Home Region:  Mainland (Southeast Asia)

Ayutthaya

D G SC WF HS CC PT EQ 2020  th_ayutthaya / ThAyuth

Preceding:
1593 CE 1767 CE Ayutthaya (th_ayutthaya)    [continuity]
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
1782 CE 1873 CE Rattanakosin (th_rattanakosin)    [continuity]
Add one more here.

The city of Ayutthaya was founded in 1351 CE in the Chao Phraya Basin, in modern-day Thailand, and soon emerged as a dominant force in the region, turning neighbouring mueang, or city-states, into its tributaries. [1] This was largely thanks to its advantageous geographical position, which allowed it to become an entrepôt where goods could be exchanged between China to the east, India and Arabia to the west, and the Malay archipelago to the south. [2] In 1569, Ayutthaya fell to the Burmese army. [3] Here, we only consider the second phase of the polity’s history, starting in 1593, when Ayutthaya regained its independence after defeating Burma at the Battle of Nong Sarai. [4] The kingdom flourished throughout the 17th century, regaining its status as the dominant political and economic power of mainland Southeast Asia and ruling over Khmer, Lao, Lanna, and Shan. [5] The polity may have reached its peak under King Borommakot (reigned 1733‒1758): during this time, Ayutthaya faced no serious external threats (indeed, it made peace with Burma and consolidated its hold over Cambodia), and supplanted Sri Lanka as the preeminent centre of Buddhist culture. [6] Shortly afterwards, however, hostilities with Burma resumed due to the ambitions of a new Burmese dynasty. In 1767, Ayutthaya was once again captured ‒ and this time, it was destroyed. [7]
A number of different spellings of Ayutthaya are in use, including Ayuthaya, Ayudhya, and Ayuthia. [8]
Population and political organization
In the Ayutthaya Kingdom, kings ruled over a society composed of a ’service nobility of maybe 2000 people and their families, and a mass of people bound to surrender some or all of their labour to the elite’. [9] There was a four-part administrative structure: one ministry was dedicated to the palace and the capital; one to military affairs and relations with tributary states and cities; one to trade, the treasury, and foreign communities; and one, made up of Brahmans, to ritual, astrology, and records. [9]
It is difficult to give a firm figure for the population of the kingdom as a whole. However, Ayutthaya may have been the largest city in Southeast Asia in the 17th and 18th centuries, [10] with perhaps 150,000 inhabitants in 1700 and 160,000 in 1750. [11]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, xv, 7-13) Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit. 2009. A History of Thailand. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[2]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, 10) Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit. 2009. A History of Thailand. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[3]: (Wyatt 1984, 100) David K. Wyatt. 1984. Thailand: A Short History. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

[4]: (Wyatt 1984, 103) David K. Wyatt. 1984. Thailand: A Short History. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

[5]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, 13-18) Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit. 2009. A History of Thailand. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[6]: (Wyatt 1984, 130-31) David K. Wyatt. 1984. Thailand: A Short History. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

[7]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, 21-22) Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit. 2009. A History of Thailand. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[8]: (Ooi 2004, xxiii) Keat Gin Ooi. 2004. Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia from Angkor Wat to East Timor. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

[9]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, 15) Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit. 2009. A History of Thailand. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[10]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, 13) Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit. 2009. A History of Thailand. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[11]: Christopher K. Chase-Dunn 2001, personal communication 2012

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
47 P  
47 Q  
48 P  
48 Q  
Original Name:
Ayutthaya  
Capital:
Ayutthaya  
Alternative Name:
Ayutthaya  
Ayuthaya  
Ayudhya  
Ayuthia  
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya  
Anajak Ayutthaya  
Krung Kao  
Samai Krung Si Ayutthaya  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[1,733 CE ➜ 1,758 CE]  
Duration:
[1,593 CE ➜ 1,767 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
nominal allegiance to [---]  
Supracultural Entity:
Indianized Southeast Asia  
Succeeding Entity:
Rattanakosin  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
2,175,000 km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
Succeeding: Ayutthaya (th_ayutthaya)    [continuity]  
Succeeding: Rattanakosin (th_rattanakosin)    [continuity]  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Tai-Kadai  
Language:
Tai  
Thai  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
155,000 people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4  
Religious Level:
6  
Military Level:
6  
Administrative Level:
6  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
absent  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
inferred absent  
Merit Promotion:
absent  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Examination System:
absent  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
present  
Judge:
present  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
Court:
present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present  
Irrigation System:
present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
unknown 1596 CE 1633 CE
present 1633 CE 1767 CE
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
absent  
Port:
present  
Canal:
present  
Bridge:
present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present  
Sacred Text:
inferred present  
Religious Literature:
inferred present  
Practical Literature:
inferred present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
present  
History:
present  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Token:
present  
Precious Metal:
inferred present  
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Foreign Coin:
present  
Article:
inferred absent  
Information / Postal System
General Postal Service:
present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
present  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
absent  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
unknown  
  Moat:
inferred present  
  Fortified Camp:
inferred present  
  Earth Rampart:
inferred present  
  Ditch:
inferred present  
  Complex Fortification:
unknown  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
unknown  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
inferred present  
  Bronze:
inferred present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
inferred present  
  Sling Siege Engine:
inferred present  
  Sling:
inferred absent  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
present  
  Handheld Firearm:
present  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
inferred present  
  Crossbow:
present  
  Composite Bow:
unknown  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred absent  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
present  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
inferred absent  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
present  
  Donkey:
inferred absent  
  Dog:
inferred absent  
  Camel:
inferred absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
unknown  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
unknown  
  Plate Armor:
unknown  
  Limb Protection:
unknown  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
unknown  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
unknown  
  Breastplate:
unknown  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
present  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
inferred absent  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Ayutthaya (th_ayutthaya) was in:
 (1594 CE 1767 CE)   Cambodian Basin
Home NGA: Cambodian Basin

General Variables
Identity and Location


Capital:
Ayutthaya

"Because of its prime location for trade, Ayutthaya was the capital of an enlarged federation [in the 15th and 16th centuries]. But the northern city of Phitsanulok operated a a second capital (the Portuguese sometimes described them as twin states) because of its strategic location for the wars against Lanna." [1]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 10)


Alternative Name:
Ayutthaya

’Likewise, spelling variations abound owing to the transliteration of indigenous languages into the Roman alphabet. Hence Ayutthaya, Ayuthaya, Ayudhya, or Ayuthia, and Yogyakarta or Jogjakarta.’ [1] ’Uthong’s regnal name was Ramathibodi, or the Great Rama who ruled over Siamese Ayudhya (Ayudhya having been the name of the capital of Rama in the great Indian epic, the Ramayana).’ [2]

[1]: (Ooi 2004, p. xxiii)

[2]: (Kasetsiri 1991, p. 76)

Alternative Name:
Ayuthaya

’Likewise, spelling variations abound owing to the transliteration of indigenous languages into the Roman alphabet. Hence Ayutthaya, Ayuthaya, Ayudhya, or Ayuthia, and Yogyakarta or Jogjakarta.’ [1] ’Uthong’s regnal name was Ramathibodi, or the Great Rama who ruled over Siamese Ayudhya (Ayudhya having been the name of the capital of Rama in the great Indian epic, the Ramayana).’ [2]

[1]: (Ooi 2004, p. xxiii)

[2]: (Kasetsiri 1991, p. 76)

Alternative Name:
Ayudhya

’Likewise, spelling variations abound owing to the transliteration of indigenous languages into the Roman alphabet. Hence Ayutthaya, Ayuthaya, Ayudhya, or Ayuthia, and Yogyakarta or Jogjakarta.’ [1] ’Uthong’s regnal name was Ramathibodi, or the Great Rama who ruled over Siamese Ayudhya (Ayudhya having been the name of the capital of Rama in the great Indian epic, the Ramayana).’ [2]

[1]: (Ooi 2004, p. xxiii)

[2]: (Kasetsiri 1991, p. 76)

Alternative Name:
Ayuthia

’Likewise, spelling variations abound owing to the transliteration of indigenous languages into the Roman alphabet. Hence Ayutthaya, Ayuthaya, Ayudhya, or Ayuthia, and Yogyakarta or Jogjakarta.’ [1] ’Uthong’s regnal name was Ramathibodi, or the Great Rama who ruled over Siamese Ayudhya (Ayudhya having been the name of the capital of Rama in the great Indian epic, the Ramayana).’ [2]

[1]: (Ooi 2004, p. xxiii)

[2]: (Kasetsiri 1991, p. 76)

Alternative Name:
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya

’Likewise, spelling variations abound owing to the transliteration of indigenous languages into the Roman alphabet. Hence Ayutthaya, Ayuthaya, Ayudhya, or Ayuthia, and Yogyakarta or Jogjakarta.’ [1] ’Uthong’s regnal name was Ramathibodi, or the Great Rama who ruled over Siamese Ayudhya (Ayudhya having been the name of the capital of Rama in the great Indian epic, the Ramayana).’ [2]

[1]: (Ooi 2004, p. xxiii)

[2]: (Kasetsiri 1991, p. 76)

Alternative Name:
Anajak Ayutthaya

’Likewise, spelling variations abound owing to the transliteration of indigenous languages into the Roman alphabet. Hence Ayutthaya, Ayuthaya, Ayudhya, or Ayuthia, and Yogyakarta or Jogjakarta.’ [1] ’Uthong’s regnal name was Ramathibodi, or the Great Rama who ruled over Siamese Ayudhya (Ayudhya having been the name of the capital of Rama in the great Indian epic, the Ramayana).’ [2]

[1]: (Ooi 2004, p. xxiii)

[2]: (Kasetsiri 1991, p. 76)

Alternative Name:
Krung Kao

’Likewise, spelling variations abound owing to the transliteration of indigenous languages into the Roman alphabet. Hence Ayutthaya, Ayuthaya, Ayudhya, or Ayuthia, and Yogyakarta or Jogjakarta.’ [1] ’Uthong’s regnal name was Ramathibodi, or the Great Rama who ruled over Siamese Ayudhya (Ayudhya having been the name of the capital of Rama in the great Indian epic, the Ramayana).’ [2]

[1]: (Ooi 2004, p. xxiii)

[2]: (Kasetsiri 1991, p. 76)

Alternative Name:
Samai Krung Si Ayutthaya

’Likewise, spelling variations abound owing to the transliteration of indigenous languages into the Roman alphabet. Hence Ayutthaya, Ayuthaya, Ayudhya, or Ayuthia, and Yogyakarta or Jogjakarta.’ [1] ’Uthong’s regnal name was Ramathibodi, or the Great Rama who ruled over Siamese Ayudhya (Ayudhya having been the name of the capital of Rama in the great Indian epic, the Ramayana).’ [2]

[1]: (Ooi 2004, p. xxiii)

[2]: (Kasetsiri 1991, p. 76)


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[1,733 CE ➜ 1,758 CE]

The reign of Borommakot. "To a generation that, in the 1780s and 1790s, was looking back at Ayudhya, the reign of Borommakot must have seemed a sort of golden age, an ideal to be recaptured. There was much about Borommakot’s reign that accorded with traditional ideas of the virtues of good kings and so won him acclaim". During Borommakot’s reign, Ayutthaya succeeded Ceylon as "the preeminent center of Buddhism" ("a party of eighteen Siamese monks was dispatched to Kandy to reordain Singhalese monks and establish what was to become a Siam order of monks on Ceylon", in response to a 1751 mission "from Ceylon requesting aid in restoring Singhalese Buddhism, which had declined under Portuguese and Dutch rule"). Moreover, Ayutthaya consolidated its control over Cambodia, and established peaceful relations with Burma. "To the end of the reign, Ayudhya faced no serious external threats, and there was no military levée en masse." [1]

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, pp. 130-131)


Duration:
[1,593 CE ➜ 1,767 CE]

invaded NGA 1594 CE
"On the fall of Ayudhya in 1569, the Burmese installed Maha Thammaracha (r. 1569-1590) on the throne, thoroughly looted the city, and led thousands of prisoners, both commoners and nobles, away to captivity in Burma." [1] Ayudhya freed itself from the Burmese yoke on 1593, with the Battle of Nong Sarai: "Ayudhya’s independence was now secured, and for the next generation, the Burmese kings would be on the defensive against Ayudhya, the tables of war thus turning for the first time in thirty years." [2] The tables turned in favour of Burma again in the 1760s: after a siege, "on April 27, 1767, [the Burmese] finally breached the walls and took the ancient capital" [3] .

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, p. 100)

[2]: (Wyatt 1984, p. 103)

[3]: (Wyatt 1984, p. 136)


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
nominal allegiance to [---]

’The differing understandings of what the tributary relationship entailed are evident in an incident in October 1592 when King Narasuan of Ayutthaya offered Siamese naval assistance to the Ming court in its struggle to contain the depredations of Japanese pirates. The offer was refused, for from the Chinese point of view it would have been demeaning, and an admission of Chinese weakness, to have accepted. In the mandala world of Southeast Asia, however, it was usual for an ally to contribute military assistance in time of war. Narasuan may have hoped for some quid pro quo in his own conflict with the Burmese, but his offer, and the Ming refusal, point to essential differences in worldview.’ [1]

[1]: (Stuart-Fox 2003, p. 34)


Supracultural Entity:
Indianized Southeast Asia

"Together with Burma and Thailand, Cambodia is part of that large area of Southeast Asia in which Indian cultural influence was the sociologically dominant and formative force." [1]

[1]: (Bunnag 1991, p. 161)


Succeeding Entity:
Rattanakosin

[1]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 27)


Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
2,175,000 km2

Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity

In 1569, after a protracted military campaign, Burmese forces took the capital and "installed the obsequious Maha Thammaracha as vassal king of Ayudhya" [1] . Besides the subordination to Burmese rule in the period between 1569 and 1592, sources do not indicate any significant changes in the polity after 1569.

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, p. 95)


Preceding Entity:
Ayutthaya [th_ayutthaya] ---> Ayutthaya [th_ayutthaya]

In 1569, after a protracted military campaign, Burmese forces took the capital and "installed the obsequious Maha Thammaracha as vassal king of Ayudhya" [1] .

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, p. 95)

Preceding Entity:
Ayutthaya [th_ayutthaya] ---> Rattanakosin [th_rattanakosin]

"The new regime portrayed itself as a restoration of Ayutthayan tradition [...]. The capital was moved across the river to Bangkok, and built on similar principles to Ayutthaya--an island created by closing a river meander with a canal. The word Ayutthaya was inscribed in the city’s official name. The remains of shattered Ayutthayan monuments were brought to the city and incorporated into its new buildings. All surviving manuscripts were sought out and complied into recensions of laws, histories, religious texts, and manuals on the practice of every aspect of government." [1]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 27)


Language

"The group of languages now known as Tai probably originated among peoples who lived south of the Yangzi River before the Han Chinese spread from the north into the area before the Han Chinese spread from the north into the area from the 6th century BC. As the Han armies came to control China’s southern coastline in the first few centuries AD, some of these peoples retreated into the high valleys in the hills behind the coast. Then, over many centuries, some moved westwards, spreading Tai language dialects along a 1000-kilometre arc from the Guanxi interior to the Brahmaputra valley. They probably took with them some expertise in growing rice using the water flow from mountain streams." [1]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, pp. 4-5)

"The group of languages now known as Tai probably originated among peoples who lived south of the Yangzi River before the Han Chinese spread from the north into the area before the Han Chinese spread from the north into the area from the 6th century BC. As the Han armies came to control China’s southern coastline in the first few centuries AD, some of these peoples retreated into the high valleys in the hills behind the coast. Then, over many centuries, some moved westwards, spreading Tai language dialects along a 1000-kilometre arc from the Guanxi interior to the Brahmaputra valley. They probably took with them some expertise in growing rice using the water flow from mountain streams." [1]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, pp. 4-5)


Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
155,000 people

Inhabitants. 1700 CE: 150,000. 1750 CE: 160,000. [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4

levels. [1] .
1. AyutthayaThe capital.
2. "Great cities" (mahanakhon)Including "the old northern cities" and "ports around the head of the gulf".
3. Tributary centresFor example, "the port cities down the peninsula which simultaneously looked southwards to the Malay world", as well as urban centres in "the interior states of Khmer, Lao, Lanna, and Shahn".
4. VillagesInferred from the fact that most of the population would likely not have lived in cities (RA’s guess).

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 13)


Religious Level:
6

levels. [1]
1. Somdet Phra Sangharat (Supreme Patriarch)
2. Chao kana yai (Sangha general governors.There were three.
3. Phraracha kana"[T]he heads of monks in the capital and important provinces". [2]
4. Phra khru"The head monks of the lesser provinces". [2]
5. Abbots
6. Ordinary monks

[1]: (Suksamran 1982, pp. 31-32)

[2]: (Suksamran 1982, p. 32)


Military Level:
6

levels. "Ranks and titles were conferred on the bureaucratic and military nobility until the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932, a rank and title usually being associated with an office. The chaophraya were highest on the list, the equivalents of cabinet ministers, generals, and the governors of the most important provincial cities. On a descending scale came phraya, phra, luang, and khun." [1]
1. Chaophraya
2. Phraya
3. Phra
4. Luang
5. Khun

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, p. xviii)


Administrative Level:
6

levels. "Ranks and titles were conferred on the bureaucratic and military nobility until the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932, a rank and title usually being associated with an office. The chaophraya were highest on the list, the equivalents of cabinet ministers, generals, and the governors of the most important provincial cities. On a descending scale came phraya, phra, luang, and khun." [1] Presumably the king should be added to this hierarchy--RA’s guess.
1. King
2. Chaophraya
3. Phraya
4. Phra
5. Luang
6. Khun

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, p. xviii)


Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent

The Thai standing army dates to 1905 [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 62)


Professional Priesthood:
present

"Theravada, the way of the elder, differs from other strains of Buddhism in the prime position accorded to the monk and monastic practice. The duty of the Sangha or monkhood is to preserve the thamma or teachings of the Buddha by adhering strictly to the winaya or monastic code. Some monks study the texts, preserve them by recopying, and preach their contents to the laity. Other monks exemplify the teachings by living an imitation of the Buddha’s own life, gaining insight through ascetic rigour and meditation." [1]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 19)


Professional Military Officer:
absent

"Contemporary European accounts also sometimes refer to what appear to be highly organized command hierarchies. The Siamese army command in the 1680s, for example, was described by Gervaise as consisting of a ’commander-in-chief, a deputy general, several captains with their lieutenants and some subalterns.’ In actuality, members of the nobility through ad hoc appointments led Southeast Asian armies. These men were usually personal favorites of the ruler or one of his relatives, or were outlying lords obligated to bring local levies to participate in campaigns. One reason for this was the concern that otherwise a regular officer class on a permanent footing would become part of the court and ministerial politics that plagued early modern Southeast Asian states." [1]

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 237)


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
absent

Inferred from the fact that, in Rattanakosin, before Chulalongkorn reformed the Thai bureaucracy, "[g]overnment was carried out in the homes of officials" [1] .

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, p. 186)


Merit Promotion:
absent

"Entry into the official ranks was a noble preserve. Families presented their sons at court, where they were enrolled as pages. Ascent up the ladder of success then depended on personal skill, family connections, and royal favour" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 15)


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

"The administration was divided into four main sections. The first looked after the palace and capital including collecting rice from the royal land, guarding the royal person, keeping the peace, running the royal household, and adjudicating disputes in the capital and the core kingdom (ratchathani). The second looked after military affairs, and managed relations with the outlying great cities and tributary states. The third carried out royal trade, oversaw the foreign communities, and looked after the main treasury. The fourth contained the Brahmans who care of ritual, astrology, and record keeping" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 15)


Examination System:
absent

"Entry into the official ranks was a noble preserve. Families presented their sons at court, where they were enrolled as pages. Ascent up the ladder of success then depended on personal skill, family connections, and royal favour" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 15)


Law
Professional Lawyer:
present

According to a seventeenth-century Dutch source, "The accusations and defences are brought before the courts of the Berckelangh and Mathip by the plaintiff or defendant or by attorneys, verbally or in writing." [1]

[1]: (Van Ravenswaay 1910, p. 70)


Mentioned in the earliest available contemporary European account, dating to the seventeenth century [1] .

[1]: (Van Ravenswaay 1910, p. 70)


Formal Legal Code:
present

"While other kings simply rendered judicial decisions in accord with their knowledge of [Buddhist] Dharma, the kings of Ayudhya issued real legislation, formal codes of civil and criminal law--law that by definition was mutable, temporal, and changeable. To Ramathibodi I are attributed various titles of Ayudhya’s law, including the Law of Evidence, the Law of Offences against the Government, the Law of Receiving Plaints, the Law of Abduction, the Law on Offences against the People, the Law concerning Robbery, and the Law of Husband and Wife" [1] . This refers to the early phase of Ayutthaya, but there is nothing to indicate that late-phase Ayutthaya jettisoned their legal traditions.

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, pp. 71-72)


According to a seventeenth-century Dutch source, "Besides [the Ayutthaya equivalent of a Supreme Court], there are still several courts of justice, as that of oya Berckelangh, who is attorney to the court and judge for all foreigners, further opraa Mathip Mamontry, who is chief of the court where all civil questions and all ordinary cases are pleaded and decided; oya Syserputh is permanent chief of the court where all secret and uncertain cases, criminal and civil are treated and decided by ordeal." [1]

[1]: (Van Ravenswaay 1910, p. 70)


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

According to a seventeenth-century Dutch source, "for the use of the common people, small shells are used, which come from Manilla and Borneo. 600 to 700 of these are worth one foeang, and the daily provisions and other little necessaries are paid with them. With 5 to 20 of these shells, or even with less, the people may buy on the market sufficient supplies for one day." [1]

[1]: (Van Ravenswaay 1910, p. 96)


Irrigation System:
present

"The muang fai irrigation system was used on fast flowing streams up to twenty metres in width, across which weirs elevated water by up to two or more metres. The fai held back water which was directed to major and minor canals known as muang in which gates, tang, controlled flow rates. Where a muang could be constructed by diverting water from a river, no fai was needed. Constructed from bamboo and woodern stakes driven into the river bed against which rocks, poles and sand were placed, the fai allowed water to pass through and over the barrier while restricting the rate of flow and thus raising the water level." [1]

[1]: (Falvey 2000, p. 113)


Drinking Water Supply System:
unknown
1596 CE 1633 CE

Falvey [1] writes of "the construction of the first storage irrigation system in 1633 in Ayutthaya, an echo of the Khmer storage barai". "Each water-based feature fulfilled several functions. Barays provided agricultural and domestic water, and fish and plant foods. Canals channeled water for public sanitation, and transport arteries. Embankments and dikes were usually oriented east-west following the contours and acted both as levees ti control floods and elevated causeways for roads. Moats surrounding temples, monuments, and inhabited areas also fulfilled several functions: they served as sacred boundaries, they were a source of domestic water and food, and they provided fill for foundations to raise the level of the terrain for drainage and protection. Access to domestic water was provided by tanks and basins dug into the water table.’ [2]

[1]: (Falvey 2000, p. 129)

[2]: (Engelhardt 1995, p.25)

Drinking Water Supply System:
present
1633 CE 1767 CE

Falvey [1] writes of "the construction of the first storage irrigation system in 1633 in Ayutthaya, an echo of the Khmer storage barai". "Each water-based feature fulfilled several functions. Barays provided agricultural and domestic water, and fish and plant foods. Canals channeled water for public sanitation, and transport arteries. Embankments and dikes were usually oriented east-west following the contours and acted both as levees ti control floods and elevated causeways for roads. Moats surrounding temples, monuments, and inhabited areas also fulfilled several functions: they served as sacred boundaries, they were a source of domestic water and food, and they provided fill for foundations to raise the level of the terrain for drainage and protection. Access to domestic water was provided by tanks and basins dug into the water table.’ [2]

[1]: (Falvey 2000, p. 129)

[2]: (Engelhardt 1995, p.25)


Transport Infrastructure

"The first road was built in 1857, but in 1890 there was still only nine miles. By 1900, a rapidly expanding road network was lined by the palaces and mansions of the bureaucracy, and the shophouses of the mercantile Chinese" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 99)


Mention of "ports around the head of the gulf" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 12)


In describing Ayutthaya itself, a seventeenth-century Dutch source writes that the "greater part of the city is one great conglomeration of streets, alleys, canals and ditches." [1]

[1]: (Van Ravenswaay 1910, p. 13)



Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present

Tin mines [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 28)


Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

For example, chotmaheit hon, records and diaries of the Court Astrologers [1] .

[1]: (Hodges 1999, p. 34)



Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present

"Thai has a high degree of consistency in mapping between phonemes and graphemes but there are multigrapheme to phoneme correspondences for some consonants [...] In addition, there is a change in grapheme-phoneme correspondences of consonants when they occur in final position. [...] In addition, there are orthographic class-change clusters, in which the first consonant of the cluster,  or  is silent, and is used to change the class of consonant to a high or middle class expression with a corresponding change in tone [...] Thai does have additional irregularities, which include silent consonants and vowels that are not pronounced" [1] .

[1]: (Winskel 2010, p. 1023)


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present

"As the records of astrologers, the chotmaihet hon display an overriding interest in the movements of the planets, and in significant, as well as unusual or unpredictable celestial and earthly events. Entries in the chotmaihet hon are always preceded by a set of numbers indicating the day, lunar date and year of occurrence. The regular motions of the planets were used by the astrologers to establish a system of time-keeping that has been regarded as Siam’s most sophisticated form of temporal measurement. Those responsible for the crafting of the chotmaihet hon were the inheritors and custodians of this complex system. Reflecting their concern with the timing of events, the chotmaihet hon have been known as both calendars and as diaries of the Court Astrologers" [1] "During his restoration of Wat Phrachettuphon (Wat Pho), started in the year of the python, 1832, King Rama III ensured this continuity for many generations to come, by having all available knowledge of the finest quality in the fields of art, letters, technical skills, medicine, and other disciplines engraved on stone plaques and fixed to the walls of the buildings of this Royal wat (temple), so that it would be accessible to all. The inscriptions on medicine at Wat Pho include hundreds of ancient texts as well as dozens of illustrated diagrams of the human body showing the points on the body used in the practice of Thai massage, and verses describing exercises demonstrated by statues of yogis performing them." [2]

[1]: (Hodges 1999, p. 34)

[2]: (Mulholland 1979, pp. 82-83)


Sacred Text:
present

Inferred from the fact that, a few years after the collapse of Ayutthaya, when its successor polity, Rattanakosin, was founded, "[a]ll surviving manuscripts were sought out and compiled into recensions of laws, histories, religious texts, and manuals on the practice of every aspect of government" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 27)


Religious Literature:
present

Inferred from the fact that, a few years after the collapse of Ayutthaya, when its successor polity, Rattanakosin, was founded, "[a]ll surviving manuscripts were sought out and compiled into recensions of laws, histories, religious texts, and manuals on the practice of every aspect of government" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 27)


Practical Literature:
present

Inferred from the fact that, a few years after the collapse of Ayutthaya, when its successor polity, Rattanakosin, was founded, "[a]ll surviving manuscripts were sought out and compiled into recensions of laws, histories, religious texts, and manuals on the practice of every aspect of government" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 27)


Lists Tables and Classification:
present

Thai medical texts provide quite elaborate lists and classifications of different kinds of illnesses [1] .

[1]: (Bamber 1987)


History:
present

"Under King Narai, astrology found a new use in the creation a new style of writing Thai history. From the fifteenth century up to then, tamnan (legend) was the dominant form of history writing. It blends the travels of Buddha through time and across continents with local events without placing them in a chronological framework. In 1681, at King Narai’s behest, Phra Horathibodi, now composed a history which presented events using the lunar calendar to provide ’precise temporal context’. The result was the Luang Prasoet Chronicle, the first of the phongsawadan (dynastic history) genre, which related the history of Ayutthaya from 1324 to 1605, in which humans (the Kings) stand central, instead of Buddha" [1] .

[1]: (Ruangslip 2007, p. 146)


Calendar:
present

"In 1685, [King] Narai changed the official calendar from Chulakkasarat (the Lesser Era-CS) to Phuthakkasarat (the Buddhist Era-BE)" [1] .

[1]: (Ruangslip 2007, p. 146)


Information / Money

According to a seventeenth-century Dutch source, "for the use of the common people, small shells are used, which come from Manilla and Borneo. 600 to 700 of these are worth one foeang, and the daily provisions and other little necessaries are paid with them. With 5 to 20 of these shells, or even with less, the people may buy on the market sufficient supplies for one day." [1]

[1]: (Van Ravenswaay 1910, p. 96)


Precious Metal:
present

"Sudden conflagrations were reported to have consumed 800 houses in Aceh in 1602 and 8000 in 1688; 1260 in Makassar in 1614, and 10,000 in Ayutthaya in 1545, while most of Pattani was burned during a revolt in 1613. For European and Chinese merchants this was a source of endless anxiety, but Southeast Asians appear to have accepted the essential impermanence of their houses, and to have kept what wealth they had in removable gold, jewellery and cloth. After a fire, whole sections of the city would be rebuilt in a matter of three or four days." [1]

[1]: (Tarling 1993, p. 476)


Paper Currency:
absent

"Machine-minted coins and printed paper money appeared in 1862, when the imported cowries were officially taken out of circulation." [1]

[1]: (Van Dongen, no publication year, p. 10)


Indigenous Coin:
present

According to a seventeenth-century Dutch source, "The Siamese money is made of very fine silver, has the proper weight, is cast in round shape and is minted with the king’s seal. The common people are very curious about such seals, so that one has great trouble in paying it out, for out of ten pieces they sometimes do not want to take a single one, not because the silver alloy is not good, but because the seal of the king is not according to the rule. There are three kinds of coins, namely ticals, maas, and foeanghs, which in Netherlands money are worth 30, 7 1/2, and 3 3/4 stuiver. Usually the Siamese make their accounts in catties of silver, each of which is worth 20 tayls of 6 guilders, or 48 reals of 50 stuiver each. Each tayl is worth 4 ticals, each tical 4 maas or 8 foeangs. Only these coins are used in trade and for payment." [1]

[1]: (Van Ravenswaay 1910, pp. 95-96)


Foreign Coin:
present

"Chinese sycee money, Japanese silver coins and even European and American money, were readily accepted for international trade" [1] . Admittedly it is not clear whether Van Dongen here is referring to both Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin, or only the latter.

[1]: (Van Dongen, no publication year, p. 9)


Article:
absent

Inferred from the fact that these are not mentioned in Van Dongen’s detailed lists of all the types of "money" circulating in Thailand in the Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin periods.


Information / Postal System
General Postal Service:
present

"The inland mail service of the Thai Government in its state up to the middle of the XIX century must be looked at as originating with the administrative reforms carried out by King Trailok (1448-1488), who created five civil ministries. One of these particularly cared for the transportation of government letters." [1] However, it was probably quite a simple service: the Court had no communications outside the country until King Mongkut started a voluminous correspondence with European countries, and an internal mail only started in Bangkok in 1881 [2] .

[1]: (Lindenberg 1944, p.78)

[2]: (http://www.sandafayre.com/stampatlas/thailandsiam.html)


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
present

"In preparing defenses for Ayudhya in the 1560s, for example, the Siamese built additional stockades outside of the city walls forty metres from each other." [1] .

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 89)


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent

"Aside from occasional exceptions, [...] stone fortifications do not appear to have been favored after the classical period. [...] Building stone walls was time-consuming and probably expensive. The stone was difficult to procure and to work, whereas brick was much more readily produced. a transition from stone to brick in temple building from the classical period into the early modern period was thus accompanied by the same general shift in fortification building." [1]

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 79)


Stone Walls Mortared:
absent

"Aside from occasional exceptions, [...] stone fortifications do not appear to have been favored after the classical period. [...] Building stone walls was time-consuming and probably expensive. The stone was difficult to procure and to work, whereas brick was much more readily produced. a transition from stone to brick in temple building from the classical period into the early modern period was thus accompanied by the same general shift in fortification building." [1]

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 79)


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

"The royal capital was strategically located at the confluence of three big rivers (the Chao Phraya, the Pasak, and the Lopburi) and formed an island, secure all on its own." [1]

[1]: (Kasetsiri 2004, p. 192)


Modern Fortification:
unknown

No references identified in the literature. RA.


Inferred from the fact, in the 1560s, "[c]ities invested in brick walls, wider moats, and defensive cannon" [1]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 12)


Fortified Camp:
present

Previous polity had this form of fortification.


Earth Rampart:
present

Previous polity had this form of fortification.


Previous polity had this form of fortification.


Complex Fortification:
unknown

No references identified in the literature. RA.



Military use of Metals

No references in the literature. Polity expert Charles Higham "I dont think there was ever a transition to steel but will ask the iron expert, Oliver Pryce for his view." (pers. comm. with Harvey Whitehouse 04/08/2017)


"By the 1690s, the Siamese were hammering cannon out of cold iron." [1] .

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 59)


Earlier polities used bronze military technology, so this polity probably used copper too.


Earlier polities used bronze military technology, so this polity probably did too.


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
present

Tension siege engines do not feature among the "personal weapons" mentioned in Charney’s [1] comprehensive summary of Southeast Asian military technology and organisation between the early modern period and the nineteenth century, or indeed in his descriptions of sieges where the Thai were the attackers. However, previous polity did have tension siege engines.

[1]: (Charney 2004)


Sling Siege Engine:
present

Tension siege engines do not feature among the "personal weapons" mentioned in Charney’s [1] comprehensive summary of Southeast Asian military technology and organisation between the early modern period and the nineteenth century, or indeed in his descriptions of sieges where the Thai were the attackers. However, previous polity did have sling siege engines.

[1]: (Charney 2004)


Inferred from the fact that slings do not feature among the "personal weapons" mentioned in Charney’s [1] comprehensive summary of Southeast Asian military technology and organisation between the early modern period and the nineteenth century.

[1]: (Charney 2004)


"By the beginning of the early modern period, [the bow and arrow] were used significantly by Siamese and Burmese soldiers as well." [1] Bow type not specified, however.

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 34)


"The javelin was also fairly well distributed across the mainland and the archipelago. We find its use among the Siamese", among others [1] .

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 28)


Handheld Firearm:
present

A Royal procession observed by a European source around 1630 included "800 to 1,000 men armed with pikes, knives, arrows, bows and muskets" [1] .

[1]: (Quaritch Wales 1931, p. 206)


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
present

Inferred from the fact, in the 1560s, "[c]ities invested in brick walls, wider moats, and defensive cannon" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 12)


"The crossbow remained in use up through the nineteenth century in the mainland" of South-East Asia, and "as early as the 1430s, crossbows were fired from the saddles of elephants in battle, and figured prominently in warfare between the Siamese, Burmese and Khmer" [1] .

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 36)


Composite Bow:
unknown

"By the beginning of the early modern period, [the bow and arrow] were used significantly by Siamese and Burmese soldiers as well." [1] Bow type not specified, however and previous polity did not have composite bows.

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 34)


New world weapon


Handheld weapons

Inferred from the fact that war clubs do not feature among the "personal weapons" mentioned in Charney’s [1] comprehensive summary of Southeast Asian military technology and organisation between the early modern period and the nineteenth century.

[1]: (Charney 2004)


In the seventeenth century, a Dutch source "noted that the Siamese armies were poorly armed with only ’Bows and Arrows, Shields, Swords, Pikes and a few Guns’" [1] .

[1]: (Ruangslip 2007, p. 26)


The "Siamese were said to have used a paired-spear" [1] .

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 28)


A Royal procession observed by a European source around 1630 included "800 to 1,000 men armed with pikes, knives, arrows, bows and muskets" [1] .

[1]: (Quaritch Wales 1931, p. 206)


A Royal procession observed by a European source around 1630 included "800 to 1,000 men armed with pikes, knives, arrows, bows and muskets" [1] .

[1]: (Quaritch Wales 1931, p. 206)


Battle Axe:
absent

Inferred from the fact that war clubs do not feature among the "personal weapons" mentioned in Charney’s [1] comprehensive summary of Southeast Asian military technology and organisation between the early modern period and the nineteenth century.

[1]: (Charney 2004)


Animals used in warfare

According to a seventeenth-century Dutch source, the "army also possesses ponies but no special horsemen are provided for. The cavalry are armed with old muskets and leather shields" [1] .

[1]: (Van Ravenswaay 1910, p. 30)


"Siamese chronicles refer to divisions of their elephants into different categories for battle, including shield, hinder and ordinary war elephants." [1] .

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 154)


Inferred from the fact that horses and elephants are the only animals mentioned in Charney’s [1] comprehensive summary of Southeast Asian military technology and organisation between the early modern period and the nineteenth century.

[1]: (Charney 2004)


Inferred from the fact that horses and elephants are the only animals mentioned in Charney’s [1] comprehensive summary of Southeast Asian military technology and organisation between the early modern period and the nineteenth century.

[1]: (Charney 2004)


Inferred from the fact that horses and elephants are the only animals mentioned in Charney’s [1] comprehensive summary of Southeast Asian military technology and organisation between the early modern period and the nineteenth century.

[1]: (Charney 2004)


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
unknown

No references identified in the literature. RA.


Shields "were commonplace among the Burmese, Siamese, Javanese [...] and almost every other Southeast Asian society for which we have evidence throughout the early modern period" [1] "In the 1680s, Siamese levies made use of leather shields." [2]

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 39)

[2]: (Charney 2004, p. 40)


Scaled Armor:
unknown

No references identified in the literature. RA.


Plate Armor:
unknown

No references identified in the literature. RA.


Limb Protection:
unknown

No references identified in the literature. RA.


Leather Cloth:
present

Naresuan wore a leather cap at the Battle of Nong Sarai [1] .

[1]: (Andaya and Andaya 2015, p. 173)


Laminar Armor:
unknown

No references identified in the literature. RA.


"Siamese levies donned helmets made of leather in 1680s Ayudhya." [1]

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 39)


Chainmail:
unknown

No references identified in the literature. RA.


Breastplate:
unknown

No references identified in the literature. RA.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
present

’The differing understandings of what the tributary relationship entailed are evident in an incident in October 1592 when King Narasuan of Ayutthaya offered Siamese naval assistance to the Ming court in its struggle to contain the depredations of Japanese pirates. The offer was refused, for from the Chinese point of view it would have been demeaning, and an admission of Chinese weakness, to have accepted. In the mandala world of Southeast Asia, however, it was usual for an ally to contribute military assistance in time of war. Narasuan may have hoped for some quid pro quo in his own conflict with the Burmese, but his offer, and the Ming refusal, point to essential differences in worldview.’ [1]

[1]: (Stuart-Fox 2003, p. 34)


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown

No references identified in the literature. RA.


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
absent

Ayudhya relied on junks for overseas trade with China and elsewhere, but it does not seem to have produced a large naval armament that abandoned the coasts in the early modern period." [1] .

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 108)



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions