History of Xrivizaja

From IBWiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Xrivizaja is one of the oldest currently existing countries in Asia, rivaled in age only by the Empire of Japan. Founded in the 7th century as a Hindu-Buddhist kingdom around the trading city of Palembang, it quickly grew into a maritime trading empire dominating the Indonesian Archipelago and parts of the Philippines, before waning at the start of the second millennium in the face of sustained attacks by the Hindu Tamil Chola Empire and the former Xrivizajan vassal of Singasari (later Mazapahit). The country rebounded starting in the 15th century, and once again regained its status as the preliminary trading power in Southeast Asia. Gaining status as a major exporter of natural resources in the 19th and 20th century, the country successfully transitioned to democracy in the 1950s and today enjoys a privileged status in Indonesia and Asia at large.

Beginnings

Although kingdoms certainly existed in the area of Xrivizaja prior to the 7th century, no organised polity arose until that time, when Dapunta Hiyam͂ Xri Zajanaxa of the kingdom of Kantoli embarked on a siddhajatra, or sacred journey to defeat the kings of other polities in Sumatra. He subjugated Malaju, Lampung and the Sundanese kingdom of Tarumanagara and established the new empire of Xrivizaja, which he made his vassals swear an oath of loyalty to on penalty of death. Xri Zajanaxa was generally regarded as a kind and just ruler, as evidenced by the records of the Chinese Buddhist monk I-Ching, who visited Xrivizaja shortly before its rapid expansion and was warmly received by the emperor. I-Ching's visit provided much of the early information on the history of Xrivizaja, including information on it sculpture and on the unique form of Tantric Buddhism followed in the country. Historic inscriptions have also been found, detailing the conquests and expansion of the empire across the Indonesian Archipelago. By the end of the 8th century, Xrivizaja had managed to assert its supremacy over Sumatra, Java and the Malayan Peninsula, giving it control over the major trade routes in Southeast Asia. The country also maintained close links with the Xailendra dynasty in Java, with both dynasties strongly promoting Vajrayana Buddhism throughout their territories; eventually, the two families coalesced. The country also managed to control some territory in present-day Kambuza and Nam Viet, although it was expelled in the 8th century by Zajavarman, the founder of the Khmær Empire. By the 9th century, Xrivizaja had managed to establish a tight integration between Sumatra, Java and the Malayan Peninsula, and was also beginning to establish a foothold in the Philippines and Bornei. Xrivizajan naval expeditions traveled far across the Indian Ocean, and a Xrivizajan expedition to the East African island of Madagascar established an Austronesian linguistic and genetic presence on the island which persists to this day. The influence of Xrivizaja in the Philippines led to the Cebuano islands being named for the empire under the Filipinoised form of Vizayas. All of these conquests, combined with economic prosperity based on trade and natural resources and the establishment of the kingdom as a centre of Buddhist learning led this period to be considered Xrivizaja's "golden age".

An intense rivalry with the by then Hindu kingdom of Medam over the former Javanese territories of the Xailendra dynasty led to an attempted invasion of Sumatra by Xri Maharaza Dharmawam͂sa. Kingdom officials were left stranded in China, as they tried desperately to return to Xrivizaja. The emperor of Xrivizaja at the time Maharáza Xri Cudamani Varmadeva, however, proved to be a shrewd leader during the crisis, as he erected a Buddhist temple to the Chinese emperor and then sent an envoy to the Chinese emperor asking for military aid against the Javanese. Immensely grateful for the erection of the temple, the emperor immediately granted the aid Varmadeva desired, and additionally sent a bell to be placed in the temple. The alliance with the Chinese proved successful, and Xrivizaja successfully expelled and destroyed Medam͂ in retaliation. However, this ultimately proved to be the least of Xrivizaja's troubles, as the Hindu Chola empire in southeast India had set its sights on Xrivizaja's riches and was beginning to plan an invasion. In 1025 (947 Xaka), the Cholas like *here* invaded Xrivizaja, plundering its treasures and sacking its capital. Unlike *here* the Chola king Razendra Cola did not force Sam͂rama Vizajatum͂mavarman's daughter Onam͂ Kiu to marry him, although he did establish some Chola nobles (including his own nephew Prince Divakara) in the Xrivizajan court. While the Xrivizajan mandala was able to remain integrated, it suffered a heavy blow from the invasion, as its constituent kingdoms no longer believed they could trust the maharaza to successfully lead the kingdom. This culminated in a rebellion by Kedah in 1068 (990 Xaka), which threatened to destroy the entire Xrivizajan mandala. By then, relations had improved between the Chola Empire and Xrivizaja, and Xrivizaja was able to secure Chola help in suppressing the rebellion and ensuring Kedahnese recognition of Xrivizajan sovereignty. However, Xrivizaja lost much of its remaining influence over Java to Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms on the island.

Recovery and Majapahitan Attacks

In the 12th century a new dynasty known as the Mauli ascended to the throne of Xrivizaja. By then while Palembam͂ remained the capital of Xrivizaja, it had lost much of its economic prestige to nearby Zambi in the Malaju Kingdom. Regardless, Xrivizaja remained a powerful and rich entity situated on important Asian trade routes. For the first time Christian influences began to arrive in Xrivizaja by way of Chinese missionaries of the Assyrian Church. Though they failed to effect mass conversion in Xrivizaja and ultimately moved on to Bornei and the Philippine rajahnates, they nevertheless managed to convert many influential nobles and their subjects, establishing the foundation of what would become the Borneian Church.

However by the 13th century Xrivizaja's power was beginning to wane. The Hindu-Buddhist kingdom of Singhasari, descended from the old Xrivizajan vassal of Medan, began to wage campaigns against Xrivizaja in the north, taking advantage of its precarious stability after the Chola attacks. The Maharaza of Singhasari Kritanagara was an ambitious leader who aimed to eclipse Xrivizajan power in Indonesia, and to that end he allied with the Mongol Empire then ruling over China in an attempt to overthrow the Xrivizajan mandala. Kritanagara, though an able ruler, had underestimated the strength of Xrivizaja and ultimately experienced a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Xrivizajan navy, though he was able to finally expel the Xrivizajans once and for all from Java. In 1292 he was attacked by the upstart viceroy Zajakatvam͂, who overthrew Singasari only to be avenged by Kritanagara's son-in-law Kertarazasa and his Mongol allies, who started the kingdom of Mazapahit. Mazapahit bid its time for 100 years, but knew that Xrivizaja was weak and another invasion would likely topple its precarious position in Indonesia. In 1377 it finally made its move against the Xrivizajan maharaza Aditjavarman. At the time, Xrivizaja was struggling with the loss of its northern state of Atjeh, which had converted to Islam under Turkish, Indian and Arab influence, and in addition was still licking its wounds from the battles with Singasari. Mazapahitan troops rapidly overran Xrivizaja, reaching and capturing the Xrivizajan capital of Palembam͂ and forcing the escape of the Xrivizajan court. Aditjavarman and his son Anam͂gavarman along with much of the Buddhist nobility of Xrivizaja fled to the Malayan Peninsula, where they reëstablished their capital and court in Malacca; others, including one of Aditjavarman's younger sons Agunvarman fled westward to the Minam͂kabau lands, which remained fiercely loyal to Xrivizaja and continued to fight a guerrilla war against Mazapahit as a renegade province of Xrivizaja. Many Christian nobles fled to the Mazapahitan vassals of Bornei and the Philippines, where they planned to free the large Assyrian Christian populations in the region from Mazapahitan control.

Xrivizaja thus found itself at the nadir of its power, bisected by Mazapahit and desperately trying to avoid being completely swallowed up by its neighbours. Realising that there was a very real chance that Xrivizaja could cease to exist if it attempted to retake Sumatra immediately, Aditjavarman decided to regather his empire's strength and wait until the nation was in a stronger position to attack Mazapahit. In order to ensure that Mazapahit never managed to fully establish control over Sumatra, he coordinated extensively with the Minam͂kabau on what were ostensibly peaceful missions to the "renegade Mazapahitan province" in order to continue the guerrilla warfare against the rival empire.

The country finally received its chance to retaliate against Mazapahit in 1473. The country had prospered from a close relationship with the Chinese and an alliance with the Christian rajahs in Bornei, who were themselves planning to wrest the entirety of Borneo from Mazapahitan control.

Personal tools
discussion