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The Majapahit kingdom

Majapahit was an archipelagic empire based on the island of Java from 1293 to around 1500. Majapahit reached its peak of glory during the era of Hayam Wuruk, whose reign from 1350 to 1389 marked by the conquest of kingdoms in Maritime Southeast Asia (including present day Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, East Timor, and the Philippines).


Historiography of the Majapahit kingdom
A kingdom that ruled vast areas in Southeast Asia

Little physical evidence of Majapahit remains, and some details of the history are rather abstract. The main sources used by historians are: the Pararaton ('Book of Kings') written in Kawi language and Nagarakertagama in Old Javanese. Pararaton is focused upon Ken Arok (the founder of Singhasari) but includes a number of shorter narrative fragments about the formation of Majapahit. Nagarakertagama, is an old Javanese epic poem written during the Majapahit golden age under the reign of Hayam Wuruk after which some events are inadequately covered. There are also some inscriptions in Old Javanese and Chinese.

The Javanese sources incorporate some poetic mythological elements, and scholars such as C. C. Berg, a Dutch nationalist, have considered that the entire historical record to be not a record of the past, but a supernatural means by which the future can be determined. Despite Berg's approach, most scholars do not accept this view, as the historical record corresponds with Chinese materials that could not have had similar intention. The list of rulers and details of the state structure, show no sign of being invented.


All text in this article is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License
Last revised on October 28, 2009
    
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