35 Facts About Pagan Kingdom


Pagan Kingdom went into decline in the mid-13th century as the continuous growth of tax-free religious wealth by the 1280s had severely affected the crown's ability to retain the loyalty of courtiers and military servicemen.

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Origins of the Pagan kingdom have been reconstructed using archaeological evidence as well as the Burmese chronicle tradition.

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The region of Pagan Kingdom received waves of Burman settlements in the mid-to-late 9th century, and perhaps well into the 10th century.

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Pagan Kingdom graded every town and village according to the levy it could raise.

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At any rate, all scholars accept that during the 11th century, Pagan Kingdom consolidated its hold of Upper Burma, and established its authority over Lower Burma.

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Pagan Kingdom entered a golden age that would last for the next two centuries.

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Pagan Kingdom patronised Mon scholars and artisans who emerged as the intellectual elite.

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Pagan Kingdom appeased the Pyus by linking his genealogy to the real and mythical ancestors of Sri Ksetra, the symbol of the Pyu golden past, and by calling the kingdom Pyu, even though it had been ruled by a Burman ruling class.

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Pagan Kingdom supported and favoured Theravada Buddhism while tolerating other religious groups.

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Pagan Kingdom introduced standardised weights and measures throughout the country to assist administration as well as trade.

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Over his 27-year reign, Pagan Kingdom's influence reached further south to the Strait of Malacca, at least to the Salween river in the east and below the current China border in the farther north.

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Pagan Kingdom's reign saw the rise of Burmese culture which finally emerged from the shadows of Mon and Pyu cultures.

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Pagan Kingdom's reign saw the realignment of Burmese Buddhism with Ceylon's Mahavihara school.

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Indeed, Htilominlo was the last of the temple builders although most of his temples were in remote lands not in the Pagan Kingdom region, reflecting the deteriorating state of royal treasury.

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All the vassal states of Pagan Kingdom revolted right after the king's death, and went their own way.

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The male side of Pagan Kingdom ended there although the female side passed into Pinya and Ava royalty.

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In general, the king of Pagan Kingdom received a periodic nominal tribute but had "no substantive authority", for example, on such matters as the selection of deputies, successors, or levels of taxation.

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Pagan Kingdom largely stayed out of the affairs of these outlying states, only interfering when there were outright revolts, such as Arakan and Martaban in the late 1250s or northern Kachin Hills in 1277.

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Early Pagan Kingdom army consisted mainly of conscripts raised just prior to or during the times of war.

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Economy of Pagan Kingdom was based primarily on agriculture, and to a much smaller degree, on trade.

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At any rate, the Kyaukse agricultural basin's development in the 10th and 11th centuries enabled the kingdom of Pagan to expand beyond the dry zone of Upper Myanmar, and to dominate its periphery, including the maritime Lower Myanmar.

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Evidence shows that Pagan Kingdom imported silver from Yunnan, and that traded upland forest products, gems and perhaps metals with the coast.

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All the innovations that Pagan Kingdom Dynasty introduced, one area that it regressed was the use of coinage.

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The success and longevity of the Pagan Kingdom Empire sustained the spread of Burman ethnicity and culture in Upper Burma in a process that came to be called Burmanization, which Lieberman describes as "assimilation by bi-lingual peoples, eager to identify with the imperial elite".

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Primary language of the ruling class of Pagan Kingdom was Burmese, a Tibeto-Burman language related to both the Pyu language and the language of the ruling class of Nanzhao.

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The use of Sanskrit, which had been prevalent in the Pyu realm and in the early Pagan Kingdom era, declined after Anawrahta's conversion to Theravada Buddhism.

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For much of the Pagan Kingdom period, written materials needed to produce large numbers of literate monks and students in the villages simply did not exist.

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Besides religious texts, Pagan Kingdom's monks read works in a variety of languages on prosody, phonology, grammar, astrology, alchemy, and medicine, and developed an independent school of legal studies.

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Religion of Pagan Kingdom was fluid, syncretic and by later standards, unorthodox—largely a continuation of religious trends in the Pyu era where Theravada Buddhism co-existed with Mahayana Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, various Hindu schools as well as native animist traditions.

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Likewise, the early Pagan Kingdom court worshiped snakes venerated in pre-Buddhist times.

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Pagan Kingdom stands out not only for the sheer number of religious edifices but for the magnificent architecture of the buildings, and their contribution to Burmese temple design.

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Pagan Kingdom temples fall into one of two broad categories: the stupa-style solid temple and the gu-style hollow temple.

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The convergence of cultural norms around existing Pagan Kingdom-centered norms, at least in the Irrawaddy valley core, in turn facilitated the latter-day political reunification drives of Toungoo and Konbaung dynasties.

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Geopolitically, Pagan Kingdom checked the Khmer Empire's encroachment into the Tenasserim coast and upper Menam valley.

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Not only did Pagan Kingdom help restart Theravada Buddhism in Ceylon but the over two centuries of patronage by a powerful empire made Theravada Buddhism's later growth in Lan Na, Siam, Lan Xang, and Khmer Empire in the 13th and 14th centuries possible.

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