Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Cambodian Royal Chronicle

PART III
POST-ANGKORIAN ERA
1) The Basan-Chatomuk Period

50) King Ponhea Yat
(1421--1462, Capital: Angkor, Basan, & Chatomuk)
King Ponhea Yat was the son of King Sri Suryovong II. After expelling the Siamese from Angkor in 1421, he ascended the throne and stay at Angkor for about 5 years. He then realized that the Capital and his Palace were too close to the border of Siam. Therefore, he decided to move the Capital from Angkor to Basan in present-day Srey Santhor district, Kandal province. After one year, Basan was flooded. Thus, King Ponhea Yat once again moved his Capital from Basan to Chatomuk (Phnom Penh).
King Ponhea Yat informally ruled Cambodia for 12 years before he received formal coronation with a new name known as Preah Borumarajathiraja Reamia Thibadey. In order to ensure peace and stability in the kingdom, King Ponhea Yat sent an envoy with some tributes to China to establish relationship with the Chinese Emperor.

51) Prince Nearaya Reamia1 Thibadey
(1462--1467, Capital: Chatomuk)
Prince Nearaya Reamia Thibadey was the eldest son of King Ponhea Yat. He succeeded the throne in 1462. Prince Nearaya Reamia Thibadey reigned for only 5 years. He died in 1467 and left behind a son named Sri Suryotey.

52) Prince Sri Raja
(1467--1474, Capital: Amaraborey)
Prince Sri Raja was a younger brother of Prince Nearaya Reamia Thibadey. He succeeded the throne in 1467 when he was 19 years old. After succeeding the throne for one year, his nephew, the son of Prince Nearaya Reamia Thibadey named Sri Suryotey, challenged him for the throne. At the same time, the Siamese sent an army to invade the western provinces of Cambodia including Angkor. Facing with a dilemma of confronting enemies in two fronts, Prince Sri Raja appointed his younger brother, Prince Dhamaraja, to fight against his nephew’s forces while he was leading an army to repel the Siamese invasion in the western provinces.
After successfully pushed the Siamese army back into Siam, Prince Sri Raja return to his throne only to find out that his brother, Prince Dhamaraja, was unwilling to let him ascend the throne. Thus, Cambodia, at this point, was divided into three separate fiefdoms with the three princes as rulers. Prince Sri Raja stayed at Amaraborey; Prince Dhamaraja stayed at Chatomuk; and Prince Sri Suryotey stayed at Srey Santhor. However, this three-way arrangement lasted for only 3 years. Prince Dhamaraja asked Siam to help him consolidate his power by helping eliminate the two rival princes. The Siamese agreed and sent an army to help Prince Dhamaraja. After succeeding in capturing both Princes Sri Raja and Sri Suryotey, the Siamese took the two princes to Siam and left Prince Dhamaraja to rule Cambodia alone.
Prince Dhamaraja ascended to the Khmer throne in 1471 and became king until 1498. During this last part of his rule, King Dhamaraja built a monument at Mount Santuk in Kompong Thom province. He died in 1498.

53) Prince Sri Suryotey
(See Prince Sri Raja)

54) Prince Dhamaraja
(See Prince Sri Raja)

55) King Sri Sokunthbot
(1498--1505, Capital: Chatomuk & Basan)
King Sri Sokunthbot was the oldest son of King Dhamaraja. He succeeded the throne in 1498 following the death of his father. After the succession, King Sri Sokunthbot made Basan his Capital and left his brother named Ang Chan to stay at Chatomuk.
During his reign, a rebellion known as Neay Kon Rebellion took place. Neay Kon was a trusted adviser to King Sri Sokunthbot. He betrayed the King and persuaded the people to support his revolt against the king. Neay Kon succeeded in his revolt. After killing King Sri Sokunthbot, he proclaimed himself king and rule Cambodia for 10 years from 1505 to 1515 with the name Luong Preah Sdach Kon (His Majesty Lord Kon). In a sense, Luong Preah Sdach Kon was like the Cromwell king of England.

56) King Ang Chan I
(1515--1555, Capital: Chatomuk & Lovek)
King Ang Chan I was the son of King Dhamaraja and a younger brother of King Sri Sokunthbot. During the Neay Kon Rebellion, he (Ang Chan I) was staying in Siam. After learning of his brother’s death at the hand of Neay Kon, he returned to Cambodia and wage war against Luong Preah Sdach Kon. He defeated and killed Sdach Kon at the citadel of Srolob Pichey (present-day Thbong Khmom district, Kompong Cham province) and succeeded the throne in 1515.
During his reign, the Siamese invaded Cambodia twice: one in 1528 and the other in 1533. Both times, the Siamese were defeated and pushed back to their country. In 1528, after the first Siamese invasion, King Ang Chan I moved the Capital from Chatomuk to Lovek. King Ang Chan I practiced Buddhism and was very compassionate toward poor people. He built many temples and hospitals. He was also a very courageous and powerful leader. He reigned for 40 years. He died in 1555 and left behind good reputation.
(To be continued)

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