Ayutthaya (Siam)      
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(Text by Duane R. Hurst © 2013)

Click on a link to view its information and pictures.
Significant Event:
    Battle of Bangkaeo
    Battle near Buriram
    History of North Thailand
    View of Old Ayutthaya

Main Cities: Ayutthaya; Bangkok; Phitsanulok
Time: 1350-1932 AD
Language: Thai
Personage: Chakri; Chulalongkorn; Naresuan; Rama IX; Taksin; Uthong
Religion: Buddhism
Related Country: Thailand

Brief History:
      I have included only a few items concerning the history of this kingdom. A good source for more details can be found on Wikipedia or in history books. Also posted is my translation from Thai language: "History of North Thailand."

Map of Kingdom of Ayutthaya (Siam)
Click Map to Enlarge
      According to an accepted origin, King Uthong moved his court to an island in the Chao Phraya River because he believed an epidemic would afflict his people. The Lavo and Mon kingdoms preceded Ayutthaya (aka Ayodhaya). Both fell under Khmer control, but the Thai of Ayutthaya became independent and sacked Angkor in 1351 AD.

      Ayutthaya reached its peak in 1605 AD (see Map) under King Naresuan, who invaded Pegu in 1600 AD. He became an icon for greatness, inspiring a modern epic movie (See Naresuan Movie Set pictures). Conquests included Kamphaeng Phet, Khmer empire, Lanna kingdom, Phitsanulok and Sukhothai. Ayutthaya also attempted to seize Malacca, but Admiral Zheng He of the Chinese Ming Dynasty prevented that. (Portugal conquered Malacca in 1511 AD.)

      In 1548 AD the Toungoo Dynasty in Burma launched an unsuccessful invasion into western Ayutthaya. Subsequent wars resulted in Burmese control of Ayutthaya in 1564 and 1569 AD. King Naresuan led a revolt and killed Mingyi Swa (Burmese heir-apparent) during an elephant duel on 18 January 1593 AD. He proceeded to capture Burmese territory in Martaban (first capital of the earlier Hanthawaddy kingdom) and Tenasserim. However, Naresuan was unable to seize the capital at Toungoo. Western influence increased in the region and Ayutthaya even sent a diplomatic delegation in 1686 AD to the court of French King, Louis XIV.

      Ayutthaya gradually declined after the death of Naresuan. Some provincial governors rebelled and exerted personal power. Burmese forces again invaded from the north (Chiang Mai) and west (Three Pagodas Pass). They sacked Ayutthaya, burning the city in April 1767 AD. The Burmese withdrew after a few months to counter a Chinese invasion. Thai general, Phraya Taksin, led a successful revolt and founded a new Siamese capital at Thonburi. He was succeeded by King Chakri, who moved the capital to Bangkok and fostered respect for royalty via good works and pomp, such as the barge procession. His descendants currently retain the right to kingship in Thailand.

© Page Publisher: Duane R. Hurst