Bayinnaung's empire was a loose collection of formerly sovereign kingdoms, whose kings were loyal to him as the Cakkavatti, rather than to the Kingdom of Toungoo itself.
66 Facts About Bayinnaung
Bayinnaung is considered one of the three greatest kings of Burma, along with Anawrahta and Alaungpaya.
Bayinnaung is well known in Thailand as the Phra Chao Chana Sip Thit.
Bayinnaung had two half-brothers, Minkhaung II and Thado Minsaw, who were born to his aunt and his father.
Bayinnaung was educated in the palace along with the prince and the other children.
Nonetheless, despite the setbacks, Tabinshwehti and Bayinnaung had by 1549 built up the largest polity in Burma since the fall of the Pagan Empire in 1287, stretching from Pagan in the north to Tavoy in the south.
In 1549, Tabinshwehti, who had developed a liking to wine, gave up all administrative duties to Bayinnaung, and spent much of his time on long hunting trips away from the capital.
Concerned by the king's erratic behavior, ministers at the court urged Bayinnaung to take over the throne but he declined, saying he would try to "win back the king to his old sense of duty to his own kingdom".
When Bayinnaung received the news of the assassination, he was in Dala chasing after Smim Htaw's rebel forces.
Two months after the assassination, Bayinnaung was ready to start the restoration project.
Once there, Bayinnaung received many of the ministers and soldiers of Tabinshwehti's old court, who fled Pegu and Martaban.
Bayinnaung ordered the execution of Prome's ruler Thado Dhamma Yaza I but regretted the decision immediately afterwards.
Bayinnaung appointed his second eldest younger brother as viceroy of Prome with the style of Thado Dhamma Yaza II.
Pegu's forces withdrew from his territory but Bayinnaung now decided that Pegu must be eliminated first.
Bayinnaung was victorious, driving Htaw and his elephant off the field.
Two years after Tabinshwehti's death, Bayinnaung had restored the late king's empire.
Bayinnaung seriously considered invading Siam but his advisers led by Binnya Law, governor of Bassein, recommended that he should attack Ava instead.
Bayinnaung had enlisted troops from five allied Shan states and from his own vassal states throughout the Mu valley and Kyaukse districts.
Bayinnaung appointed his younger brother Thado Minsaw viceroy of Ava.
Bayinnaung now controlled both the Irrawaddy and Sittaung river valleys, the corridors to and from the "heartland" where most of the food of the country was produced and its population lived.
Bayinnaung needed to bring the surrounding unruly states under control if his hold on Upper Burma was to last.
Bayinnaung left a small garrison of 1000 men commanded by Binnya Dala and Binnya Set at Chiang Mai.
Bayinnaung immediately put manpower from the newly acquired territories to acquire yet more territory.
Bayinnaung had recalled Binnya Dala from Chiang Mai to lead the invasion.
Bayinnaung sent four 12,000-strong armies, led respectively by Nanda, Thado Dhamma Yaza II, Minkhaung II and Thado Minsaw.
Bayinnaung now had at least nominal suzerainty over the Chinese Shan states from the cis-Salween states in the Taping valley to Kenghung in the east.
Bayinnaung needed an overwhelming advantage in manpower over Siam because unlike interior Shan states, Siam could not be overwhelmed by the strength of his Portuguese firearms alone.
Bayinnaung took all four white elephants, among other loot, and sent the fallen king to Pegu.
Bayinnaung appointed Mahinthrathirat, a son of the fallen king, vassal king of Siam, and left a garrison of 3000.
Thai sources state that Bayinnaung took Prince Ramesuan, the eldest son of Maha Chakkraphat, back with him as well as Phraya Chakkri, the chancellor of Ayutthaya, and Phra Sunthon Songkhram, the military chief of Ayutthaya.
Bayinnaung spared the broken king's life, and sent him to Pegu.
Bayinnaung even gave upgraded titles to four former kings living in Pegu: Mobye Narapati of Ava, Sithu Kyawhtin of Ava, Mekuti of Lan Na, and Maha Chakkraphat of Siam.
The rebellion was led by Maha Chakkraphat, the deposed king of Siam whom Bayinnaung had just showered with honors and permitted to return to Ayutthaya on pilgrimage as a monk.
When Setthathirath and his army approached to relieve the city, Bayinnaung left Binnya Dala in command of the siege, and left with half his force to meet the enemy.
Bayinnaung sent two 12,000-strong armies led by Nanda and Thado Dhamma Yaza II.
Incredulous, Bayinnaung sent Binnya Dala to lead an invasion with a small army of 6000, with the majority of troops coming from Lan Na and Siam.
Bayinnaung sent Binnya Dala into exile "to a sickly place" in central Siam, where the general who had won him many a battle died from illness six months later.
Bayinnaung ordered Thado Minsaw, the ruler of Ava, to take care of the northern states while he personally led the Lan Xang campaign.
Bayinnaung's craftsmen beautified the temple and swept it with the broom made of his and his chief queen's hair.
Bayinnaung presented who he said was his daughter to Bayinnaung.
In return, Bayinnaung sent 2500 of his best "invulnerables" from all parts of the empire in five ships to Colombo.
Bayinnaung faced no internal or external threats.
Bayinnaung determined that it was now time to reduce the western coastal kingdom to the vassal status it held under the Pagan kings once more.
Bayinnaung kept conquered kings and lords in their own positions so long as they remained loyal to him.
Bayinnaung regarded Lan Na as the most important of all the vassal states, and spent much time there.
Bayinnaung administered Lower Burma with the help of ministers, the vast majority of whom were of ethnic Mon background.
Bayinnaung's Majesty introduced a measure of legal uniformity by summoning learned monks and officials from all over his dominions to prescribe an official collection of law books.
Bayinnaung promoted the new law throughout the empire so far as it was compatible with customs and practices of local society.
Bayinnaung propagated the religious reforms begun by King Dhammazedi in the late 1470s.
Bayinnaung prohibited all human and animal sacrifices throughout the kingdom.
Bayinnaung donated jewels to adorn the crowns of many a pagoda, including the Shwedagon, the Shwemawdaw, the Kyaiktiyo, and many less famous ones.
Bayinnaung added a new spire to the Shwedagon in 1564 after the death of his beloved queen Yaza Dewi.
Bayinnaung tried but failed to secure the release of the Tooth Relic of Kandy from the Portuguese invaders in 1560.
Bayinnaung later interfered with the internal affairs of Ceylon in the 1570s, ostensibly to protect the Buddha Sasana there.
Bayinnaung's kingdom was mainly an agrarian state with a few wealthy maritime trading ports.
Bayinnaung built the largest empire in Southeast Asia on the back of "breathtaking" military conquests.
Bayinnaung's success has been attributed to a "more martial Toungoo tradition", Portuguese firearms, foreign mercenaries, and larger forces.
Finally, Bayinnaung was able to marshal more manpower than any ruler in the region.
Bayinnaung required every new conquered state to provide conscripts for his next campaign.
Bayinnaung's larger forces and their greater fighting experience proved to make the difference against Siam, which too was a wealthy coastal power with a powerful well-equipped military.
Bayinnaung needed competent local rulers, who commanded the respect of the local populace, to rule the lands on his behalf.
Bayinnaung is considered one of the three greatest Burmese kings, alongside Anawrahta and Alaungpaya, the founders of the First and Third Burmese Empires, respectively.
Bayinnaung's statues are there because the ordeal of welding a nation together by force is not just history.
Bayinnaung has thus far escaped the increasingly negative portrayals of Burmese kings in Thai history books.
Bayinnaung is a main character in the 2016 video game Age of Empires II: The Rise of the Rajas published by Xbox Game Studios.
In Part 1 of the 2007 King Naresuan film series, Bayinnaung is a Burmese conqueror and a father-figure for the young prince Naresuan.