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Far East Kingdoms

South East Asia

 

Champa Kingdom / Nagaracampa / Huang Wang (Vietnam)
AD 757? - 1471

Iron Age South-East Asia witnessed the arrival of the Austronesian Cham people between about 1000 BC and AD 200. Cham people emerged into history as part of the Sa Huỳnh culture of what is now central and southern Vietnam. They communicated in their own language group, with this being a division of the wider Malayo-Polynesian family.

Multiple Cham polities were formed for at least part of their millennium and-a-half of independent existence during the Iron Age and medieval period. Cham people of Xianglin county (near today's Huế in central Vietnam) revolted against Late Han overlordship in AD 100. Further rebellions followed until, in AD 192, the independent central Vietnamese kingdom of Lâm Ấp was founded. The 'Chinese Dominated Nam Viet' to the immediate north would continue to oppose it.

Although this kingdom is usually considered to be the starting point for Cham kingdoms, there is uncertainty regarding the ethnic origins of its kings. Even so, the kingdom assimilated Funan's strong Indian influences in favour of the Sinicised influences of the north, and it passed on those influences to its direct successor state of Champa.

Lâm Ấp was struggling in the early eighth century AD for unknown, probably internal, reasons. The young prince Bhadravarman of Lâm Ấp was quickly deposed in AD 757 and replaced by a new line of kings. At the same time, Chinese records (from 758) ceased to mention Lin-Yi (Lâm Ấp), replacing its kings with those of the new dynasty. Ironically, this now-dominant south had only recently been conquered by the kingdom.

Moreover, this new dynasty inaugurated the use of posthumous names which indicated the divine presence of the king after his death by linking him to the god he had followed through life. Cultural emphasis was clearly now being provided from the Indianised south rather that the Sinicised north.

Between 757-859 this state was named by the Chinese as Huang Wang (or Hoan Vuong), but referring to it as the Champa kingdom is much more typical. The name 'Nagaracampa' is a regional variation on this.

The Later Li and Early Tran dynasties of Nam Viet's history saw a strong revival in local culture and traditions. Inspiration for this came apparently from Champa in the south, a state which managed to retain its own thriving culture while the north was under Chinese control. Now the kings of Nam Viet drew inspiration from Champa for their architecture, sculpture, music, and the creation of a very Vietnamese capital, even while the state retained outside influences.

The initial capital was at Virapura (Hung Trang Citadel). Later it was at Indrapura and then Vijaya, although it did tend to shift as dynastic changes took effect or pressure from the north forced a change. As Hoan Vuong, its territory was at one time limited to today's Ninh Thuan province.

In 859 the kingdom is recorded as having united with four other Cham polities (none of which seem to be known in any detail, which suggests that they were still largely tribal in nature) to form the full-sized Champa kingdom which would oppose Nam Viet for the best part of a millennium. Many records covering the medieval period, especially the tenth and eleventh centuries, were destroyed during later Viet raids and attacks against the Champa capitals.

Traditional House, Vietnam

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from the John De Cleene Archive, from Vietnam: A New History, Christopher Goscha, from Early Mainland Southeast Asia, C Higham (River Books Co, 2014), from Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopaedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor, Keat Gin Ooi (ABC-Clio, 2004), from A History of the Vietnamese, Keith W Taylor (Cambridge University Press, 2013), and from External Links: Cultural elements of Cham Pa in Dai Viet capital and its vicinity, Nguyen Tien Dong (TiaSang.com), and Encyclopaedia Britannica, and Vietnam (Countrystudies), and Vietnam in the First State Foundation Period (Vietnam National Museum of History), and The Indianized States of Southeast Asia, George Coedès (Walter F Vella (Ed), Susan Brown Cowing (Trans), University of Hawaii Press, 1968, and available online via the Internet Archive).)

757 - 770

Prithivindravarman

Founded new dynasty to succeed Lâm Ấp.

757 - 758

The young prince Bhadravarman of Lâm Ấp is quickly deposed at the same time that Chinese records (from 758) cease to mention the kingdom. Instead he is replaced by a new dynasty which hails from the recently-conquered south.

My Son Sanctuary in Vietnam
The kingdom of Lâm Ấp was about the first state to emerge in what is now central Vietnam, with the Nam Viet to their north and various independent Cham groups to their south, while Funan formed their most important neighbour, with relations between the two usually being friendly

Known to the Chinese as Huang Wang, and more popularly (especially later) as Champa, it inaugurates the use of posthumous names which indicate the divine presence of the king after his death, the god with whom the deceased king has been united.

The origin of and precise dates for the first of these kings is unknown, and this period may also represent a degree of Cham fragmentation, but the dynasty is founded by Prithivindravarman, whose posthumous name is Rudraloka.

770 - 787

Satyavarman

Nephew. Fended off Javanese raid.

774 & 784

Satyavarman (with a posthumous name of Isvaraloka) is the son of Prithivindravarman's sister. A Javanese raid occurs during his reign, in 774. This raid destroys the original sanctuary of Po Nagar at Nha-trang which, according to tradition, had been built by the legendary ruler, Vichitrasagara. After repelling the invaders, Satyavarman builds a new, brick sanctuary which is completed in 784.

Champa flower
The Champa flower (also known as Plumeria plants, Lei flowers, and Frangipani) is the national flower of Laos, but it was also important to the Cham people of today's southern and central Vietnam

787 - 801

Indravarman I

Brother. Fended off Javanese raid.

787 - 801

Indravarman is said to be warlike. He is also subjected to a Javanese raid, with this one occurring in 787. It destroys a sanctuary of Bhadradhipatisvara which is located to the west of the capital at Virapura, near modern Phan-rang. Indravarman sends an embassy to China in 793. In 799 he rebuilds the the sanctuary and remains on the throne in 801.

c.780s / 790s?

In view of a resemblance in names, it has been assumed that the successors of Baladitya of Aninditapura include a certain Nripaditya who leaves a Sanskrit inscription in western Champa. That inscription is undated, but it may originate in the eighth century and the period in which Chen-La is divided.

802 - 817

Harivarman I

Brother-in-law.

802 - 809

Jayavarman II, ruler of Lower Chen-La, is a vassal of the Sumatran state of Sri Vijaya. Now he asserts his independence, unites his state of Aninditapura with Upper Chen-La and other rival fiefdoms (such as Ampil Rolum, Canasapura, and Vyadhapura), and founds the beginnings of the Khmer empire.

Mahabalipuram Temple
Between about 802-809 Jayavarman II of Lower Chen-La unified the region, shrugged off his overlords on Sumatra, and established his capital at Harlharalaya (shown here) to found the beginnings of the Khmer empire

817 - c.854?

Vikrantavarman III

Son. Numbering continued from Lâm Ấp.

854

All inscription creation in Champa ceases in 854, while the trickle of information in Chinese records also dries up. It takes until about 875 before contacts can be re-established, but with a new ruler by the name of Indravarman who is located at Indrapura in the north. It is claimed that he is a Buddhist ruler with no previous connections to the throne.

c.854? - 893

Indravarman II

Seemingly the first of a new dynasty after 854.

898 & 903

Jaya Simhavarman I

Nephew. Left an undated inscription and two dated ones.

904

Jaya Saktivarman

Son. Reigned only briefly.

908 & 910

Bhavavarman II

No relationship? Numbering continued from Lâm Ấp?

918 - 959/60

Indravarman III

Son.

938 - 939

Ngô Quyn defeats the Southern Han at the Battle of Bch-đng river, establishing Annam's permanent independence and ending the 'Third Chinese Domination of Vietnam'. In the following year he drops the Tang titles which have been used by his predecessors, replacing them with the Vietnamese form of 'king'. He founds the Ngo dynasty of a restored Nam Viet kingdom.

Map of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms China around AD 951-960
The beginning of the 'Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms' period of civil war began with the founding of the Liao dynasty in 907, which was in the northern reaches of former Tang dynasty China. (click or tap on map to view full sized)

959/60 - 965

Jaya Indravarman I

Not the same as Indravarman III.

965? - 982

Jaya Paramesvaravarman I

Son. Killed in battle by Dai Viet.

982

With the northern flank secure, the Viet ruler, Lê Hoàn, turns his attention to the south which has suffered recently from a number of Champa raids. Known as the Champa-Dai Viet War of 982 (or the Cham-Vietnamese War of 982), the Viet ruler leads a military expedition against the Champa ruler, Jaya Paramesvaravarman I.

The campaign results in the defeat of the Cham forces and the death in battle of Paramesvaravarman I. The threat of Cham raids is ended and instead it is the Viet people who now begin a southwards push to absorb increasing amounts of Cham lands. Indravarman IV takes the throne (recorded in Viet as Dịch-lợi Nhân-đà-la-bạt-ma).

982? - 986?

Indravarman IV

Took refuge in the south. Lost north to Lưu Kế Tông.

986 - 988

Lưu Kế Tông

Conquered the abandoned north, and then all Champa.

989 - 997

Indrapura Harivarman II

Selected by Champa to replace the northerner.

997? - c.1007?

Yang Pu Ku Vijaya Sri-

Name incomplete. Established new capital.

1000 - 1005

Yang Pu Ku Vijaya Sri (name incomplete) decides to abandon the now-vulnerable capital of Indrapura in favour of Vijaya in the more-secure south. This change is announced to the Northern Song in 1004-1005.

Artwork by Emperor Huizong (1100-1126)
Emperor Huizong was the eighth of the Northern Song emperors and the most artistically accomplished of his imperial line

c.1007? - 1018

Harivarman III

Relationship to previous kings unknown. Died.

c.1018

Records for Champa during this period are almost non-existent. Partially this is due to later destruction of records and cultural artefacts by attacks from the north, but there also appears to be a level of chaos and a failure to establish a strong and fully secure throne in Champa itself at this time.

c.1018 - ?

Jaya Paramesvaravarman II

Relationship unknown.

1021 - 1026

Paramesvaravarman sees the northern frontier of his kingdom, in modern Quang-binh, attacked by Phat-Ma, eldest son of Lý Thái Tổ (founder of the Viet dynasty of Later Le) and later to be Emperor Lý Thái Tông. The Cham are defeated and suffer a fresh invasion in 1026.

1030 - 1041

Vikrantavarman IV

Obscure king during a troubled period.

fl c.1035

Sultan Mahmud

Largely obscure. Possibly Ghaznavid.

?

Yang Pu Ku Sri

Largely obscure.

1041 - 1044

Jaya Simhavarman II

Son of Vikrantavarman. Decapitated in battle.

1044

Thái Tông of Dai Co Viet invades Champa by sea, killing the Cham king, Jaya Simhavarman II. A large amount of plunder is taken, along with five thousand prisoners and much else. The Cham captives settle in Nghệ An, in Cham-style villages where they generally serve as personal servants for the nobility or provide labour to religious establishments.

The Li Tai To memorial statue in Hanoi
Located near the heart of today's Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, the Li Tai To memorial is a towering bronze statue of Emperor Lý Thái Tổ, founder of the Later Li dynasty

1044 - 1060

Jaya Paramesvaravarman II

Relationship unknown. A warrior king.

1060 - al 1061

Bhadravarman III

Largely obscure.

1062 - 1074

Rudravarman III

Brother. Surrendered land to Dai Viet.

1069

With strong Northern Sung encouragement, the people of Champa have been raiding heavily into southern Dai Viet. Now Lý Thánh Tông leads seaborne invasion, captures the king, Rudravarman III, defeats the Cham army, and burns Vijaya. Rudravarman buys his release by handing over three regions: Địa Lý, Ma Linh, and Bố Chính (Quảng Bình and Quảng Trị provinces in today's Vietnam).

1074 - 1080

Harivarman IV

Of royal blood. Abdicated. Died 1081.

1075 - 1076

The Northern Sung have introduced revolutionary and very fair-minded economic reforms. Nevertheless, these have incensed opponents who would rather retain the old tithe and tribute practices. Lý Nhân Tông of Dai Viet and his regent mother see an opportunity to interfere militarily, sparking the Sino–Vietnamese War of 1075-1076.

The Viet besiege Yongzhou but suffer high casualties due to resistance from inside the city walls. When they finally break through those walls they slaughter close to sixty thousand people.

Champa's troops fight Dai Viet's troops
The Viet of the eleventh century were not afraid of attacking their enemies, whether Chinese or Champa, with the latter appearing in this uncredited illustration

The Sung response is delivered in 1076 in the form of an invasion of Dai Viet. Sung vassal states - Khmer and Champa - support them. Fortunes swing and both sides win a major battle, but casualties are tremendously high. Both sides are happy to sue for peace and the Sung withdraw, gradually.

Champa subsequently finds itself under attack in several large raids as a result of its hostility. Several Viet successes follow, with the last being in 1104. The southern border is stabilised and raiding is again halted.

1080 - 1081

Jaya Indravarman II

Son. Acceded aged 9. Deposed aged 10.

1081 - 1086

Paramabhodhisatva

Uncle. Took the throne rather than be regent. Removed.

1086 - c.1113

Jaya Indravarman II

Restored by his followers. Died in peace.

1114 - 1139

Harivarman V

Nephew. No direct heir.

1139 - 1145

Jaya Indravarman III

Adopted prince. Deposed by the Khmer & disappeared.

1145 - 1149

The Khmer ruler, Suryavarman II, subdues Champa and deposes Jaya Indravarman III. The king's fate is unknown. In 1149 Champa turns the tables by inflicting a defeat upon the Khmer.

The Champa temple of Thap Duong Long
While the impressive temple structures of Thàp Duong Long were most likely constructed as a Champa symbol of pride, designed with the Cham architectural style in mind, elements of the Khmer culture were also incorporated in the structures

1145 - 1147

Rudravarman IV

Hid from Khmer in Panduranga. Never reigned.

1147 - 1166

Jaya Harivarman I

Son. Defeated Khmer and Dai Viet invasions.

1152

The decision is taken to invade Champa in support of the Dai Viet ally there, Vangsaraja. The Cham ruler, Jaya Harivarman I, is capable of defending his territory, however. The two leading generals of the Viet forces are killed in battle and the Viet forces are repulsed. Even so, it is Jaya Harivarman who heals the rift by sending a daughter to be the emperor's concubine.

1160

According to an inscription from Po Nagar which is dated to this year, Jaya Harivarman (or Harivarmadeva) defeats the Khmer and Dai Viet, and retakes Vijaya, Amaravati, and Panduranga (the last in this year).

1166 - 1167

Jaya Harivarman II

Reign uncertain. Perhaps only a claimant.

1167 - 1190

Jaya Indravarman IV

Supplanted the king. Captured by the Khmer.

1177 - 1181

Jaya Indravarman IV is guided by a Chinese castaway when he attacks the Khmer capital without warning and with a powerful fleet. He pillages the city and puts to death Tribhuvanadityavarman, the Khmer ruler, without listening to a single peace proposal. This event produces a great deal of hatred for Champa, and its forces are kicked out of the country by 1181.

Khmer forces battle Champa's army
Khmer ruler Jayavarman VII campaigned against Champa forces to rescue the empire and drive Champa's forces out during a series of unprecedented victories

1190 - 1191

The Khmer turn the tables by conquering Panduranga in 1190, and then taking Vijaya. Jaya Indravarman IV is captured by the Khmer general and Cham prince, Vidyanandana, and is taken away as a prisoner.

1190 - 1191

Suryajayavarman

Brother-in-law of Khmer ruler. Held Vijaya.

1190? - 1203

Vidyanandana

Fled Panduranga for Dai Viet. Then fled a murder charge.

1191 - 1192

Jaya Indravarman V

Restored in Vijaya after popular revolt. Killed.

1191 - 1192

The revolt in Vijaya which throws out Suryajayavarman also allows Vidyanandana to throw off his own Khmer controls. Then he heads northwards from Panduranga to kill Jaya Indravarman V and control the entire kingdom. Jaya Indravarman IV is sent against him by the Khmer, but he kills that former king too.

1203 - 1220

Vidyanandana is forced to flee after the Khmer send another general against him, yet another Cham prince who serves a foreign king. Khmer occupation of Champa continues, under the Yuvaraja ong Dhanapatigrama.

He is soon joined by Prince Angsaraja of Turai-vijaya, a grandson of King Jaya Harivarman I. This prince becomes king of a renewed Champa in 1220 when it becomes clear that the Khmer cannot hold onto their conquests.

Tran dynasty temple in Nam Dinh city
A Dai Viet temple in today's Nam Dinh city, built to commemorate and honour the Tran dynasty which repelled several Mongol attacks and saw a further flourishing of Viet culture

1220 - 1252

Jaya Paramesvaravarman III

Grandson of Jaya Harivarman I. Restored the state.

1252 - 1257

Jaya Indravarman VI

Brother. Acceded after a serious Dai Viet raid. Assassinated.

1257 - 1285

Indravarman V

Nephew. Usurper. Repelled Mongols but died old.

1284 - 1288

The second Mongol invasion of Dai Viet begins under the command of Toghan, a son of Kublai Khan and a general of his newly-formed Yuan dynasty. They advance simultaneously from the north (the main force) and south (through a loosely-dominated Champa). The Dai Viet wisely defend and retreat, rarely engaging in heavy combat until circumstances favour them.

Those circumstances turn so that the southern Mongol force is defeated in a pitched battle in April 1285. The third Mongol invasion starts in 1287 but is decisively defeated in 1288, extinguishing Mongol ambitions for southern expansion.

1285 - 1307

Jaya Simhavarman III / Chế Mân

Son. Viet versions of names now recorded. Died.

1306

Having developed good relations during his six month stay at the Champa court in 1301, Trần Nhân Tông of Dai Viet now offers a daughter in marriage to the Champa ruler in exchange for two Cham provinces. Dai Viet expands farther into the south.

Mongol warriors
Within just thirty years, Mongol warriors had travelled as far afield as central China and Eastern Europe, and south-west into Iran, turning the Mongol empire into the largest single controlling force in history

1307 - 1312

Jaya Simhavarman IV / Chế Chí

Son. Captured and died in Dai Viet prison.

1307 - 1312

With his Dai Viet mother having escaped a death on his father's funeral pyre, Chế Chí sets out to retake the two provinces which had been given as a price for the marriage. He fails and is captured and imprisoned in Dai Viet, where he soon dies. It is Trần Anh Tông of Dai Viet who selects his successor.

1312 - 1318

Jaya Simhavarman V / Chế Nang

Uncle. Selected by Dai Viet. Fled to Java.

1318 - 1326

Relations with Champa have soured since the events of 1312. Dai Viet has strengthened its southern border while maintaining cordial relations with the Yuan in the north.

In 1318 a Dai Viet army campaigns into Champa, seeing significant success and destroying significant portions of the Cham armed forces. Chế Nang is forced to flee to Java, although the Viet also lose an important marquis of their own. It takes until 1326 for the Cham people under Chế Anan to throw off Viet overlordship.

1318 - 1342

Chế Anan

Dai Viet military chief. Restored Cham independence.

1341 - 1369

During this period Dai Viet begins to decline, and especially following the death of Trần Minh Tông. The battles of the preceding thirty years or so have sapped the army of capable leaders, and court rivalries are beginning to spiral out of control.

Champa My Son temple
The Mỹ Sơn Hindu temple was indicative of Champa's religious inclinations at this time, and also of its Indian influences, which were prevalent across much of South-East Asia

The Viet suffer several border skirmishes with the Champa people in which they suffer casualties and discouraging setbacks. Even the kingdom of Lan Xang now finds success in battle against Dai Viet.

1342 - c.1360

Trà Hòa Bố Để

Son-in-law. Supplanted crown prince to gain throne.

c.1360 - 1390

Chế Bồng Nga / Po Binasor

Origins? Twice defeated Dai Viet. Sacked Hanoi. Killed.

1370 - 1371

Following his unofficial removal from the throne, Hôn Đức Công enrages the Dai Viet court by killing a mandarin who advises formal abdication. The new emperor, Trần Nghệ Tông, has him beaten to death along with his son.

His mother flees to the Champa court of Po Binasor, begging for retribution. The Cham king and his people, seeing the discord in Dai Viet, launch an attack in 1371 which enters the capital. The Cham troops loot the city before withdrawing.

1377

As the increasingly powerful Dai Viet court officials gain control at the expense of the relatively weak 'retired' emperor and his puppet figureheads, the emperor is forced (both internally and externally) to lead an army across the border of Champa. The campaign is a disaster, with much of the leading nobility wiped out by the forces of Po Binasor, including the emperor.

Mongol warriors
Initial Mongol interest in Dai Viet seemed purely designed to be able to use it as a conduit for troops to outflank the Southern Song, but following their fall in 1279, invasion and permanent occupation was on the cards

1390

Despite all the courtly intrigues and manoeuvring, Dai Viet's Trần Thuận Tông is able to find a general who can lead the beleaguered Dai Vet forces to victory against Champa. The troublesome Po Binasor is killed and the immediate threat of further invasion is removed. The Tran continue to oversee a national decline, however.

c.1390 - 1400

Jaya Simhavarman VI

General. Drove out Chế Bồng Nga's sons.

1400 - 1403

The new emperor of Dai Ngu (Dai Viet), Hồ Quý Ly / Kui Li, sends three military expeditions into Champa. The first and last of those fails, with losses, but the second - in 1402 - is a success. The defeated Champa king has to relinquish southern Quảng Nam and northern Quảng Ngãi to Dai Ngu.

c.1400 - 1441

Indravarman VI

Son. Reigned mainly as Virabhadravarman.

1441

After the long and relatively successful reign of Ngauk Klaung Vijaya under the name Virabhadravarman, or Indravarman VI at his late coronation, the country now falls into a rapid decline. In thirty years, five kings succeed to the throne in the midst of civil wars and Viet invasions by the Later Le kings.

Two sides of a Later Le coin in Dai Viet
The coins of the Vietnamese kings imitated Chinese coins, although official issues were often heavier than the Chinese coins and with somewhat cruder calligraphy, with this example being issued during the reign of Lê Hiến Tổng

1441 - 1446

Ma-kha Bí-cai /Maha Vijaya

Nephew. Usurped his brother. Defeated and captured.

1446 - 1447

Following two heavy Champa raids (in 1444 and 1445), the forces of Dai Viet now campaign into Champa. Its capital and king are both captured and held for a year before the Viet forces are apparently forced out of the country. Two decades of peace now follows between the two kingdoms.

1446 - 1449

Ma-kha Quý-lai

Restored by Dai Viet as a puppet.

1449 - 1458

Ma-kha Quý-do

Unknown relationship.

1458 - 1460

Ma-kha Trà-duyệt

Unknown relationship.

1460 - 1471

Ma-kha Trà-toàn

Defeated, captured, died, decapitated. End of Champa.

1471

Dai Viet annexes the Champa capital of Vijayal (later Binh Dinh) and territory to the north of Mui Deiu (which itself is a little to the south of Qui Nhon). This forms the main core of Champa. In a purge of extraordinary violence, thousands are executed or taken away as prisoners and the region is turned into a Viet province.

Champa falls
The fall of the Champa kingdom in 1471 saw some of its regions survive as minor states for a few centuries, and initiated a Cham dispersal across South-East Asia, although the majority of Cham remained to form a substantial minority in today's Vietnam

The southernmost remainder of Champa retains a degree of independent identity, albeit with vassal status, with two small states emerging from the destruction. The late king's brother, Ma-kha Trà-toại, holds out here for a while, claiming the kingship until he is executed in 1474.

The two minor vassal states in the south include Kauthera, but the most important Cham territory is the long-lasting province of Panduranga.

 
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