QUOTE (Jagger @ May 12 2010, 07:46 PM)
The Lan Xang and Sukhothai kingdoms were not yet established in the 11th century. Prior to the Chola expedition in Southeast Asia, most of mainland SEA was ruled by the Khmer Empire, most of maritime SEA was ruled by the Srivijaya Empire, while the Malay peninsula was ruled by the Tambralinga kingdom between them. In the early 11th century, large parts of all three kingdoms were occupied by the Chola emperor Rajendra Chola, who had also occupied large parts of the Pala Empire, a Bengali empire of eastern India, just shortly before his expeditions in SEA.
You were right on about Lan Xang (1st Lao kingdom) and Sukhothai (1st Thai, or rather T'ai, kingdom). As for the the Malay Peninsula, there were several kingdoms in and around the Malay Isthmus, most of them loosely allied into a federation of sorts called Langkasuka, which itself came under the hegemony of Palembang Srivijaya. I'm not sure if Srivijaya controlled the Langkasukan kingdoms via the Tambralinga-based kingdom formally named Nagara Sri Dharmaraja. It could be possible, the concentric-spheres, or mandala
, concept of empire. While NSD itself was sort of sometimes-part-of-Langkasuka, sometimes standalone. BTW, the place where Tambralinga used to be is now the city of Nakhon Si Thammarat, i.e. the Thai transliteration of Nagara Sri Dharmaraja.
QUOTE (Jagger @ May 12 2010, 07:46 PM)
It seems the Chola conquests in SEA began due to a conflict in mainland Southeast Asia. At the beginning of the 11th century, the Khmer Empire had a civil war which led to the empire being divided between two kings, Suryavarman and Jayaviravarman. Suryavarman was successful in taking control of the Khmer capital city of Angkor Wat, which Jayaviravarman attempted to invade several times. At the same time, Angkor Wat came into conflict with the Tambralinga kingdom of the Malay peninsula. In other words, there was a three-way conflict in mainland Southeast Asia. After surviving several invasions from both his enemies, Suryavarman requested aid from the powerful Chola emperor Rajendra Chola. After learning of Suryavarman's alliance with Rajendra Chola, the Tambralinga kingdom requested aid from the Srivijaya emperor Sangrama Vijayatungavarman. This eventually led to the Chola Empire coming into conflict with the Srivijiya Empire.
What you've called the 'Tambralinga kingdom' and Jayaviravarman's Tambralinga-based Nagara Sri Dharmaraja kingdom was actually one and the same
kingdom. Jayavarman's original name was Sujita, they called him Sujita Raja (i.e. King Sujita) when he was just the raja of NSD. He was maternal nephew of Jayavarman V, maharaja of the Angkorian realm. His mother was the maharaja's sister. While on his father's side, Sujita had Malay and Palembang Srivijayan royal ancestry. Yes he was one of those guys who had glorious royal lineage on both sides. BTW, NSD was an ethnically Malay kingdom which remained Buddhist in faith, never converted to Islam to the end, unlike the Patani-Langkasuka kingdom to its south.
Partly due to his close relations with the Angkorian maharaja, Sujita was also senapati (army chief) of the Angkorian empire, whose military HQ was based at Lavo (today's Lopburi), while at the same time being raja of NSD which was then more or less subservient to the more powerful Angkor. When Lavo was invaded by the northern Mon kingdom of Haripunchai, Sujita himself launched an attack of his own on Lavo and seized Lavo for himself, then used his power as senapati to launch an invasion on Angkor itself, which was then in total disarray in the wake of the old maharaja's demise. Sujita's audacious move succeeded beyond all expectations, and he ascended the throne of Angkor as Maharaja Jayaviravarman
in 1006 AD, while his younger Khmer rival Suryavarman retained control over Khmer cities to the south and east of Angkor.
The two kept on fighting each other, Suryavarman eventually prevailing and becoming the new maharaja of all Angkor in 1010 AD.
A distant Khmer ancestor of Suryavarman, possibly Indravarman I, once had his kingdom (Sea/Water/Lower Chenla) invaded and conquered by a distant ancestor of Sangrama, named Samaratunga, prince of Sailendra, a Buddhist kingdom in Central Java, in 790 AD. Samaratunga had married Dewi Tara, daughter of Dharmasethu, raja of Palembang Srivijaya, thereby effectively engineering a merger of two large, powerful kingdoms, Sumatran-based Srivijaya and Javanese-based Sailendra. Samaratunga then held Lower Chenla as a vassal of Srivijaya-Sailendra for 22 years, until 912 AD. I suppose you could forgive Suryavarman if he had a phobia of Srivijaya-Sailendra.
QUOTE (Jagger @ May 12 2010, 07:46 PM)
Rajendra's father Rajaraja Chola was previously on friendly terms with the Srivijaya Empire, probably because the Srivijayas dominated the trade routes between SEA and China, and so the Srivijayas were like the "middle man" between the Chola and Song empires. After relations turned sour during Rajendra Chola's reign, possibly due to the Khmer conflict, he took advantage of the situation and launched invasions into the Srivijaya Empire itself in order to end their dominance over the SEA-China trade routes (thus cutting off the need for a "middle man"). The war ended with a victory for the Chola Empire and Angkor Wat, and major losses for the Srivijaya Empire, the Tambralinga kingdom, and Jayaviravarman's kingdom. The Chola Empire made the most gains overall, occupying the Srivijaya Empire, Tambralinga kingdom, and Jayaviravarman's kingdom, though the main purpose behind these conquests was to establish Chola dominance over the trade routes between India, SEA and China. The methods used by Rajendra Chola in order to achieve this almost resembles the "divide and conquer" strategy later used by the European colonial maritime empires (i.e. playing various local kingdoms against one another).
During Rajaraja Chola's time, Sangrama's grandfather, Chulamani Varmadeva, had actually sponsored the construction of a Buddhist vihara
(temple) in Nagapattinam, in Chola territory, for use by visiting Buddhist traders, merchants, travellers and scholars, with Rajaraja's blessing. Rajaraja had in fact pledged to Chulamani the revenue from several surounding villages for the upkeep of the vihara
at Nagapattinam. So cordial was their relationship then. But then things took a drastic turn during the reign of Rajendra Chola, Rajaraja's successor. Trade frictions, political rivalries between proxies, like you said.
In 1016 AD, Sangrama's father, Maravijayottungavarman, had invaded and totally laid waste persistent rival/enemy Mataram, a Hindu kingdom in central Java, very probaby another close Hindu ally of Chola, with the assistance of dissatisfied/rebellious Mataram province Wurawari. Maravijayo was possibly also aided by forces from Srivajayan ally/vassal kingdoms on the Malay peninsula. The first of Rajendra's attacks on Srivijaya and its ally/vassal kingdoms was in 1017 AD. You just do the maths.
Thus, there could also be a multi-religious-rivalry angle to the Cholan-Srivijayan conflict. In early 11th century AD, Hindu northern India was under constant threat of attack by the Muslim forces of Mahmud Ghazni, while the Hindu kingdoms of southern India were batttling to sustain and restore Hindu supremacy and roll back the ascendancy of Buddhism, which had started with Asoka Maurya. While Chola was then like the last credible bastion of Hinduism in southern India. Whereas Palembang Srivijaya had been thriving for several centuries as a Mahayana-Tantra-Vajrayana Buddhist stronghold that exerted hegemony over smaller Theravada Buddhist kingdoms in the Malay Peninsula. Buddhism was then like continuing its gradual usurpation of Hinduism in all South East Asia, a worrying trend for staunchly Hindu Chola. While the Angkorian realm was then like Chola's last remaining Hindu hope for South East Asia, noting also the fact that some of the Angkorian maharajas had themselves on occassions favoured Buddhism over Hinduism.
The victories of Chola over Srivijaya in 1017 and 1025 AD therefore also stood, symbolically, in a way, as victories of embattled Hinduism over ascendant Buddhism.