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Prome Dynasty - 483 BC - 95 AD

The central kingdoms of Prome and Toungoo appear to have been, respectively, merely a very early dynasty and a comparatively recent off shoot from the kingdom of Burma, into which they were subsequently again merged. The Prome dynasty was established at Thare Kettara by Maha Thambawa, in 483 BC, and terminated with the death of Thu Pinya in 95 AD, shortly after which a new dynasty was founded at Pagan, in 108 AD, by Thamakdarit. Later on, it assumed independence from time to time, before it was finally absorbed into the kingdom of Burma. The Toungoo off-shoot, however, played a much more important part in the general history of the country.

The legendary portion of the Burmese Chronicles may be regarded as commencing about 483 BC, when Maha Thambawa established a new dynasty at Prome (Thare Kettara). Here twenty-seven kings reigned till the close of the first century AD, when, after the death of King Thu Pinya, his nephew, Thamokdarit, removed the capital to Pagan.

The founder of the city of Thargkhettara having of perished at sea, was succeeded by his son, Dwuttaran. TuaroxLeuara. Nothing is recorded regarding him or his successors, and the dynasty came to an end in BC 100, according to the chronology of the MaM Rajaweng. The king then reigning adopted a son, who succeeded him, and the regular succession continued uninterrupted until the reign of Thupinya, who ascended the throne AD 84. In the Burmese chronicle twenty-seven kings of this dynasty are said to have reigned in Prome and Tharekhettara during five hundred and seventy-eight years.

Throughout that period, except occurrences at the Extent of the beginning and end of the monarchy, no event of im- kuown. portance which can be accepted as historical is mentioned. The extent of country ruled by the kings is not indicated. It may be conjectured that the kingdom included the valley of the Irawadi for a few miles north and south of Prome, and that petty chiefs of tribes near akin to those from which the Burmese people were formed, ruled in small tracts of land up to the border of the country occupied by the Tai race. To the south was the kingdom known later as Pegu, which, about the time when Tharekhettara came to an end, had become consolidated under foreign kings from Telingana with the capital at Thahtun, had been enriched by commerce with India, and civilised by religious teaching. How far similar benefits had been extended to the kingdom of Tharekhettara is not known. It is probable that the people were in a much ruder condition than those in the delta, and that the rudimentary Buddhism originally introduced under the Kshatriya kings had become hidden beneath wild superstitions.

In the Burmese chronicle a strange story is told of the event which led to the ending of the kingdom, founded."sin The tribes then existing under the monarchy were the Pyu, Kanran, and Mramma. A civil war arose; the two former tribes fighting for pre-eminence. The last king, Thupinya, died during the struggle, after a reign of eleven years. The quarrel of the tribes was at last settled by a method already known in the legends of the Burmese monarchy - the building of a pagoda or other religious fabric. In this peaceful contest the Pyfi were victorious, and the Kanran retired westward. A section of this tribe was already settled in the hilly country of southern Arakan. The Pyu now fought among themselves and separated into two parties. One division having occupied the hilly district to the southeast of Prome, was attacked by the Talaings, and then crossed the great river into the country west of Padaung. There they were attacked by the Kanran as intruders into land already occupied, and were driven north to Mendun. They retired farther north, and then crossing the Iiawadi under their leader Thamuddarit, said to be nephew to Thupinya, arrived at a place on the river-bank called Yunhlwutguen. Near to this the city of Pugan, called New Pugan, was founded. Thirteen years had been occupied in the wandering of the tribe. After this period the separate tribes are seldom mentioned, except in ancient ballads, and the name Mramma appears as the national designation for all.

No distinct explanation is found in the chronicles to the events which led to the destruction of the kingdom of Tharekhettant. The general inference from the narrative in the Maha Rajaweng is that civil war among the tribes led to their dispersion. But the mention of the Talaing having attacked the Pyft after the first contest, and the flight of the latter from Tharekhettara, makes it probable that the kingdom was conquered by the people from the delta. At the time-the first century of the Christian era-when the fall of the monarchy is placed, and for some centuries later, the kingdom, of which Thahtun was the capital, was existing in prosperity. Though the chief city was outside the basin of the Irawadi, the territory included the whole of the delta of that river. The kings were of Indian race from Telingana, and their country was known as Suvarna Bhumi, of Buddhist fame. But as the country, kuown better from the later capital as Pegu, was conquered in the eleventh century by the king of Pugan, and all records were destroyed or carried away, no account remains of the early history and the extension northward of the Talaing kingdom. That can only be now gathered from tradition and a few fragmentary notices.

The Prome Kingdom was a kingdom that existed for six decades between 1482 and 1542 in the present-day central Burma (Myanmar).



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