportunity to make his move to occupy Ayudhya.
News of this reached dav Pijayyadaba Jianbhava, the father of Dav U Don, the ruler of Sri Ayudhya. Dav U Don raised an army of 2,007,300 and encamped them on [the bank of] a river. From hence he sent a royal letter to Brahna Sri Dhammaraja. (CNSDB: Chapter IV: Nokor Sri Dharmaraja in legendary times: Episode VII: Conflict with Dav U Don)
The fight with Sri Dhammaraja came next. Upon learning that Ayudhya was taken, Sri Dhammasokaraja came back to challenge King U-Tong.
Brahna Sri Dhammasokaraja raised an army of 2,007,300 men, equal to dav U Don, and encamped them where they could gain the advantage. (CNSDB: Chapter IV: Nokor Sri Dharmaraja in legendary times: Episode VII: Conflict with Dav U Don)
The two armies clashed and many men on both sides were killed. Weary with the war's enmity, Sri Dhammasokaraja initiated the cease-fire. The two rulers came to the agreement of settling theirs domains; the southern Menam Valley was left to U-Tong and Ayudhya became his capital. At the same time, Sri Dhammasokaraja moved his capital down south into the Malay Peninsular. A version of the Royal Chronicles of Ayudhya confirms that U-Tong was then the successor of a king of Kambuja who ruled in Indrapath before he moved his court to Ayudhya during an epidemic plague. The transition had little impacted on the cultural legacy of the region. According to the Khmer source, during their settlement at Kampeang Phet, the Kaeo court of Xiang-rai had already adopted the Siam Culture. Buddhism was apparently already practiced in the court of King U-Tong before he attacked Sri Dharmaraja. It was then that the Emerald Buddha Image was supposedly taken from the losing Sri Dharmaraja court and moved to Kampeang Pet. According to the chronicle of Emarald Buddha, the Buddha's image was made in Ceylon and was given to Anuruddha as a gratification of his help in restoring back Buddhism after the attack of Chola on Sri Langka. During the shipment, the image fell by accidence into the hand of Suryavarman I who was then reigning at Angkor. The image stayed at Angkor until king Attitaraja brought it to Sri Dharmaraja during the ravaging flood that destroyed the court of Sri Senakaraja (The Break down of the Cakravatin Empire: The Last of the Angkorean Empire: The Impact of the Flood). It was a strong belief that the image brought prosperity and safety to the host country and after subduing Sri Dharmaraja, king U-Tong would want it to become his possession. His son Ramasuan who was then ruler of Lavo moved the image to his city and kept there for one year and nine months. He had a friend who was a ruler of Xiang-rai named Thao Maha Phrom who, in a political crisis with the court of Lanna, took refuge at Lavo. During his stay under the protection of Ramasuan, he had an affair with the consort of his host who helped him getting hold of the Sihinga Buddha Image. When the affair was uncovered, he was chased out from Lavo and brought the Buddha's image with him. After Returning back to Xiang-rai, he managed to persuade his nephew who was then the king of Lanna named Saen Muang Ma, to reinstall him as a ruler of Xiang-rai. After that, he moved the Buddha image to his city where it remained until a new conflict drove Sen Muang Ma to take back the control of Xiang-rai. A certain circumstance forced him to hide the image behind a stucco plaster and remained hidden until it was recovered by accidence in 1434 (some source says 1436). Hearing the new, the contemporary king of Xiang-Mai Cao Sam Fang Kaen sent his crew to move the image to his city. During the transportation, it is said that the elephant that was supposed to carry the image to Xiang-Mai combated its way to Lampang instead. After many unsuccessful tries, it was decided that the Buddha Image would stay at Lampang and remained there for the next thirty-two years until it was moved back to Ayudhya and later to Bangkok to stay until modern days. At the mean time, the court of King U-Tong was seen consolidating its control over the lower Menam Valley and built Ayudhya into becoming a powerhouse of Southeast Asia.
AYUDHYA AS A KINGDOM
Moving to Ayudhya, the court of King U-Tong had to adjust themselves to the Khmer culture. However, specific condition of the Lower Menam Valley also provided the opportunity for a change. For instance, the loose control of the Khmer Empire allowed member states to retain their autonomy that worked in favor for the new Ayudhyan court. On the other hand, Ayudha was not crowded and with new people brought from nearby regions, it became the next ground work of Siam cultural implantation in the heart of the Mon Country. Having still retained strong Tai legacy from their root at Yunnan, the Kaeo court found little resistance in implanting the Tai culture on their new territory. With a new nationality, Ayudhya made its way to attack and subdued Angkor.
The Peopling of Ayudhya
Even though proved to date since the early formation of the Kamara kingdom of Mahidhara, Ayudhya was not always been populated as other part of the Menam Valley. Unlike Lavo where the Mon culture was taking hold among crowded Khmer-mon's population, Ayudhya was never been known as a major city in the past. Before the formation of Angkor, it was the royal residence of the Kamara rulers of Dvaravati. As depicted in the inscription of Ayudhya, the Menam Valley had ist very past history broken in many phases (The Inscription of Ayudhya: Historical Background). During the first Indianization, it became the stronghold of the very first dynasty of Guchanaga and later the seats of the very first Sri Vijayan court (Patham Vijaya). During the Angkorean era, Ayudhya was well protected by its northern neighbor Lavo and the peopling of Ayudhya was not an issue for the Khmer Empire. Under the Sailendra cour, Ayudhya became a second city of Sri Dharmaraja while the capital had been move to Kedah. During all this time, Ayudhya had always been the seat of the Khmer-mon culture. The only connection of Ayudhya with the Tai legacy that left the Tai-Kham culture in the Menam Valley was during the early formation of the Funan Empire by King Hun Tien. Of Kamboja stock, he came by himself to subdue the local queen Liu-ye and established the kingdom of Funan or Kambojadesa. On the other hand, its connection with the Tai country of Southern China, based on the Tai and Lao's legend of Khun Borom, was wrongly postulated into the Tai migration theory from Yunnan. We have argued that the original Khun Borom was actually the same Khmer legacy of Paramesvara, the God King associated with Meru or Lord Siva. On the other hand, the Tai legendary Khun Borom of Yunnan was actually a lineage of King Rudravarman who was himself not a native of Yunnan but was a refugee from the Khmer court of Funan (Xiang-Mai: The Nan-tchao connection: King Borom of Nan-chao). Chased out by the Chenla Clan, he settled and established his Mahayana Buddhism at Yunnan that would be later transplanted as the God King Paramesvara, the progenitor of the Angkorean Empire. According to the same legend, one of his sons named Khun Inh established his kingdom at Ayudhya. It coincided with the emergence of the Sailendra dynasty of the Sri Vijaya court that was to become the next Ketomala Dynasty of Angkor. On the other hand, the "Phongsavadan muang Nua" included the story of Ponhea Krek as the progenitor of king U-Tong's lineage, suggesting that the court of King U-Tong was local having its regional past with the Chenla King Bhavavarman and also to the Pagan king Anuruddha. As we had seen, the claim does not agree with other sources stating that King U-Tong was actually a member of a Chinese community whose inclusion in the displaced court of Kaeo vamsa was due to specific circumstances. His connection to either Khmer Kingdom or Angkor could never been checked out. The absorption of Lavo court in subordination of Ayudhya was the only connection that his court had with the ancient past of Anuruddha and the Angkorean Empire. Becoming the capital of king U-Tong, the situation was changed. Surrounded by hostile neighbors, King U-Tong must secure Ayudhya with population that could be mobilized quickly into the Siam army. The early formation of Ayudhya was mostly about drastic measures regarding populating a vast area, scarcely inhabited by indigenous people. The next evidences refute earlier theory of Tai migration stating that the peoples of race Tai migrated down south and to make room for themselves they subsequently displaced the Lawa, the Khmer and the Mon tribes away from the Menam Valley. The findings show instead that the new Ayudhya' s court needed people to add over the original Khmer-mon people. In theirs own accounts, any time that they conducted raids on neighboring states, the major task of the Ayudhya's army was to capture as much human trophy as possible from the losing party (Notes: Human trophy). On the opposite fronts, the new Lao, Burmese, and Khmer courts, in theirs own drive for supremacy, also applied the same policy as well. In consequence, the natives ended-up becoming war's casualty and were very much beaten as rape and other kinds of war's cruelty were common of theirs ordeals (The breaking of the Cakravatin Empire: The impact of the re-population). The captured peoples were used to populate Ayudhya and at the same time stripped from its antagonist neighbors of valuable human-resource. They were integrated into the new society of different social stratum to make-up the new Siam country, most as slave and human labors. Contrary to the Tai migration theory, evidences show that the new people of Ayudhya were mostly formed by war prisoners who were captured and brought to Ayudhya from neighboring countries. Even though holding a common Buddhist heritage from the past Khmerization, they were nonetheless of diverse background. The first thing that king Utong had to do was to implant the Tai Culture on the new population. Unlike the northern Siam where tradition of Tai or Lao cultures had been implanted since the antiquity,
The Agression Against Angkor
Since the Mongol's incursion, Cambodia had been drawn deeper and deeper into depression and as worst yet, experienced the lack of good leadership. A new line of kings originated from Lampang kept the Khmer tradition alive and in the process adopted a conservative policy. At the contrary, the court of Ayudhya built itself into becoming the next barbarous state of the south. Cinicized and of Mongolian stock, the first generation of Ayudhyan kings were warlike. With the addition of more Chinese leadership, Ayudhya started the expansionist policy against neighboring states. Still retaining their aggressiveness connected to the Kaeo country of Yunnan, they went straight rampaging the south. The absorption of Lavo and Sokhodaya, for once, made Ayudhya one of the strong contenders for supremacy. Being past military commanding posts of the Angkorean Empire, the two countries provided Ayudhya with people resources to become a new military power of the mainland. Through out the aggression, Ayudhya built its strength by conquering strategic Angkorean states of the past. As repeated attacks were conducted, Angkor became increasingly vulnerable that let to its abandonment later in its history. The aggression of Ayudhya on the other hand, set the bad tones that generated distrust between the two nations. As attacks on its territory started soon after the formation of Ayudhya, Angkor was obviously the first to become Ayudhyan target. During the first few campaigns, the Khmer court managed to defend itself by mobilizing troops from a drawn down people. The recruitment was often conducting in haste; with no proper training, the Khmer army withstood at best the Siam attack. After each battle, diplomatic exchange did not resolve the conflict. On the Khmer side, the messenger brought the message to the Siamese camp.
Nokor Kamboja dhipti was a Maha Nokor (Great Kingdom) that Siam was used to be a vassal. Now Siam declares itself independent and had already established its own frontier and we (Kamboja) had never objected and hold grudge about it. Why in the world that Siam brought its army to fight against Khmer and make our monks, priests and the whole population suffering?
(CKHI:The Reign of Prah Lampung Raja)
The passage mentioned about Siam becoming independent from the Angkorean Empire and had the frontier set at the expense of Angkor. It was referring to the break-off of Sokhodaya from Angkor during the incursion of the Mongol Empire. The frontier in question had been laid-out between the two countries since the independence of Sokhodaya. In later accord between the Ayudhya king, Prah Dharmaraja and the Khmer King Boromindaraja in the sixteenth century, the same question was brought-up again to settle between the two countries (Nokor Catomukha: Nokor Lawek: The pact between Ayudhya and Lawek). However, it is clear that the new Ayudhya's court, very much occupied with its own ambition, could not care less about the peace's accord. The army marshal (senapati) who was conducting the Siam army against the Angkorean court was no other than the future Siam king Boromraja, an uncle of king U-Tong. After receiving the message, he simply replied back:
The state of Sri Ayudhya brought up its army against Maha Nokor in the purpose of taking Kamboja into its vassalage. If Kamboja agrees to be a vassal of Ayudhya, Siam would immediately return its army back to Ayudhya. (CKHI:The land of Prah Lampung Raja)
This reply from Boromraja reveals the new Ayudhya court's policy about its ambition to become the next Cakravatin Empire. The policy however would draw resistance from all Ayudhya's neighboring states for no ones were leaning for the Ayudhya's leadership. We shall see that during its initial campaigns, Ayudhya had to conduct attacks on many fronts, but to the credit of the warlike king Boromraja, managed to succeed under hostile environments. After receiving the reply from the commander of the Siam Army, king Lampangraja met with his court and decided to resist the Siam invasion. In his own statement, he made it clear that in no circumstances the Angkorean court would submit itself to Siam without fighting.
We used to have high honor and if we agree to submit to Siam, all our prestige would surely tarnished. Therefore, Siam should never hope that Kamboja Desa would agree to become one of its vassals. (CKHI:The land of Prah Lampung Raja)
The attack obviously continued and intensified the rivalry between the two nations. In future move, Ayudhya had succeeded to overrun the Angkorean defense and took the Angkorean throne in 1351. Unable to break free the Siam's blockade, King Lampangraja died during the attack. At the mean time, we shall see that his brother Suryavang escaped to the Lao country and came back to free Angkor with the support of the Lao King Fa Ngum (The Lao Kingdom of Lang-xang: The Establishment of Lan-xang: The Liberation of Angkor).
The Reign of King Boromaracha (1370-1388)
After a short setback, the Ayudhya' s invasions resumed again during the next reign of king Boromraja. U-Tong sent his brother-in-law Pha Ngua to rule over Suphanpuri and his eldest son to rule over Lopuri. The two cities at reachable distance from Ayudhya by water constituted the support bases of the new Siam country. Lopuri provided stable administration and religious backbone that were legacies of the Khmer Empire. Suphanpuri, on the other hand, had been the seat of power for the U-Tong family for some time. Under these adverse circumstances, Ayudhya throne was to experience political disturbances during the next successions. After the death of Ramathibdi in 1369, Ramasuan ascended the Ayudhya throne for only briefly.
After him (U-Tong), his son Ramassura, possessing of high merits, to the power at the age of 30 years and reigned for 3 years. (RPAA: P. 18)
According to other sources, Ramassura only reigned for one year and the next year, his uncle Boromaracha came with a full force to take Ayudhya. Ramasuan abdicated and returned back to Lobpuri.
His maternal uncle named Banu Mahanayaka usurped the throne and exiled him. Possessing of high merits, doing of good deeds, observing the precepts and practicing the virtues. (RPAA: P. 18)
It was the start of the internal crisis that plagued the court Ayudhya during the rest of its existence. Siam sources stated that the country was then blackened under civil wars, but under the strong leadership of king Boromaracha, everyone had to show their submission. His military career started when he was the army marshal of his brother but his military exploit became prominent when he became king of Ayudhya himself. Known as a "fan of weapons", Boromaracha was also known as a "war-minded ruler". After usurping the throne of Ayudhya from his nephew, Boromraja had resumed the aggressive policy against his neighbors. He had conducted many attacks against the new Angkorean court and in many occasions sacked the Angkorean throne. During each victory, the Siam troops grabbed any trophies that they could laid their hand on which included many of the Angkorean population and courtesans. Back in Ayudhya, King Boromaracha built up his own court according to the Khmer legacy. To challenge the reminiscence of the last Angkorean Empire, he proclaimed Ayudhya as Maha Nokor or the Great Kingdom. To accomplish his goal, King Boromaracha spent the rest on his reign on consolidating the northern front. By 1378 he had captured back Nakhon Sawan, Pisnuloka and Kampeang-pet. After succumbing Lumpung in 1386 he turned again Sokhodaya. As we shall see, he owed part of his success to his political skill during his campaign that was very much effective in securing the neutrality of Lanna. It is important to note that after the Mongol's exodus from Yunnan, Lanna was left with full suzerainty under the direct descendant of king Mang-rai' s leadership (The Lanna State: The establishment of Lanna: The fight for supremacy). It was the only state that had little impact from the withdrawal of the Mongols. Becoming allied to the Ho court of Yunnan, Lanna retained strong military prowess of the north. The northern campaign of Ayudhya could then risk a major setback by the interference of Lanna. Clever maneuver by king Boromaraja however, kept Lanna mostly on the sideline in his drive to subdue Sokhodaya. This tactful maneuver along with the warlike policy became the legacy of him to stay along his descendants to become the next successful dynasty of Ayudhya. When Boromaracha died in 1388, his seventeen-year-old son, Prince Thong Chan, was placed upon the throne. Ramasuan took the advantage of the latter' s lack of experience to storm the palace. He then executed the young king and assumed the power. His second reign lasted for seven years and his twenty-one-year-old-son Rama succeeded him in 1395 under the name of Ramaraja. Under a benign circumstance, he appointed Nakhon In who was the young brother of king Thong Chan to conduct diplomatic relationship with China. In 1409, the chief of Ramaraja's minister fled the court and positioned himself with Nakhon In to depose Ramaraja. Nakhon In then ascended the Ayudhyan throne under the name of King Intraraja. He awarded the minister with the daughter of a royal concubine. During the court's intrigue, the Chinese court recognized Nakhon In all along as heir apparent to the Ayudhya throne. The crisis seams to end once for all the rivalry from Lobpuri for the Siam chronicles later mentioned little of its political existence in the court of Ayudhya. To safeguard his new court, King Intraraja posted his elder sons to the government of northern and western provinces that were among them Suphanpuri, Sankhapuri and Pisnulok. Many of those provinces were once under the suzerainty of Sokhodaya. Upon hearing the new of theirs father' s death in 1424, two of the three brothers Chao-Ai and Chao-Ji rushed to Ayudhya to fight for the throne and ended-up mutually killed each other during the fight. The other brother named Chao-Sam took the throne for himself and reigned under the name of Borommaraja II (King Borom-Raja-Thirat in Siam source, 1424-1448).
THE SOUTHERN CAMPAIGN
Ayudhya' s modern history had been written based on the wrong premise that Tai vassal states of Angkor fought and got its independence after its decline. This misconception had led to the belief that there was in fact a Tai nationality that got themselves free from the Khmers and named theirs first Kingdom Sokhotai (Notes: Siam as a dependency of Angkor). Following the Sokhodaya 's success, the rest of the Tai states also fought for theirs own freedom. Ayudhya that was particularly in close relationship with Sokhodya was the next Tai state to rise against the authority of Angkor. Supported by the Tai migration theory, the misconception of Tai states was widely accepted by most modern Thai and western historians alike.
The Tai's Identity
Like the Khmers who were the product of the Meru culture, the Tais got theirs identity from the Sakan culture of Daya Desa (Tai Tet in Thai Language). Tai Tet was found in Tai ancient sources as the original country of the Tai aristocratic people who through infiltration in Southeast Asia brought the Tai identity in the heart of the autroasiatic speaking people. As any other past legacies, Daya Desa or the country of the Tai people could not be found on modern map but have been asserted as a reference to the Sakan country of Central Asia as a whole. Cathay that is a Chinese reference to "Kadaya" of Central Asia during the Mongolian era, lost most of its historical meaning due to modern development. Demographically, they were the same Central Asian stocks who became now subject of the Kambojan warlords who were known also as the Parthians. Through Tartarization, they later transformed themselves and became known as the Yueh-Shih. They were groups of nomadic tribesmen who roamed the steppes and formed their communities on the ground on native stocks of Central Asia. Evidence also show that during theirs high apogee they controlled the world and were the same rulers of China
of the Xia Dynasty (2070 BC-1600 BC) and the Shang Dynasty (1300 BC-1046 BC). Like in Gangetic India, theirs first settlement at Central Asia was at the expense of the Kamara kings of Tian Shan countries who were forced to retreat themselves among the austroasiatic speakers tribesmen of Southeast Asia. Following the escape of the Kamara Kings, members of the Tai aristocrat societies were also seen establishing themselves among southern communities of the Kamara world. Most were assimilated into the Kamara societies and had contributed to the next progression of the Kamara culture. In Gangetic India, the birth of Buddha Gautama resulted in the transformation of Sivaism into Buddhism. A scion of the Sakan kings had followed the Kamara Kings into the Gangetic India to form the Mauryan Empire (The Sakadvipa: The Sakan incursion: The Mauryan Dynasty). After all the sufferings caused by king Ashoka' s original karma, the Mauryan Empire became later a strong supporter of Buddhism and was responsible to the spread of the religion to the rest of the world. At the south of China, his third son Piao-sui-ti established Buddhism among the Yao or the Mien tribesmen who were likely the remnants of the original people of the Tai or Yueh-shih kingdom. In Southeast Asia, the Menam Valley was then becoming Sudharmavati after the arrival of his son Mang-sui-ti and Ayudhya was the stronghold of the Kamara culture of the Gachanaga family. Though Hinayana Buddhism, the early Tai legacies had been completely absorbed into the Kamara world until the advent of the Mogols incursion and the break-down of the Angkorean Empire. The adoption of the Tai language got its start with the establishment of the new Tai nations by rulers who once had connection with the Yunnan country. After founding Sokhodaya, Ramakamheang invented the Tai scripture and judging from his inscriptions, the Tai language might already been put to use in his court. His descendants however reversed the trend and there is strong evidence that the southern Menam Valley was still retaining the Khmer-Mon legacies at least until the formation of the new Ayudhya court in 1350. The real spread of the Tai Language was obviously propelled by the Kaeo power elite from the Yunnan Country. This time, besides bringing along with them the northern Tai legacies into the south, they encouraged the Kaeo aristocracy and other Shan Chinese (Mien) ethnicity to migrate south. We thus conclude that the Tai legacy of Southean Siam was merely the effect of king U-Tong court 's campaign in conquering Ayudhya and the rest of the Menam Valley in order to build his own kingdom. By absorbing Sokhodaya, the people of Ayudhya was primary of Khmer-mon background.
The Absorption of Sukhodaya
In contrast to modern claim of deep Tai connection between Ayudhya and Sokhodaya, evidences show that the two courts had nothing in common neither in blood relationship nor in tradition. At the contrary, there was always an intense rivalry from the start of their formation between the two courts. As recounted by the Chiang Mai Chronicle, the next affair between Sokhodaya was full of commotion. Taking the opportunity of the unsettled situation of the Sokhodayan court during the early reign of King Sri Dharmaraja, King U-Tong wrested Lavo from Sokhodaya and anointed his son Ramasuan to rule over this ancient Khmer city. By then Sokhodaya was still ridden by internal conflicts during the succession of Ramakamheang by two lines of his descendants from different mother sides (Sokhodaya: The Decline of Sokhodaya: The Reign of King Ladayaraja). Nevertheless, King Sri Dharmaraja had regained control over Sokhodaya that had fallen away during the internal crisis and started to challenge Ayudhya about the control of Lavo. Astute as he was, the Ayudhyan king Boromaracha did not take the offense on himself but instead drew Lanna into the new conflict. Taking advantage of the young and inexperienced Cao Saen Muang Ma, he requested protection from the new ruler of Chiang Mai.
The ruler of Sokhodaya offended against Phraya Borommatricak of Ayudhya. Borommatricak took his principality and placed it under the protection of Cao Saen Muang Ma. (CMC: Chapter 3: Sean Muang Ma Attacks Sukhothai: P.69)
It was a typical maneuver that became a trademark of the new Siam court to stay until modern days. Through out the rest of their history, the Siam country owed more of their success story to the manipulation skill of their leaders. Cao Saen Muang Ma was still very young and experience when he ascended the Lanna throne in 1400. Under the request from Ayudhya, he sent an army to fight Sokhodaya. Even though Mahadhammarach II did make it clear that he did not wish to fight, the Lanna king still insisted on carrying through his campaign.
The lord of Sokhodaya came out and communicated with a senior woman, acting as an envoy who came out to talk to the ruler of Sukhodaya, who told him that he did not want to fight the ruler of the South. (CMC: Chapter 3: Sean Muang Ma Attacks Sukhothai: P.69)
Having no other option, Sri Dharmaraja of Sokhodaya had to fight off the aggressor. He defeated the army of Lanna, but the real ordeal was yet to come as he had still to face his enemy of the south (Notes: The Nan inscription). Taking the opportunity of the drawn down Sokhadayan army, Boromaracha launched his own campaign and forced Sokhodaya into submission. The fall of Sokhodaya under the control of Ayudhya was also confirmed by Chinese sources.
During the period Tche-tcheng (1344-1368) the state of Lo-hou conquered the state of Sien, then the new name of Sien-lo-hou or Sien-lo. At the beginning of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the first ambassador of Sien-lo-hou or Sien-lo came to the court, and the relations continued uninterrupted until today. (BEFEO IV, Deux Itinaraires De Chine en Inde I, P. 235, Paul Pelliot)
The passage appears to indicate that after taking control of Sokhodaya, Ayudhya presented itself to the Chinese court as Sien-lo (Syam). Once the control over Sokhodaya was secured, the conflict with Xiang-Mai soon started. The fight was at first concerning on the past territory of Sokhodaya that was also claimed by Xiang-Mai. To recall back, Lanna and Sokhodaya took advantage of the Mongol's incursion to extend their territory over the Mon' s state of Haripangjaya. While Xiang-Mai wrested Haripangjaya from king Yiba, evidences show that Lampang was leaning toward Sokhodaya for protection (The Lanna State: The Angkorean Connection: The conquest of Haripangjaya). By driving the Mon courts out from both Haripangjaya and Lampang, King Mang-rai then established Haripangjaya as part of his Kingdom. when the fleeing court of Haripangjaya took refuge at Pishnulok and apparently asked the protection of Sokhodaya, Mangrai ordered his son to stop pursuing them. Many indications suggest that when they later moved to settle at Angkor, Lampang was still in dispute with Xiang-Mai and was later taken under subordination of Sokhodaya (Notes: Chaliang-Sokhothai). When Sokhodaya fell into the Ayudhyan control, Lampang was naturally claimed by the King of the South, Boromaraja II. Nevertheless, its close locality made it more vulnerable to the takeover target by the King of the North instead (CMC: Battle with Ayudhya Forces 1442/43: P.82). King Trilokarat of Xiang-Mai took the opportunity to take Lampang under his control. According to the Xiang-Mai chronicle, Lampang was then ruled by a governor who was apparently belonging to the previous Sokhodaya court. The governor tried in vain to maintain Lampang's independence from the claim of both kings of the South and the North. Despise his effort, he lost the fight to king Trilokarat and was taken as prisoner to Xiang-Mai and Lampang was again brought to join Haripangjaya, but this time to be part of Lanna (CMC: Ayudhya Invades 1461/1462: P.92).
The Burmese Intervention
By the time that Ayudhya extended its control over the south of the Menam Valley, we had seen that the legacies of the Three Shan Brothers and the Talaing king Kiowa II had regrouped themselves to form the new Burmese powerhouse at Ava (The Lanna State: The Affairs with the Ming: The Establishment of Pinya). It was not by chance that the Ayudhyan court would later suffer severe attacks from the new Burmese court. We had argued that both Sokhodaya and Ava courts had been involved actively in the restoration of the Angkorean court after the withdraw of the Mongols. A new consortium had been formed between the three courts in the attempt to bring back the Khmer legacy of Angkor. Taking advantage of internal crisis that brought down Ava, Ayudhya made its move to subdue Angkor and later conquered Sokhodaya. Adding into the distress, the Ming had conducted a massive campaign to take control of Yunnan. With limited resource, the Ming used the Ho army to crack down any uprisings that may occur. Having been politically connected with Yunnan, the ruler of Muang Mao (SooGnampha) was in the black list of the Chinese court. The Ho army that was operated under the Chinese court, launched a campaign against Muang Yang. After a protracted struggle of two years, the capital of Mongmao was captured by a Ho army. According to the Pong Chronicle, the ruler of Muang Mao then fled with his eldest son to Pagan and requested for protection (SSBA: Some Earlier Shans: P. 30). To their misfortune, Ava was also amid of its own internal crises. Under the reign of Thadominbya, the court of Ava was under restructuring itself and by this time the Pukha' s legacy of the Three Shan Brother was already fading (The Lanna State: The last legacy of Rajapati: The establishment of Pinya). The father and son were granted refuge but when the Chinese general requested their extradition, the Burmese yielded to the Chinese demand. They were carried into China, from whence they never returned. As reward for their cooperation, the Ming handed over Muang yang to the Burmese court. After two years in exile, the queen and her other sons went back and established Muang Kong at the bank of the Nam-kong river. The last of her sons, the prince Soo-oop-pha who became king in 1363 was anxious to avenge the treachery of the Burmese court and invaded Sagain and the rest of Burmese territory three years afterwards. It was a setback that among other restrictions prevented the Burmese court to safeguard Sokhodaya and Angkor during the attack from Ayudhya. By the time that the Tangoo Dynasty rose up into a prominent powerhouse, Sokhodaya was already subdued and the Khmer court already left Angkor for the site of Catomukh. To make the matter worst, the geopolitical situation in Indochina had already changed dramatically due to the intervention of the Ming in the South China sea trading and also of the presence of European traders. In Yunnan, the Ming continued to curb the Man rebels and as result Muang Yang became the battleground between the rebellious groups and the Ho army. After many years of fighting, Muang Yang became a permanent part of China. In the South China Sea, the Ming' s attempts to run the sea trade business on its own failed. After the Portuguese arrived in the Southeast Asia and conquered Malacca, other European countries also followed suit. With the coming of European traders, the commercial activity of the Southern Sea was never again more lucrative. Being cut off from the Southern Sea trading since the break down of Ramanadesa and while the Shan was gaining power in the North, Central Burma was politically and commercially isolated. Tabinshwehti saw the opportunity for Burma into becoming once again an important player in the International trade but he had to fight hard for it (The Kingdom of Burma: The past Legacies: The Restoration of the Burmese Legacy). He then began assembling an army for an attack on coastal Arakan to the west but his forces were defeated. Instead, he was able to gain control over Lower Burma up to Prome and his next move was Ayuthya. Besides rich resources of wealth and population, there might be other reasons that motivated the Burmese King for the invasion. By subduing Hamsavati, Tabinshwehti absorbed the Mon court into his own and family members of Wareru who had close tie with Ramakamheang were to become part of the new Burmese court. This Sokhodaya' s legacy might play some role, if not the main reason in the next attack launched by the Burmese King against Ayudhya.
THE CAKRAVATIN CODEPENDENCY
Beside the hard core of king U-Tong's dynasty, the court of Ayudhya included in its sub-layer members of the Khmer court from Lobpuri and members of the Ruang Dynasty from Sokhodaya. During it early stage, the new court of Ayudhya managed to keep subordinate courts in check under theirs control. Less than a century later, the U-Tong family's prosperity went into decline and started to face with serious crisis. Through a series of misfortune, the Ayudhyan court suffered both internal and external attacks as rivals took the opportunity of the internal crisis to challenge the next court of Ayudhya. Inheriting the hate that was incurred during the first few generation of King U-Tong, the next phase of Ayudhya's history was marked by retaliations from its neighbors turned into enemies.
The Retaliation from Cambodia and Hamsavati
The division of the Ayudhyan court into two factions led by direct descendants of King U-Tong and of his uncle king Boromraja, finally brought Ayudhya to a series of internal crisis. Apparently, it was a rare opportunity for both Cambodia and Hamsavati to step-up challenging the new court of Siam. Resuscitated back by new developments after the fall of Mongol, the Khmer court of Sri Raja was particularly eager to claim back lost territories to its western neightbor. Hoping to capitalize on anarchy inside the Ayudhya's court during the palace's intrigue, Sri Raja brought his troops to attack Ayudhya. What he did not know was that the intrigue was soon to be over and Ayudhya was back quickly in order under the new king who ascended the throne under the name of Borommatrailokanat (Borom-Trai-Lokhanat in Siam Source, 1448-1463). The new Siam King ordered thw Siam army inside the city' s wall and used canons to inflict heavy casualty on the Khmer troops. Ending in defeat, Sri Raja withdrew his troops into Cambodia and faced a crisis of his own. In Catomukh court, internal crises popped up between members of the royal families when Sri Raja was out for the Campaign. Very much in its own dynastic crises, Cambodia was then divided into three factions. Back in Ayudhya, the victory over the Khmer troops came as a short relief to the Siam king who also had to face with Hamsavati. During the attack of Sri Raja on Ayudhya, the king of Pegu had also prepared troops for a similar assault of his own. He put his plan on hold after hearing that the Khmer King already brought his troops to Ayudhya. After the defeat of Sri Raja, the court of Hamsavati then launched theirs own attack.
The king of Pegu which the capital was named Hamsavati, brought up an army three hundred thousand men with a troop of seven hundreds war elephants raids the country and established his camp in the plain of Ayudhya.
According to the Siam source, there was hunger all over the country during the reign of King Borommatrailokanat. Perhaps due to successive attacks from neighboring countries, the Siam court went on reorganizing its strategic position. His son, Boromraja III (1363-1488) ascended the Ayudhyan throne while he himself went out to rule Phitsanulok in 1363. King Boromraja III was undoubtedly the same Siam King, mentioned in Khmer source as King Chakraphat, who went out to interfere in the Khmer intrigue at catomukha. His intervention resulted in the capturing of both King Sri Raja and his Nephew Sri Prah Suryauday as prisoners to Ayudhya in 1485 (Nokor Catomukh: The intervention of Ayudhya: The reign of Prah Suryauday). In exchange for the safeguarding of his son and immediate family's members, Sri Raja handed over the control of Sri Dharmaraja to Ayudhya. The acquisition of Sri Dharmaraja from Sri Raja was one among his exploits that turned the next Ayudhyan court into becoming once again a powerhouse. In addition, the arrangement with the new king of Cambodia, Sri Dharmaraja secured Ayudhya of petty attacks from the east and allowed its court to concentrate more on the western front against Burma. The next king who reigned after Boromraja III, was his son Indraraja II (Inthraracha in the Siam source, 1488-1491). He only reigned for four years and his successor, king Raja-kuman, only reigned for one year. His descendants appeared to have less trouble reigns but were not strong enough to exert more interference in Cambodia (Siam: Deuxieme Partie: P. 77). During the reign of King Ramadhipti II (1429-1529), the Khmer court of Sri Soganbath (1505-1512) at Catomokh, was usurped by a court member named Nay Kan. The intrigue sent a Khmer prince, Prah Chanraja who was the brother of Prah Soganbath to take refuge with the Siam court. He went back to Cambodia after the death of his brother and managed to subdue the usurper King Kan in 1525. The Siam King then sent messenger to Lawek to ask the new Khmer King for tribute. His request was however turned down and his campaigns for retaliation also ended in defeat (Nokor Caktomukh: The Founding of Nokor Catomukh: The Intervention of Ayudhya). Having succeeded in bringing back order in Cambodia, the Khmer King Chanraja refused to send tribute to Ayudhya and prepared instead to face retaliation. King Ramadhipti II orchestrated two assaults by using former Khmer retinues in the Ayudhyan court to lead the Siamese army against Lawek. One of them was no other than the son of Sri Raja who was held in Ayudhya after both father and son was taken as prisoner to Ayudhya. Entrusted as the governor of Pisnulok, the Khmer prince had sworn allegiance to the Siam King and was appointed to lead the Siamese army to attack Cambodia. He was defeated in the first assault and when he returned for the second battle at Siemreap, he was killed by the Khmer army led by Prah Chanraja.
The End of the U-Tong Lineage
The setback of the Siamese interference in Cambodia forced King Ramadhipti II to be cautious about his next move against neighboring countries. When the Portuguese captured Malacca in 1511, they sent a mission to Ayudhya to assure support from Ayudhya. To recall back, Ayudhya still hold the claim of Sri Dharmaraja after it was handed over by the Khmer King Sri Raja. Afraid of being contested, the Portuguese was trying to build a relationship with Ayudhya (Notes: Ayudhya and the West). King Ramadhipti II saw it as a good opportunity to build a partnership with the west and was more than happy to accommodate the Portuguese's request. As to the control of Sri Dharmaraja, Ayudhya knew of its own strength and prepared to benefit from subordination instead. With China's interference and intense local competition, Sri Dharmaraja had never been profitable to Ayudhya (Sri Dharmaraja: The End of the Khmer Control: The Hand-over of the Malay Tribute System to Ayudhya). With the help from the Portuguese, King Ramadhipti II began arming his army the western way. Gun and ammunition along with Portuguese fighters were used in the Siam army to take part in the next aggression with neighboring countries. In retrospective on Lanna 's attack on Lampang-Sokhodaya in 1507, Ayudhya took back all its possession lost to Lanna. Nevertheless that was all he could do during the rest of his reign. His son king Boromracha IV who became his successor in 1529 only reigned a few years and died of smallpox in 1533. His son at the age of five years old was put on the throne just to be taken away and killed five months later by the half-brother of the late king. The usurper then ascended the throne himself under the name of Jayaraja (Xaja-Raxa-thirat in Siam, 1534-1547). During his reign, Ayudhia was almost consumed by a fire that lasted for three days. The king died leaving his eleventh years old son named Prah Yot Fa as heir. His mother named Sri SudaChan took control of the state affair as regent in the name of her youngster son. She had an affair with a court's official whom she brought up to become one of the high-ranking officials. Finally she used her power to proclaim him king. His reign however was short and was plagued with revolts and uprising. During a trip out off the palace, they both were murdered and the throne was handed to an uncle of the king defunct named Thianaraja. The princess' s maneuver brought down the power of the U-Tong house of the Ayudhyan court to its near destruction. During the palace's intrigue, he escaped the persecution by taking refuge in a pagoda under the yellow saffron as a monk. After the crisis, he ascended the throne of Ayudhya under the name of Maha-Chakraphat-Raja-Thiraj. As his name implied, King Chakraphat proclaimed himself a Cakravatin monarch that reveals very much of his ambition carried through out the U-tong' s lineage (Notes: King Chakraphat). His personal drive did not however bring success to Ayudhya as much as he wished. As soon as he was handed over the throne, king Cakrapath had to face a new attack from Burma. Unlike his predecessors who were warlike, king Chakraphat had at the contrary a lot less battlefield' s experiences. However, the attack of the Burmese King Tabinshwehti left him no other choice than to lead his troops to face the invader. In the battle, his queen named Soriyaudaya and one of his daughters also joint in the Siamese troops. Fighting along side of her king, the queen Soriyaudaya was killed in the elephant's fight, one-on-one, with the king Tabinshwehti.
The king of Siam went to join his troops that he could assemble and engaged in a singular-combat with the king of Pegu. But the elephant that he mounted took a sudden fright, the queen Sorijo-Thai, dressed in costume of war, combated courageously at the place of her spouse, until having her shoulder hit and lost her life on top of her elephant.
The fight continued for another few months before the king of Pegu, running out of supplies, decided to withdraw his troops and headed back to his country. Tabinshwehti' s first assault over Ayudya was not quite successful but it paved the way for his successor Bayinnaugh to finish the task. He brought with him as hostage, a prominent figure of the Siam court who was no other than the next King Dhamaraja. Some sources claim that the hostage maneuvering was actually a voluntary act of the ruler of Sokhodaya as part of a conspiracy against King Cakrapath. As we shall see, King Dhamaraja would play important role in the next Burmese conquest of Ayudhya. After the death of Tabinshwehti in 1550, the new king of Pegu named Bayinnaugh (1551-1581) prepared a new assault. This time there was a changing of strategy. Instead of directly attacking Ayudhya, the Pegu king brought his army to occupy Ayudhya's northern provinces. Preventing them from interfering as further attack on Ayudhya was conducted; they also used them as fresh suppliers. Seeing his condition worsening, king Chakraphat had no other choice than ceding to the Bayinnaugh' s demand. Besides swearing friendship to the king Bayinnaugh, he had to send his son, Ramesuan as an hostage to the court of Pegu.
Juthia consented to give four white elephants, and one of his sons as hostage, after that the king of Pegu returned back by the way of Phittanulok.
The Reign of King Dharmaraja II (1569-1590)
In his old age, King Chakraphat relegated the throne to his son, King Mahinthara-Thirat and secluded himself in a Buddhist monastery. However his peaceful drive was cut short as he was forced to return back to the throne the next year, after the king of Pegu had launched another attack against Ayudhya. This time with an army stronger than before, The king of Pegu besieged the city for nine months during which the king Cakrapath died. He was actually the last Ayudhyan king of U-Tong's ancestry to carry the title of a Cakravatin monarch. With the Ayudhya's court left in the hand of king Cakrapath's incompetent son, Pegu quickly overran Ayudhya with the help of a high mandarin of the Ayudhya court.
King Dharmaraja was the son-in-law of the late King Cakrapath and the famous queen Sorijo-Thai who died fighting the attack of Pegu. While his parent-in-law fought hard to safeguard the Ayudhyan court, King Dharmaraja was seen conspiring with Pegu. To the Tai world, it was an act of treason, but Sri Dharmaraja did it for the sake of his own account. After the death of Rama-kamheang, all kings of Sokhodaya had no obligation whatsoever to the Tai nation. After Sokhodaya was subdued by the U-Tong dynasty, it is obvious that Sokhodaya court' s loyalty to Ayudhya was only through subordination. On top of that, the rivalry between members of the Ruang family and the U-Tong dynasty was always the issue. Hamsavati was then Sri Dharmaraja's only hope to bring down the U-Tong powerhouse and the chance to raise the Sokhodaya's legacy back in the Siam country. Formed by Tabinshwehti, on the broken courts of Martaban and the old Mon of Pegu, the new court of Hamsavati had closer connection with Sri Dharmraja than the U-Tong Dynasty ever had. After the attack, king Bayinnaugh handed over the subdued Ayudhya court to Sri Dharmaraja but left him with little defense.
The king of Pegu amassed a big wealth of trophies and brought with him all the people in captivity, only leaving one thousand men under the command of Tamma-Raxa-Thirat.
The news reached the Cambodian king Boromindaraja who saw the weakness of Ayudhya as another opportunity to gain back the three provinces lost in dispute with the earlier Ayudhyan court. It is important to note that Bachinpuri, Chandapuri and Nokorrajasima were always the subject of conflict between the two courts since they were lost to Ayudhya by the Siamese aggression (Nokor Catamukh: Nokor Lawek: The pact between Ayudhya and Lawek). Underestimating the strength of Ayudhya, the King Boromindaraja brought up a small army and went straight to subdue Ayudhya but once again lost the battle and had to withdraw back. The Siam's source has also a paragraph commenting on this failed attempt by the king of Cambodia.
The king of Lawek, who had an implacable hate against Siam, took the opportunities of the weakness done by him to seize also Juthia. On his side, Thamma-Raxa-Thirat in rushing to repair all the damage done to his capital, had assembled a big number of people. The Cambodian king, seeing that it would not be that easy as he thought to take over the city, had to content himself to the pillage, plundering and collecting of captives, on their way back home. (Siam: Deuxieme Partie: P. 82)
The Siam chronicle however is quiet about the next Khmer assault that resulted in the retrieving of the three disputed provinces back to Cambodia. This time, the campaign was better planned and Ayudhya had no other option than to surrender. With bigger army, they took control of the dispute provinces first before heading to subdue Ayudhya. The new strategy worked as king Dhammaraja was cut off from his army' s recruiting ground and had no other choice than to cede the three provinces back to the Cambodian court as requested. After settling the frontier between their countries, a pact was signed by the two courts to safeguard both countries' welfare (Nokor Catomukh: Nokor Lawek: The fight for supremacy).
- ISSA: The Indianized States of Southeast Asia, by G. Coedes
- CKHI: The Chonicle of Khmer heroes Part I, by Sot Eng
- CMC: The Chiang Mai Chronicle, by David K. Wyatt and Aroonrut Wichienkeeo
- CNSDA: The Christal Sands: the chronicles of Nagara Sri Dharmaraja: Version A, Translated by David K. Wyatt
- Jina: Jinakalamali (The epochs of the conqueror), by Ratanapanna Thera, translated by N. A. Jayawikramma
- RPAA: BEFEO XIV:The Recension Palie des Annales d' Ayudhya, by George Coedes
- Siam: Royaume Thai ou Siam, by Mr Pallegoix
- Thai: Thailand: A short History, by David K Wyatt
- STH:Studies in Thai History, by David K Wyatt
- CamIII: Le Cambodge III: Le Siam, E. Aymonier
- HLao:History of Laos, Maha Sila Viravong, Translated by the U.S. Joint Publications research Service
- SSBA:The Shan State and the British Annexation, by Sao Saimong Mangrai
1351-1369: The reign of King Ramathibdi (King U-Tong); 1370-1388: The reign of King Boromaracha; 1409-1424: The reign of King Intraraja ; 1424-1448: The reign of king Boromaracha II; 1448-1463: The reign of King Borommatrailokanat at Ayudhya; 1463-1488: The reign of King Borommatrailokarat at Phitsanulok; 1548-1569: The reign of King Maha-Chakraphat-Raja-Thiraj; 1531-1550: The reign of King Tabinshwehti at Tangoo; 1569-1590: The reign of King Dharmaraja II;
- A court's Member of the Historical Committee
One of the prominent scholars of the Tai history was Sondet Phra Paramanuxit Xinorot.
- Ayudhya's record
One such copy was partially translated by George Coedes and published under the title of "The Recension Palie des Annales d' Ayudhya" in BEFEO Tome XIV. Some others were summarized and published by Mr Pallegoix (Siam: Chapter Dix-neuviene: Histoires des Thai, Ancienement appele Sajam).
- Histoires des Thai, Ancienement appele Sajam
The summary of the History of Siam, that make-up the subject of this chapter, is drawn from the chronicle of the country. Those chronicles are divided into two groups; the first group, composed of three volumes only, under the title of "Phongsavada-Muangnua", or history of the North, give the origin of the Thai, and a summary of their history until the foundation of Juthia. This first part is full of myths, and presented little historical facts. The second part that starts from the foundation of Juthia, forms forty volumes, and give the history well followed of the Thai Nation until today. (Siam: Chapter Dix-neuviene: Histoires des Thai, Ancienement appele Sajam)
- King U-Tong of Ayudhya
Beside having the same name, the king of U-Tong of Ayudhya had no connection whatsoever with the Khmer legendary Prah-Tong of Prey Nokor, founder of Nokor Khmer.
- Human Trophy
The human trophies were mostly collected from two of Ayudhya neighboring states: Xiang-Mai and Cambodia.
Rama-Suen captured Xiang-Mai and brought many thousands of Lao. He took also the capital of Cambodia and left there only five thousands souls. (Siam: Deuxieme partie: pages 75-76)
Started from the reign of Ramasuan, the policy was also carried on during the next generations as well, especially during the next attack of king Borom-Raja-Thirat on Xiang-Mai.
He (Borom-Raja-Thirat) went to conduct war at Xiang-Mai, where he brought twelve thousands of Lao captives. (Siam: Deuxieme partie: pages 75-76)
- Siam as a Dependency of Angkor
It is a fact, recorded in both Khmer and Siam sources, that Siam was a dependency of Angkor. According to Siam source, Prah Ruang himself paid tribute the king of Angkor.
At that time, the country of Sajum was under the domination of the king of Kamphoxa-Nakhon, and paid tribute to him. People also report that Phra-Ruang himself went presenting his homage and brought the presents to the king of the country.
There are some similarity between the two sources, concerning the ingenuity of Prah Ruang and the making of the container to carry the tribute water. The Siam source however ended the story with Prah Ruang stopped paying tribute to the King of Angkor and set the Cham country free.
From then on, Prah Ruang, not only stop paying the tribute to the King of Kamphoxa, but at the contrary, forced the latter to recognize his suzerainty. It was from then on that the Siam took the name of Thai, meaning free.
The Khmer source however mentioned that during that time, Prah Ruang was just a commissioner for the Lavo Ruler who was happened to be Indravarman III, a son of Jayavarman VII. Prah Ruang took charge, after his adopted father named Kong, of sending tribute to Angkor (Sokhodaya: The legend of Prah Ruang: Indraditya).
- The Nan Inscription
The Nan inscription, number LXIV, provides a contrast which stem largely from the specific conditions under which it appears to have been framed, and which requires some explanation. It bears Sokhothai and Ayudhya in the latter half of the fourteenth century and the former' s attempts to seek alliance with its northern neighbors. The inscription itself clearly indicates that the Sokhothai monarch involved was King Sai Lu Thai (Dharmaraja II), and the Nan chronicle would suggest Chao Pha Kong (1361-1386), whose predecessor is said to have died at the hand of an Ayudhyan assassin, was the Nan ruler concerned. (STH: Three Sukhothai oaths of Allegiance: P. 63)
Lampang was then referred in the Xiang-Mai chronicle as Chaliang-Sokhothai indicating that it was then under Sokhodaya. After the move of the Mon court to Angkor, Sokhodaya apparently established its own control over this southern Mon country.
- Ayudhya and the West
Duarte Fernandes, the first Portuguese envoy to visit Siam, arrived rather modestly on a Chinese junk, but was well received and sent back with lavish presents for the king of Portugal. Later in the same year, another Portuguese mission arrived in Ayudhya, this time with a commissioner charged to gather commercial intelligence; and in in 1518 a third mission confirms the peace pact, concluded in 1511. In return for granting the Portuguese the rights of residence and religious liberty in Siam and special commercial privileges, the Siamese were assured of Portuguese supplies of guns and ammunitions (Thai: Ayudhya and its Neighbors: Universal Monarchs, Universal Warfare: P. 88).
- King Chakraphat
There were many occasions that Siam kings referred themselves as King Chakraphat since the reign of the Sokhothai king Mahatammaraja I. Evidences show that the title was claimed and not inherited.